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My Parents Don't Know The Real Me

My Parents Don't Know The Real Me

Dear Sugar
It upsets me that all of my friends know the real me, but I'm having a hard time expressing who I really am to my family. I love to party and I love boys. However, I am a Mormon and dating is not allowed until the age of 16.

My parents are conservative and I am not. I love coffee, and I go out on secret dates that my family doesn't know about. I also have secret body piercings and a few secret tattoos which is not allowed. My mother is over protective and we are constantly clashing.

In my home we have a rule about attending church. I really don't like going as often as my family makes me go. I also don't want to live my life by the same religious boundaries as they do.

At the same time, I don't want to have to keep lying to my mother. She is trying to control what I wear, who I talk to and how to wear my hair and make up. I'm so tired of hearing about how she would have never talked back to her mother when she was my age.

I am so excited to move out and go to college because she is suffocating me. The more she tries to mold me the more I pull away from her. Should I reveal my true self to my parents or should I hide everything until I leave for college? Lost Lara

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Lost Lady
This is an age old battle between young adults and their parents; especially mothers and daughters. Understand that in no way will I encourage you to lie. I think you should definitely talk to your family about your tattoos and piercings and confess to dating and to drinking coffee.

Your parents may be conservative, but they don't live under a rock. They probably know a lot more about the parts of you that you are trying to hide than you realize. They may disapprove of the things you are doing which are against your religion, but I'll bet they would appreciate it if you didn't cut off your open communication altogether with them.

Your parents understand that both your mind and body are going through lots of changes right now. You are entering into an age of self discovery and independence. They probably are just grappling with letting their little girl grow up. Whatever you do, don't put down their values and ideals. If you want to be treated like an adult, act like one.

Try and remember that no matter what, they love you. Perhaps by coming clean with them you can discuss compromising how often you join them at church. You can also talk to them about letting you dress how you want and making your home a more welcoming place for friends that you would like to invite over. Good luck.

Join The Conversation
janoxide janoxide 9 years
hitting teenage years does this to us with our parents. personalities crash. i am not sure of who the real me is myself, because my parents dont know this side of me. like you i come from a religious family, but when i turned teen, everything comes to full blast because of hormones. there are just things that i cant tell my parents not because i dont like them, but im afraid to hurt their feelings because they have been sacrificing on whats best for me. i love them and seeing them upset on my shameful activities hurt me the most. i watch gay porn and do the simple things religious disalloweed and this is shameful because i am born from morals. this is the only regret i ever have for my parents, this world and god. this may sound small, but for me its just shameful. call it the secret life. its up to you if you can keep up like me and just hide things as it is but reading that you are frustrated about it seems really terrible. there is alot of good advice at the top so all the best. i hope you learnt something from my story too.
TrippleC TrippleC 10 years
Dearsugar... You didn't take into consideration that she's Mormon. Mormon families, who are especially devout will be even more upset with her than a non Mormon family, I'm sure. I say to you, sweetie... When you're in college, you go ahead and do what you want. It's not fair your being forced to be a part of ANY sort of religion. While you're at it, do your research on it, I PROMISE you will be amazed. Best of luck to you!
highsociety1 highsociety1 10 years
You're barely 16, child. Even YOU don't know who the "real you" is yet.
herbiefrog herbiefrog 10 years
couldn't believe i read tyhis here "They may disapprove of the things you are doing which are against your religion" ...did you not hear her? ...its not her religion ...they are trying to force it] ...upon her shame on all religious parents who push their beliefs uypon their children propaganda is just that no matter what its source
Luna13 Luna13 10 years
this might sound silly to you at your age, but be thank full that u have parents who care for you, believe me its much worse when your parents do not care one bit about you...when u go to college i think you will realise more what they mean to you in your life, theres nothing like having parents who will always be there for you through thick and thin, friends come and go and so do boyfriends but your parents will always be there no matter what
sweet666 sweet666 10 years
be glad your parents are involved. as long as my brother and i were out of our parents hair, they didn't give a sh*t what we were doing. be glad they care, man.
Adriana42 Adriana42 10 years
i agree with jennifer..they're probably not doing it to hurt u they're doing it to protect u and maybe u shouldnt go from one extreme to another at that young age..i mean ur still not old enough to make good judgements(like getting tattoos) and u'll understand ur parents more and more as u mature. I come from a conservative family myself and I havent dated until i was 17. Even though i was pressured into getting piercings, tattoos, and stay out late I couldnt because of my parents. Now that i'm older I thank them for being so strict on me because i could have easiely got involved with drugs,alcohol,smoking,etc.
blOndiE7 blOndiE7 10 years
I'm LDS too!! I was the same way when I was in highschool. I wanted to hang out with boys and go to parties, my parents werent as strict as a lot of parents can be, but I dreaded going to church every Sunday, and the church activities during the week, but they did make me go and I hated it. Well I started partying and had a boyfriend for a year and my parents always said I needed to date around and find someone in the church to date, but I never listened. I got pregnant and was terrified and didnt tell my parents until I was 5 months, well I didnt even tell them someone else did. Ever since then my family hardly ever goes to church, and we used to go every single Sunday. But not no more. So it makes me sad to think about it sometimes, but all I can do now is start going to church again and bring my daughter, she's always asking to go to church and it makes me happy, so your parents really do know whats best for you and all you can do I guess is understand where they are coming from and listen to them. ok I wasnt meaning to write all that but it just came out.. haha
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
That probably sounds harsh to a 16 year old. I know we all have a lack of perspective at 16. Most of us mature and realize that our parents - far from meddling in our lives for their enjoyment - are actually taking a lot out of themselves to do their best for their children. It is not easy being a parent, and you get zero credit for it.
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
The "real you" is a dependent child who needs her parents to put a roof over her head and food in her mouth. It may seem like forever until you get out of the house, but its really not. Try to remember that your parents aren't beating you, they aren't sexually abusing you, they aren't neglecting you and they aren't expecting you to take care of everything for them. It might help you to gain some perspective on what an actually tough home life is like.
My-Opinion My-Opinion 10 years
lol, that would be 'hormones' and 'rebellion'........oooooooh this is the first*
LaylaCams LaylaCams 10 years
Uh Oh Tox maternal extinct is kicking in!
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
BEsides the fact that ur 16! If u were 18 graduated or something I can see asking the parents to change rules but ur flipping 16 act ur age!
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
UR parents do not want to know that side of u. Suck it up. =] u live under there house with there rules. See if u can discuss changing a few things, but since its religion might as well give up now. Loved the way u said that Val.
Maneater Maneater 10 years
My family isn't Mormon but my mother is really religious. It seems that you have a lot of the same type of rules (I couldn't date until I was 16 and then it had to be these really dorky guys from church.) I had growing up. I was just like you though, I pierced my bellybutton when I was 16 and I was always out with boys when I was supposed to be doing parent approved stuff. I hated going to church 3 times a week and I wished that they would just listen to me. If your parents find out about all of your secret activities they're going to be really hurt that you have been lying to them. (I'm not saying it to scare you but my parents were so hurt they kicked me out of the house.) I wasn't able to go to college and I really regret it. (Things are better for me now.) It took years for them to even start talking to me again and things are still kind of tense between us. I know that you are your own person and you think that you know what is best for yourself. Your parents love you and just want to protect you. Try sucking it up and following all the crazy rules for a while. It may seem like forever but it won't be long until you are out of their house and then you can date and tattoo and pierce yourself all you want.
Tiinnaaaa Tiinnaaaa 10 years
you write like your parents are doing something wrong.. ur parents sound pretty normal to me.. so ur not allowed to get tattoo's or piercings? thats not conservative, pretty much all parents are like that..
M155-J4CK13 M155-J4CK13 10 years
Besides, what do you think will happen when you bend down to tie your shoes and she catches a glimpse of that tattoo? Believe me, the shit will hit the fan.
M155-J4CK13 M155-J4CK13 10 years
I think you need to sit down with your parents and tell them the things that you've done (tattoos and secret dates included). You have already done these forbidden things, so confessing it might make you feel a bit better. Telling your parents may also make them realize that you are growing up and establishing your own identity. If you're lucky, they may say "Well, she's already done _____, and she doesn't seem any worse for it. Perhaps we can reach an agreement on _____."
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
you are so "excited to move out and go to college" huh? great, who will be paying for your education? is it the parents that you have so little respect for that you can't be honest with them about your activities? lying is an indication that you lack the maturity to make important decisions. it doesn't matter what religion you are (or aren't) until you are of legal age you live under your parents roof and their rules. you say "i love to party and i love boys". let me tell you that that sentence alone speaks more about your state of mind that anything else that you wrote. in a few years you won't even remember the names of the boys you say you "love" (or they yours) but you will remember the way you handled yourself. and all of these "friends" that know the real you, they are your party buddies and that's not the same thing as a friend. your parents are active in your life because they care about your future and about you. you would be foolish to think that you know what is "best" when you have so little life experience and aren't even aware of your options or the consequences of your choices. i feel bad for your parents and certainly hope you have a little sit down with yourself about who has been your real support system while you were growing up. this is a fork in the road for you, and while your parents will likely be there no matter what you do, they don't deserve your casual disregard of their efforts on your behalf.
velvetgoldmine velvetgoldmine 10 years
I too am LDS, raised in a very strict conservative environment, and your plight sounds very familiar. An emphasis in Mormonism is that we are free to choose -- which is why Jesus was sent to the earth and not Lucifer. You are growing up, and you need to be free to make your own choices. Your family may not approve of your decisions, but how else are you going to learn if you don't try things out for yourself? You're at the age where you're going to be doubting a lot of things around you, religion is one of them. Perhaps if you spoke to them -- politely and respectfully, of course. Let them know that you're very appreciative of their concern, but you need to figure out things for yourself. Come clean about the things you've been doing; I know from speaking with my mother about my inactive little brother that she worries all the time about what he may or may not be doing behind closed doors.
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