A few years ago, my daughters and I were in a play where it wasn’t all applause. At least, not for her. Because one of the adults was mad at me, she took out her anger on Beth.
Yeah, not a real adult way to handle frustration, but we’re all messed up in some way, right? Every rehearsal, she belittled and hurt her, until my teenager hated being in a show she had been excited about.
Something had to change.
I think the real teasing started for me in third grade. I'm pretty sure it had something to do with the blue cat's eye glasses I got that year. OK, so I loved blue. (Still do.) But my parents definitely should have steered me away from that particular fashion choice.
The painfully shy awkward girl who got straight A's and could always be found in a corner reading a book? That was me. It made me a target for cruelty I didn't know how to manage until much, much later.
My mom is scared to let me do anything! I'm sixteen years old and she still treats me like a baby. I've never done anything wrong so I don't know why she doesn't trust me. Though I haven't snuck around behind her back, I'm tempted to start. What can I do to get some more freedom?
LEANNA KAY says:
Let me start this by saying I am a mom with three kids and all of them are very good kids. Yet I can sometimes be overprotective. It's not that I don't trust them. It's that I don't trust the world!
What I'm trying to say is that it's very likely this isn't a matter of your mom thinking you're going to go out and do something bad (since this has never been your history). Rather she's probably afraid something bad will happen to you.
Will the boy you want to date put the moves on you and date rape you? If you go to the mall by yourself, will you be grabbed and thrown into a paneled van, shipped to Togo and sold into slavery?
All of these things are not likely threats. But your mom has this amazingly deep love for you and she's spent a lifetime protecting you. It's hard to let go. So what do you do?
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