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Trying to figure out if parents are too controlling


Family Parents too demanding? Sibling driving you mad? Tell us!

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Old 6th December 2016, 10:48 PM   #1
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Trying to figure out if parents are too controlling

Hello,

I am a 21 year old senior in college 400 miles away from my family. I've been having problems with my parents trying to control me since I went to college. It's definitely gotten better since high school, but it's still not great.

Here are the main issues:
-My mom told me that if I moved in with my bf, I would be financially cut off
-They have parental locks on my Netflix account so I can't watch anything TV-MA
-My mom once freaked out at me when she heard that I was at a pride rally and tried to tell me I wasn't allowed to go to them
-My mom will scold/lecture me if I say that I have seen an R rated movie
-My parents won't pay for my psychiatrist bills, even though they're very expensive and I needed to see the psychiatrist due to really bad depression
-My mom tried to convince me not to take antidepressants, and likes to make passive aggressive remarks about it, like "oh it's sad you're so dependent on them"
-She will call my lazy sometimes when I don't get things done according to how she think I should, when really its just depression sucking away my motivation
-I tried to tell them that I was suicidal, and they blew me off and told me I was being dramatic
-She tries to shame me into losing weight, and once told me I was pathetic for not wanted to go on a crash diet

It's hard to really explain but I just have this total fear of them finding out everything and then shunning me. The thing is it's always been like this, and I'm just realizing that this may not be normal. Is it?
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Old 7th December 2016, 4:12 PM   #2
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Yes it sounds controlling to me...some parents are like that and some are the
total opposite which is not good either. I don't know why they are controlling
or what brought this on and if they are like that with your siblings, if you have any. It may be difficult to change them and often arguing makes it worse--I rarely won an argument with my parents. They sound very unsympathetic!

You could try telling them some choices and things you did or will do that
you know they will be happy to hear about--that enables them to see you as an adult and independent. Exaggerrate a bit but don't lie. You should be able to see any movie you like--you are not a kid obviously.
If they plan to cut you off financially if you move in with your BF, you don't want to lose their money. A BF probably isn't worth it.
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Old 7th December 2016, 5:03 PM   #3
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Yes, they are controlling in some ways. But there are other things which are possibly cultural or general parenting stuff. What does strike me is that you need to have at least a part time job so that you can assert more independence.

-My mom told me that if I moved in with my bf, I would be financially cut off

I'd probably do the same. For me, it would be about me pushing her independence. If she feels old enough and mature enough to be living independently with a boyfriend - that's great. However, I would expect her to support herself financially. If she wants us to support her, then she lives as a dependent.

-They have parental locks on my Netflix account so I can't watch anything TV-MA

Netflix isn't expensive. Get your own account and watch whatever you want.

-My mom once freaked out at me when she heard that I was at a pride rally
and tried to tell me I wasn't allowed to go to them


Limit what you share about your life. What she doesn't know won't hurt her.

-My mom will scold/lecture me if I say that I have seen an R rated movie

As above.

-My parents won't pay for my psychiatrist bills, even though they're very expensive and I needed to see the psychiatrist due to really bad depression

Yes, psychiatrists can be expensive. I get antidepressants from my local doctor. Do local doctors prescribe antidepressants were you live?

-My mom tried to convince me not to take antidepressants, and likes to make passive aggressive remarks about it, like "oh it's sad you're so dependent on them"

A lot of people share this opinion. I don't agree with it, but your mom is far from alone here.

-She will call my lazy sometimes when I don't get things done according to how she think I should, when really its just depression sucking away my motivation

Are you taking antidepressants at the moment? If so, they aren't working. Does your health care provider know that you are still lacking in motivation?

-I tried to tell them that I was suicidal, and they blew me off and told me I was being dramatic


It's very sad that you can't turn to her in times of crisis. Does your college have counsellors you can use? That said, do you have a history of being dramatic? If so, she could be writing off your comments as more of the same.

-She tries to shame me into losing weight, and once told me I was pathetic for not wanted to go on a crash diet

Body shaming is not OK. I hope you put her well and truly in her place.
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Old 7th December 2016, 5:50 PM   #4
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I am going to vote for not normal!!

But my parents raised me to be very independent. Their goal was to give me the tools to make good decisions on my own, and then set me free. They werent as controlling as you describe when I was a freshman in highschool, let alone almost done with college.

That said, part of my independence, was being financially independent as well. They never paid for netflicks accounts or any of that (and therefore could not control it). They did pay for 2 years of college tuition, and two years of room and board. Anything else was up to me.

What is sad about today's helicopter parents - is that they are NOT raising capable adults! You are 21 for Christ's sake, yet they still want to control many aspects of your life, I find that crazy. But on the other had if they have never given you any independence, any tools to make choices, good and bad to to learn from them - I think they will always fear allowing you to live like an adult. When are they going to loosen the grip? When you are 25? 35? When?!

Any way you can get a job and start paying your own way? Right now they are using money to continue to control you.

What they are doing is not acceptable in my book, but becoming more common. And now we have all of these millennials saying they "can't adult".

That is a parenting failure.
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Old 7th December 2016, 10:57 PM   #5
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Thank you everyone for responding. To answer some common questions, yes, I do have a job. Five of them in fact, lol. I work at Chipotle, in the chemistry department at my school as a TA and a stockroom assistant, in my campus library, and at a grocery store when I am in my hometown. I also have been paying for my own Netflix. I used the Netflix example to demonstrate the controlling nature. The reason that they still have a financial hold on me is that I have had to cut back hours in order to focus on school, as I'm also a full time student, and at one point I was working almost 40 hours a week. I rely on them to pay for the room and board of my school. Also, almost all of my money is going to paying for graduate school application fees and paying for graduate entrance exams, not of which are cheap. I realize that my original comment may have been misleading, as it may imply that I am content to let my family pay for me, and may make me seem entitled. Believe me, the one thing I want is to be financially independent. The good thing is, I am very close. Once I graduate and get into a PhD program, I'll be free. I just wanted some validation that this relationship was odd.
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Old 8th December 2016, 3:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohjulian View Post
Thank you everyone for responding. To answer some common questions, yes, I do have a job. Five of them in fact, lol. I work at Chipotle, in the chemistry department at my school as a TA and a stockroom assistant, in my campus library, and at a grocery store when I am in my hometown. I also have been paying for my own Netflix. I used the Netflix example to demonstrate the controlling nature. The reason that they still have a financial hold on me is that I have had to cut back hours in order to focus on school, as I'm also a full time student, and at one point I was working almost 40 hours a week. I rely on them to pay for the room and board of my school. Also, almost all of my money is going to paying for graduate school application fees and paying for graduate entrance exams, not of which are cheap. I realize that my original comment may have been misleading, as it may imply that I am content to let my family pay for me, and may make me seem entitled. Believe me, the one thing I want is to be financially independent. The good thing is, I am very close. Once I graduate and get into a PhD program, I'll be free. I just wanted some validation that this relationship was odd.
So you're not really wanting them to pay for you to live with your boyfriend? And they aren't actually limiting what you watch on Netflix?

While they may be over protective, it would seem that you're also exaggerating the problem. I suspect the truth is less concerning than you describe.
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Old 11th December 2016, 11:48 AM   #7
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Why not go to school part time and work full time? It will take you longer to get your degree but at least you'll be financially independent of your parents. Sorry but if your parents are bankrolling your life, they still have the right to make decisions about what you do.

You cannot expect to live with a romantic partner with your parents still paying your way. That's a spoiled way of thinking. Adult responsibilities are perpetual and not just when you feel like assuming them.

Are there counselors and psychiatrists at your school? Speak to them about your feelings. Your mother's comments about your suicidality were damaging and inappropriate. I would only agree that you were being dramatic if you have a history of repeatedly threatening suicide.

My parents were controlling due to sexist cultural beliefs. They were also emotionally and physically abusive. I left home in my early 20s because I couldn't take it anymore. They tried to use money to control my wedding as well but we eloped. Now my parents finally understand that I will exclude them if they try to run my life. They also respect how independent I am.
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Old 11th December 2016, 9:14 PM   #8
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My DD26 had trouble with an overbearing father, so I had to push her to do things to augment her independence. It didn't come naturally to her to take steps to be more independent. Look for opportunities to do so. And stop sharing so much with them if they aren't safe to do so.
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Old 16th December 2016, 8:34 AM   #9
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I think you should stop sharing personal information with your parents. Your mother was out of line by trying to talk you out of taking medication. As an adult, that's a decision for you and your doctor to make together. It's nobody else's business. Your parents don't need to know what meds you're taking or what you even talk about with your doctor. It's also not normal for her to body shame you. A parent is supposed to encourage confidence in their child, not put them down.

I am wondering how they're able to control your Netflix account. Do they have the password for it? If so, change the password so they can't access your account.

That said, they do have the right to not pay for things if they don't want to.
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