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Teenage Problems/Separation From Parents

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Hello, I am a minor living in Massachusetts and have been looking into possible ways to move away from my parents. I've recently turned 16 in September, and I am a student in high school. Before I begin to explain my main reasons for this decision, I wanted to give you a summary of my story. To begin with, I'm not originally from the United States. I was born in South America and lived there until I was 9. My mother was a teen-mom, and my birth caused many hardships for her and my biological father. When I turned 3 years old, she left me with my grandmother and moved here. Six years later, she came back to visit us with a new husband and a child. When she returned to the US, the took me with her. My mother and I have never been close. I've never been able to verbally communicate with her like I used to with my grandmother. Since I began to get older and develop into a more independent individual, things have gotten worse. For the past year, I have felt an increase in intimidation relating to her. We often argue and I am not happy at home. I don't enjoy spending time with my mother, her husband, or my half-sister. I spend most of my time in my room because I don't feel comfortable around here. It's sad for me to say that I don't have any compassion towards my mother or her new family, I don't love her. But how can you blame me? She was absent throughout half my life. Her actions towards me have driven me to do research on foster care and other possibilities that I could consider to distance myself from her. She isolates me, and causes me emotional harm. I don't get physically abused, and she is clearly able to provide for me, but I just don't think I can handle living in an environment where I am constantly feeling depressed and unappreciated. I am emotionally abused, and I'm concerned that this might affect my future. I work really hard in school to make something of myself, and I just want to be in an environment that will give me positive feedback in order to achieve my goals. I've looked into emancipation and found out that it's really hard to be granted in MA. I never considered looking to my father for support because he is not very involved in my life, however I am really close to my ex-stepmother. She's been supporting me ever since I was about two years old and I believe she could help me, however I know my mother would be against loosing custody of me. I don't know what else to do, and I was wondering if you could give me advice or ideas of possible solutions, other than emancipation.  Thank you for your time.

Answer
Hi Yllara, thanks for your email. You sound like a mature, articulate 16 year old who certainly has a good idea of what is working/not working in your life. Up to this point it sounds like, for various reasons, you were not included in the decision about the direction your life would take. You are older now and really it's now your opinions that count. It sounds like you have determined a suitable alternative (step mom) but are holding back b/c of concerns how your mom would feel. I don't know that there is a benefit to you in protecting your mom's feelings. It sounds like this is a discussion you could have with your step mom and the two of you can decide how best to approach things with your mom.  You do have power and control over your life at your age and even if legally, you can't emancipate (I don't know the rules in your State) you can still make good decisions for yourself. I hope that was helpful. All the best.

Shana

Teenage Problems

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Shanac

Expertise

Issues relating to: relationships, alcohol and drugs, sexuality, problems with parents and peers, struggles with divorcing parents, anxiety, mood changes and anger problems and pretty much everything else you can think of.

Experience

Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology and 22+ years counselling experience with individuals, couples, and families. I also taught a communication course at a community college in my hometown.

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MA Counselling Psychology BA Psychology

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