I ran away from home today. Had a large argument with my parents over finishing these stupid forms. The argument was really just about everything they expect of me and what they won't let me do. I was basically told I am too young and not mature enough to be out doing things on my own, especially late at night, but I'm going to college in August. The forms were just an excuse to start an argument, I guess. It was so much work and they expected it done that night and absolutely perfect... It would just follow the same pattern as always. I would do it in a very stressed and quick manner, skipping several things only ot be chewed out by my parents later for doing a poor job, then forced to redo it in an even more stressed manner resulting in heightened anger and tension and resulting in a shouting match. I ran away because I needed time away from both of them after my father began to insult me and my friends and various "furry stuff". I couldn't take it. Probably not the best decision, but what's done is done.
I really just want to know what I can do. I hate being trapped here, but I have little choice in the matter. I never expected things would turn this drastic over such a...seemingly little thing. I'm mostly to blame for that, but my parents share the blame when it comes to actions they took. Now I have blisters on my feet and I'm very sore from walking for 4 miles on broken asphalt with no shoes or socks. It's just so hard to stay here now, but I have to.
It turned into a shouting match between me and my mother until she tried to do her little stupid guilt trips. Then my father began insulting me and my friends and I just couldn't take it anymore. So I ran. They were chasing me so I didn't have time to get my shoes or get in my car and instead got about a mile down the road barefoot before my father caught up to me in his golf cart. For the next mile, I walked and he tried talking to me from the golf cart all the while trying to get me to come home, but I refused. Eventually he left telling me to call when I needed to be picked up, but after mentioning that if anyone tried to pick me up, they would get in trouble with the law.
So I kept walking until I got to a friend's house who lived nearby. But they weren't home. I sat on their porch for a while and waited, then tried calling a friend only to find out that my father, who had just said to call him when I needed to, had just shut off my phone, so I couldn't call anyone except for emergency services. So I walked back, in the dark, about 2 miles as it started to rain while lightning and thunder was also occurring to my semi-friend's house and she drove me home.
So now I'm home, pissed off, phone still shut off (another lie from my father who said he would turn it on "in a minute" after I got home), and trapped. They hid the keys to my car. Unfortunately, I can't call the cops because they own the car. So now I'm trapped in this hellhole. I'm being held against my will with just an iPad for use.
What can I do to protect myself and get out of this place? They've already used the "our house, our rules. You should get your own place" schtik. I'm going crazy and I can't even call anyone or they'll listen in on the landline. What can I do?
A very distressed and POed DT
* * *
When people come to be your age parent-child conflicts are typical. This is a phenomenon based upon Nature. Nature wants children to leave the nest and go on their way to form families on their own. But if the children have no reason to leave because they adore their parents, are provided for, and are completely content to stay at home, they would never leave and Nature would face a quandary indeed. So, instead, Nature implants a kind of itching powder underneath our skins that makes us want to leave in our teen years. Usually, this itching powder just makes us antsy, restless and wanting to get out of the house to explore the world on our own. Good parents recognize this need to leave the nest and allow their little birds to fly; other parents cling to “their baby” and smother them, which has a bad side effect in that the itching powder now makes the child angry and resentful. This is what is happening to you.
Papabear does not doubt that your parents love you. If they didn’t, your father would not have bothered to pursue you in the golf cart. Similarly, they insult your friends and such because they worry you might be “hanging out with the wrong crowd.” Misguided? Probably. Mean-spirited? No, not at all.
Both sides of this argument are suffering from the fact that a major change in all your lives is about to occur: you’re going off to college. There is going to be a rough period of adjustment when emotions for all parties will be frayed. Things will be said in the heat of it all that are not truly meant.
What you need to do, DT, is look for the love underneath. You’re in for a bumpy ride, but you are actually a lucky person because your parents care about you, hard as that is now for you to see through the red haze of resentment. When your parents regurgitate tired platitudes like “Our house, our rules,” it will take a supreme effort on your part not to roll your eyes. Restrain yourself anyway.
It might not seem like it, but soon you will be out in the world and, looking back, you might even long for the days when your parents took care of your needs and you didn’t have to be responsible for bills and taxes and fixing your broken-down car. You will be an adult. Someday, God willing, you will have kids of your own and then you can wreak your revenge by telling them, “My house, my rules.”
Calm down, hon. Everything will be all right in the end.
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.