My family makes it hard to live with them?

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    I recently moved back in with my parents temporarily from across the country. My sister has moved in with them as well after just graduating college. We’ve lived in our new house for about a month and a half. It’s been pretty crazy, all of us living together again. But I honestly thought things would be a little better this time. When I was a teenager, there was this huge double standard with my sister and I. She was allowed to stay out as late as she wanted and never had to tell our parents who she was with or where she was at. Often she wouldn’t come home until 2-3 am on the weekends. I was never allowed the same freedom, once I was completely bitched out because I went to the movies and then went out for a bite to eat afterwards without asking if it was ok first. It was insane.
    The first couple weeks here were ok. I went out bowling with my one friend I have here, and I didn’t end up coming home until 2. No one seemed to be worried about me or care at all. I thought it had finally come to that point where people saw me as an adult who is capable of taking care of myself and making my own choices. It was great. That happened a couple more times, me going out on the weekend, trying to have fun and make friends in a new place while still looking for a new job.
    Last night I was out, meeting more people and we were chilling at my friends apartment. I had told my mom that I would maybe be home as early as 10-11 but that I would text her when I was leaving. Before I knew it, I had laughed and talked my way to 12. Then I got a text from my mom. This is how the conversation went:
    MOM- Where are you? ME- I’ll be heading home in 20 minutes. MOM- No. That is not acceptable. Stay over and come in the morning, but you will not do this again. It is not safe on the roads this late. ME- I haven’t had anything to drink in the last 3 hours. I’m totally sober. I will leave right now. MOM- There are drunk people on the roads now. Do you not know that? ME- I am sober and fine to drive. I did not realize coming home right now would be such a big deal. MOM-Stay until the morning. I cannot wait up any later. I have to get up early. You told me you would be home by 10 or 11. ME- Why are you waiting up? I have a key. MOM- To know whether you are dead or alive. ME- I did not realize that you thought you had to wait up for me. I’m sorry. I am honestly trying to play by your rules here, if you want me to start coming back before a certain time, that’s ok with me and I will do that. I’m sorry. MOM- You are hurting my feelings more that I can possibly explain. It’s less about rules than basic common courtesy. And common sense. ME-I did not realize you were waiting up for me. It hadn’t crossed my mind. If I had known I would be back by now. If you want to make a rule about me coming home at a certain time, I am ok with that. Please don’t be mad at me when I didn’t know that this would be an issue. MOM-You are out of your mind. Don’t come home. You are showing me how inconsiderate you are. That’s what hurts my feelings. I’m totally amazed that you have to have a rule that tells you that your mother cares about your safety.
    I was just completely shocked that suddenly this was a huge deal. I’ve been trying to be respectful of their rules in the house. I am already limited to being out one night a week. My sister gave me hell for being out all night when I came home, saying things like ” I’m just worried about you and it’s really irresponsible of you to think you can just go do whatever you want. If I wake up at 2 and you aren’t here I need to know to contact the police.” I’ve told her, and my parents, numerous times that if they ever are worried about me or want to know where I am or if I’m ok that they can text or call me. I literally always have my phone on me and always respond to texts. My dad said is was inconsiderate too and was pretty upset. I just don’t understand why everyone in the house feels the need to micromanage where I am and what I’m doing and when I’ll be back. I’m a fully functioning adult, I’ve lived on my own, I’ve taken care of myself. I’ll be 21 in two weeks. I just don’t understand why suddenly me being out with friends on the weekend is such a big deal.

    I am thinking of trying to move out as soon as possible. Am I overreacting?


    Dear Phoebe:

    I don’t think you are overreacting at all. I think you should move out, really! The texting exchange with your mother is disturbing to me. In it, you are reasonable and willing to accommodate, please and appease. On the other hand your mother is unreasonable, blaming, and she repeatedly refused, in the exchange you quoted here, to acknowledge your efforts to accommodate her. She did not acknowledge your apology (even though you had no reason to apologize).

    In the exchange you quoted your mother is repeatedly blaming you with no valid reason to blame you. That is disturbing to me. Your sister as well is blaming you and your father. To me, it is not that they don’t trust you to be mature, it is that the three, supporting each other in this, have a need to blame you and single you out as the one to blame. It seems to me that you are a the scapegoat of this family, the one to blame.

    And not because you are guilty of anything but simply because your mother NEEDS to blame someone and your sister carries on the same role, blaming you and your father, maybe he agrees with your mother because it is easier for him to do so.

    It is not about you, nothing you are doing wrong. It is about them, something is wrong with them to single you out as the one to point a finger at. It is your … given Family Role.

    Reject it by moving out. I am sorry this is your situation!



    What is your birth order? Parents often treat siblings differently based on where they fall in the family. Not only that, but girls and boys are treated differently. At 21 you are still quite young age wise, but most 21 year olds are fully capable to be independent of their parents and to your mother you are probably still seen as not yet independent enough to safely navigate the world. If you are the “baby” of the family, your mom might not like the fact that now you are grown up and she may never let you grow up. On top of that your mom may have her own anxiety and worry issue that she needs to take care of, obviously don’t tell her that unless you want to have another fight. It does no good for her to stay up worrying, and calling the police at 2:00 a.m in the morning is going to do what if you just went out that same night? They aren’t going to waste their time with that. Your mom could and should just go to sleep, she can wake up see if you are home at 2 if she wants, ask if you are safe, you respond and that is the end of until you get home. There is no point on you living at home if your mom is going to delay your growing up process. You would be much better gaining life experience and maturity by moving out on to your own. You will probably have deal with some stuff, like her saying that you are just moving out because you have a problem with being courteous, following rules or whatever, but your 20’s are the years when your brain begins to fully mature and you begin to develop into a full blown adult, in your situation you shouldn’t wait to start this process, because the more your mother makes you rely on her in various ways the more these attitudes will stick on you and the longer it will take to sever the chord that she has wrapped around you even when you move out. Sometimes parents form a bond with their children and just can not let them grow up. If you wait to long she will be texting you when you are 30 at midnight asking if you are at home and who wants that.

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