Parenting --Teens/Overprotective Mother
I am 16 years old. Junior in high school. My mother has been hard to deal with for a while now. It makes me go crazy, literally. My mother goes through my room, finds anything she can get her hands on to confront me about. Dating is a big issue. I have recently broke up with my boyfriend, because she called him cursing him out and told him to stay away from me. I know she just trying to protect me, but I have been through a lot and learned from my mistakes. She goes through my phone, text my friends to stay away from and stuff. I recently went through her phone, and she texted my dad saying, I'm a slut all I want to do is have sex. It hurts, because I am Celibate. I'm human of course I have sexual urges and I talk to my friends about it since I can't talk to her about it. Even when I do talk to my mom, she uses it against me and judges me. I also can't go anywhere without her blowing up my phone, sending me text messages saying "I hate you, you should die" It makes me go nuts. When I ask to go out it's always an argument, then when I do go out she gets mad. I can't be home alone. If she goes out I have to have a baby-sitter. It's annoying. I smoke weed because it helps me get over it all. I don't drink, or have sex. I have gotten good grades. It's hard. My mom does everything for me financially and to her benefit. Emotional she hurts me. She can't see that, because she's perfect and makes no mistakes. I have a 22 year old sister, she has gone through this also, she left the house when she was 17. I'm starting to think about it also. Overall, there's no privacy and she's overprotective. I don't know what to do, I feel trapped.
Sometimes mothers have a hard time understanding that their 16 year olds are not 10 any more. I can tell you that being a parent many times over, that my 32 year old is still my kid, though I understand that I can only be his parent when he asks me to be one. Your mother hasn't figured that out yet and she might never figure it out. There is a law of relationships that expecting the other person to change is an exercise in disappointment. The only person you can change is you. That said, let me get into figuring out with you just how to cope with her.
Your statement that you have been through a lot and have learned from your mistakes, hints at a rough patch in your life when you were not doing things in your best interests. If that was the case, your over-protective mother is probably attempting to make sure that that does not happen again. If that is the case, only a lot of good performance from you will have any effect on changing her. On the other hand, that she acted the same towards your sister seems to indicate that that is just the way she is. I am going to make my suggestions based on the idea that your mother is not going to change.
Your choices are not huge though there are some choices you can make. First, you can stay where you are and understand that it is not ideal and at the same time, you know that you have at least food and shelter and the opportunity to finish high school and move out and onto the rest of your life. I know that is a hard one to contemplate for the next two years, though once you stop focusing on her and instead remember where you are heading in life and keep working towards that goal, things will seem better.
The second choice which goes hand and hand with the first is to go get local counseling that will eventually work with both you and your mother. If she won't agree to doing that, you do it for yourself. Having someone you can talk to on a regular basis will get you through almost anything. You might start with your school counselor to get a referral or, if you are a member of a religious organization, from the minister, priest, or rabbi. Another place would be the local family services organization. They always have either a counseling staff of their own or good referrals. If there is a children's hospital in your community, they too usually have teen counseling.
Third choice is to split. The problem there is that you will instantly have to start providing for yourself and that will probably get in the way of finishing school and whatever good things you have planned for after that. One of my favorite sayings is that "before you jump it is a good idea to know where you are going to land." If you have some relative such as your father or your sister who will agree to take over for your mother, then that might be an OK choice.
The forth one is really a distant forth one because it is a completely different life from what you have now and that is to talk to your states version of child protective services and investigate moving to a foster or group home. What you have written about what your mother says and texts to you could possibly be viewed as verbal child abuse and grounds for them to act to protect you. This is not one that I would recommend unless it is all that is left before you just run away. Having worked with teens who went that route, there are some that it was the best move because they lucked into a great placement, though others had real problems coping with strange new environments and new rules.
I hope this has helped. You can always reply with more questions or you can go to my youth organization's website, http://la-youth.org
where there is a youth crisis line, if you want to discuss more with a live person. We are in Los Angeles and work on Pacific Coast Time. If you are in a dire crisis, we answer the phone 24/7.
Jason Wittman, MPS