This is my first time visiting this site and I'm really happy knowing that this exists! I'm here because I'm moving from California to Utah in July. My boyfriend of 3 years lives there and it's just an all around at a better economic standpoint than Southern California.
I'm really stressed at home. I live with my parents (mom and step dad) and my grandma. I feel suffocated here, and no matter how much I try to get out it's not working. I get ridiculed and verbally abused at trying to get a job, driving, going to school, socializing. Everything. I'm never good enough, and to top it all off, I get verbally abused for being an artist and a furry from my step dad. I don't think they want me to move out. They've stemmed my growth quite a lot and I don't have the dad's side of the family in contact, so I cannot stay with my father until the move, or with anyone really.
I plan on telling the family that I am leaving in July, but I'm scared. I know I should tell my family, but how? I'm sure they'll try to do everything in their power to prevent me moving. They know my boyfriend and his family, and support the relationship to a point. I know my mom would be upset. I'm just not sure how to tell them that I'm leaving.
Thank you for your advice.
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You are a 21-year-old woman who has apparently been overly protected and dominated by her family. Because of this, you are afraid to make a move at the same time you have come to resent being controlled by your parents and grandmother, and you recognize you must move to be able to grow as a person.
The good news is that, at 21, you are old enough to decide for yourself what to do with your life. Your parents can no longer tell you where to go or how to live. I think you understand this.
Practically speaking, all you need is a solid plan in order to succeed. Will you live with your boyfriend or somewhere else? Do you have a job secured in Utah? An income source? Once you are confident you will have a roof over your head, reliable transportation, and a steady income source, you are golden. If you don’t have those things, do not make such a move and expect them to fortuitously materialize later.
Also, do not trust that your income will come from someone else; not even your boyfriend or your biological father. It is vital that you understand you must be financially independent of everyone else—family, boyfriends, everyone—or else stand the risk of having the rug pulled out from under you so that you fall on your backside. If there is one thing I have learned in life, the only person you can trust 100% is yourself. That might sound harsh and cynical, but when you rely on others it is a recipe for disappointment and disaster.
This is not to say that everyone is out to get you, but rather that when you rely on others you introduce variables beyond your control. Say, for instance, you are going to move in with your boyfriend; he has a job and sincerely promises to support you. Suddenly, he gets fired and you are both out on the streets. A very common scenario.
Let’s say that all your plans are set, so the only dilemma left is telling your family. While you clearly have some problems with your family, I sense you also care for and love them and wish to be considerate. You don’t want to run off without saying good-bye. However, if you tell them all your plans first, you believe they will try to stop you.
Short of locking you up in your room or tying you to a post in the basement, how would they do this? If you have the means available to you to go out on your own, the only way they could keep you from doing so is by using force ... OR—sometimes a more powerful force than metal chains—they can use guilt and mental manipulation.
According to your letter, they have been conditioning you for years to believe that you are not capable of anything. Now is the time to overcome that conditioning and believe in yourself. You must have some self-respect still within you or else you would not be bristling at their manipulation and disapproval; you are aware that they are doing this to you. Therefore, there is something inside you that doesn’t believe their B.S. You have some pride and dignity and belief in yourself.
Embrace that belief in your own capabilities. Make your plans to move out. Make sure they are good plans—and back up Plan A with a Plan B (contingency plan) in case your original plan doesn’t work. Why? Because nothing would be more awful than asserting to your family that you can make it on your own only to come crawling back later and asking if they will take you back. It is very important that once you leave you stay gone, which is why I cannot emphasize enough the importance of being prepared.
Once you are well-prepared and confident in yourself, only then will you be able to face up to your family and tell them politely, firmly, and with love that you are going to move out. Remember, this doesn’t mean you are breaking off the relationship; it means only that you are defining a new paradigm for that relationship. This is what adults do, and, as an adult, you are capable of doing it.
Don’t be afraid to grow up and you will be able to face your future with confidence and self-respect.
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