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Twenty and Suffocated

Dear Sugar
My 20th birthday is coming up, but I feel like I'm lacking freedom. Not once in high school did I get to go out with friends. I skipped prom and was always embarrassed when I had to decline friend's invitations to parties. My mother is very old fashioned and believes that a girl should not be out partying. So whenever I would ask, her answer was always no.

At the same time, she always tells me that I'm living in a shell and that I should be more outgoing. I am confused because she keeps me in and never lets me do anything!

She never even lets me drive at night because she's afraid of what might happen. She calls me every hour and she doesn't like it when I drive somewhere more than 20 minutes away. I just don't know how she's going to cope when I go to college in a few weeks. My school is 45 mins away.

I can't take it anymore. It's pathetic that my friends can go out whenever they want and I have to actually plan how I'm going to ask her if I can just go to the movies. It's not like I'll be out until the wee hours in the morning or even getting drunk; it's just a movie. I don't even like drinking really, but I do want to be able to experience having fun and going out with my friends.

How can I talk to my mom about letting go a little bit? I know we'll just end up arguing. Do you have tips on how to approach this? Suffocated Sophia

Dear Suffocated Sophia
Usually college starts at age 17 or 18, so if you've been holding back because of mom, then it's time to cut that umbilical cord. It's enough already. She sounds like the controlling mother from The Virgin Suicides ... and look what happened to those children. You can't put your life and your future on hold so she won't worry. It sounds like she's needy and scared but also selfish. If she really loves you, she'll let you go a little bit.

Would she rather you rebel against her completely? I think you are being very respectful of her feelings, but think of yourself as a caterpillar who is turning into a butterfly. It's time to spread your wings already.

I think you should move out when you start school and not commute 45 minutes and deal with your mother's wrath. You are entitled to have a life of your own apart from your her. Don't let her guilt weigh you down. And by the way, happy birthday - enjoy your day!

Join The Conversation
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
Your mom is definitely controlling. But, you're an adult. Get a job. Move out. Then, run your own life.
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
if you don't like the rules of the house move out into your own place. while you live under her roof she will continue to treat you like a child. when you move out you'll be able to make your own rules.
TrippleC TrippleC 10 years
Sweetie... You're 20!! An adult! That's not fair to you. You weren't able to live life like a "normal" teenager, and you're not able to live a normal life as an adult. Just "rebel". You're not 5 years old anymore... she REALLY needs to let go.
Moongal Moongal 10 years
well their is always one of these types of mothers in the bunch isnt there? she may mean well, but she needs to let go of the apron strings/ its hard though, but you are 20. and getting ready for collage, you will have to live and learn from good and bad. You need to try and have a civil talk with her and hopefully she will understand. Good Luck
sanD13 sanD13 10 years
Is that Chandler's mom in the pic?
topanga topanga 10 years
I say as long as you live under your parent's roof you have to respect their rules no matter how old you are. So move out and make your own rules.
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
Ur 20, ur mother is not going to let go till u make her. Go away to school get a job get a place something. Ull be miserable sounds just like how my mother is. GL
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 10 years
My mom was super the point that I ran away when I was 18. I couldn't take it anymore...WOULDN'T take it anymore. After I came back to live with her...she's STILL the same way! And I'm 23, married and I have a child. My theory would be to just ignore it and do what you want. Don't let her see that she's getting to you, because if you do, she'll keep on latching on.
yayita yayita 10 years
when I was younger I wanted to be soooo american and move out. Im kinda glad now they didn't let me. Im well balanced, independent and responsible. Ive always been independent even while living at home.
yayita yayita 10 years
I hear you Nica, its a cultural thing and the older I get it doesnt seem so bad. Theres something good about relying on family. You dont have to move away to be independant, plus you save a whole lota of moolah ;)
nicachica nicachica 10 years
my mom was super-overprotective of me too (i mean, she's a latin mother!) but i know it was more cultural than malicious. She's had a hard time letting go because i'm her youngest (and i still live at home) but she's gotten a lot better with the years.
yayita yayita 10 years
aracelly whee are you from? is that your real name? Its a latin name
Aracelly Aracelly 10 years
THAT S.U.C.K.S. If you try to hold your kids back from a social life and taking chances and learning from mistakes they will most likely lash out down the road when "personal freedom" is finally available. Big parenting mistake. However, I have a 2 year old son, and I can only imagine my reaction the first time he tells me he wants to ride his bike to school. You can't help but protect your kids, but there comes a point when they have to learn things on their own. But come on.... the movies.
yayita yayita 10 years
One more thing, my mom was so fearful because she watches too much news and thinks that whatever she sees on TV can happen to us. This is what made her so nuts! Still being Dominican I tayed at home till I moved to span last year at the age of 29. Love my mom to death though because I understand her opinions and where she comes from. In your case she isnt even letting you out so you may do what DS says and move out.
yayita yayita 10 years
my mom did this to me because she was fearful something would happen to us. Im sure shes not doing it in purpose, she is over protectve out of fear. My mom did not let me go away to college because she though I would get raped or something horible would happen. I stayed in the city and commuted. The diference seems to be that my mom at least let me go out.. she would worry but she would let me go.
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