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Friend relationships and my family

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

Old 10th December 2017, 2:14 PM   #1
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Friend relationships and my family

When I was in junior high school / high school, I went through a lot of the growing pains with my family that all kids go through with their parents. I was the oldest child, first of all, so I was the guinea pig. My parents (particularly my father) threatened me that if they ever found out that I had done something having to do with drinking, drugs or sex, they would kill me. I said okay. I was a good kid, in general. If not a very good kid during those years. They said they would never allow me to go to a party that was unchaperoned by an adult. I said okay. I was not living in fear of them, I was living a very clean life. I think they were watching too many movies or TV shows or something.

Here's where things got a little crazy on their parts. They refused to let me go to a group outing to a movie or to parties with my 6th and 7th grade friends because that was inappropriate. They said that was immoral behavior that children that age were sexually active. Despite my reassurance that the others nor I were being sexually active, they didn't want to hear it. When I got to high school it was even more crazy. When I started going out with my high school sweetheart, they threatened that I was not to go out with him more often than twice a month (in order to keep me and him from being serious with each other). When I went out with him and his friends from high school, I promise one and all we never drank a drop of alcohol, never smoked a cigarette or did any other kinds of drugs (legal or illegal). If that was going on, we were not involved with any of it. If anything, I (and the others in the group in question) were too nerdy to be included in any of those things. At some point, I think they realized they were being unreasonable and just because someone says "Hi how are you" to another does not mean anything illicit is going on.

Then I got into the real world - getting my first job at age 22. I was the youngest person there, the only one who bothered to finish high school, and the only one who didn't have three kids by three different guys, screaming at one another, in a constant alcoholic / drug haze, or whatever else illicit that was going on. And my father tells me in order to get good friends I am to go to my high school or college to get good friends now. Hypocrite.

Despite his insistence that there seems to be a huge line of alums from both organizations who go to these events and whatnot in a desperate need to find friends who also attended, I went to a few alumni get togethers. He asked for a report when I returned. I said I walked in, there were five people in the place, all older people who were the hosts of the party. I chatted with a few, had one drink, and left. It's not just me who is apathetic, it's a general apathy about alumni relationships that causes people to stay away from these things. When I had an OLD with a guy who went to the same university a few years ago (we met, we had a pleasant evening, three text messages, then I never heard from him again), they looked like they were going to cry with joy. Then with sadness when I told them I never heard from them again.

How foolish they were, I think they realized. And what they would give for those I went to high school / junior high school with to be my friends today with who they all grew up to be - college educated, stable people all from good homes, all (if not most) are married and leading happy family lives today as adults. My mom still sends Christmas cards to her high school girlfriends - some of them she has not seen or talked to in 40+ years. Admittedly, she said she thinks some of them would rather move on from it - it only took her until age 75 to come to that conclusion.

It's what it is. Just needed to have a rant.
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Old 10th December 2017, 3:09 PM   #2
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I'm confused.

Is the core of this that your parents thought your school friends were terrible when you were a kid, but now that you're in your 40's they want you to have friendships from your school days?

I sense your frustrations with your parents but isn't it well into the time when your parents involvement with who your friends were / are has passed?

This will probably be difficult because breaking a habit always is, but I think you will be much more satisfied with your life if you can stop seeing everything about yourself through the lens of your perceptions about other people and what they are thinking about you.
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