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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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Old 11th March 2018, 4:32 PM   #3
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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.
They seemed to think that my school friends were amoral people who were involved with drinking, drugs and/or sex at all times. I assured them that this was not the case, especially when I was in the 6th grade. If any of that was going on, not only did I not know about it but I was excluded from it. They used to threaten me that if I was involved with it they would find out about it. I said "Alright." They were not going to hear about it because I was not, in fact, involved with it.

High school has been over for about 25 years now, I never heard from any high school friend again after high school ended. I really didn't have much of a relationship with them to begin with, that was that. Over time you just drift and that's fine. My father used to scream at me to go to my high school or my college to find friends when I was at last in the real world. And I tried that once or twice, in the hopes of connecting with someone with a common ground even if we didn't have a relationship back then. The answers were always no or "I'll get back to you and let you know when a good time for me is" and then hear nothing from them. It's just what it is. They didn't want me then, what makes him think they will want me now as their friend? ANd it's not me, I am willing to make friends and acquaintance, they are not, at least not with me. Once the high school / college years are over, it's OVER for you. You're the youngest kid in the office or you're the oldest in the office and that's that. Fact. I think he realizes this now, which is strange of him because once he was a 22 year old guy. Mom is another story, she lives in denial that her high school girlfriends are still her friends. Some she has not heard from or seen in 30+ years but she still reaches out by sending holiday cards and whatnot to them when none have responded.
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Old 11th March 2018, 5:26 PM   #4
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They really were way overly strict. I'm sorry you had to go through that. They were so strict they gave you no real opportunity to form deep relationships or even get properly socialized. It's no wonder you're struggling now. I can't believe they have the gall to try to push you now. I'd be telling them about it so they'd shut up.
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Old 12th March 2018, 9:00 AM   #5
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I sort of get what you are saying because I came from a similar background. My mom and stepfather went from being drug addicts to being religious zealots over the course of about 2yrs. It was a bizarre shift in my childhood as when I was 10yrs old they were always out getting drunk and stoned and they didn't have a clue (or even a care) what I was doing. Sometimes they would disappear for an entire day or two and I would be left to fend for myself. Then they became Christians when I was 11 and by the time I was 12 they had joined a fundamentalist church and since my stepfather was already a mental case to start with he really became a nut on religion and my life became hell.

Like you I was not allowed to be with any groups that included boys. Even most girls were off limits if they weren't also Christians with similar rules to mine. The rules were endless and included no secular music, I couldn't even listen to Barbara freaking Streistand, and no secular movies. My curfew was always super early, like around 7pm but I was always expected to come home straight home from school to do household chores and I wasn't allowed to miss dinner at home so basically I was hardly ever allowed outside the house.

I had a group of school friends but I was always sort of on the fringe because I could rarely see them outside of school. I always had to sneak or lie to hang out with them. They were doing all kinds of fun (but somehow sinful to my stepfather) things, like going to movies, going roller skating, attending school dances, etc. I wasn't allowed to do those things but sometimes I would anyways and I'd lie about where I had been. I'd usually get caught in my lie and then I'd get the belt or a severe grounding. Unlike you I rebelled hard at 16 and just a few months after my 16th birthday I just walked away from home and never came back. I lived with a group of people in their twenties who all drank and did drugs. I quit school, got a job, started drinking, smoking and doing drugs. In my mind it didn't matter what I did because according to my parents I had been a lost cause and on my way to hell since I was 12 yrs old. It was so sick because at that age I was still so innocent but my stepfather saw evil and sin in everything. In the end I became exactly what he hated.

The group of school friends I was never allowed to be with as a kid, they are all still a tight group all these years later. I see them on Facebook posting photos of themselves attending each other's important events, having get togethers, and such. I'm not a part of their group because I was never allowed to be and after I quit school and ran away from home I just never saw them again. I often wonder what my life would have been like had I been allowed to be a normal innocent kid doing normal innocent kid things.
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Old 12th March 2018, 5:09 PM   #6
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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.
I'm trying to picture a workplace with an employee base where you're "the only one who bothered to finish high school"? Even Walmart would score a notch or two higher.

What industry was this?

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Old 13th March 2018, 11:02 AM   #7
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I'm trying to picture a workplace with an employee base where you're "the only one who bothered to finish high school"? Even Walmart would score a notch or two higher.

What industry was this?

Mr. Lucky
Lol....and the only one who didn't have 3 kids by 3 different guys. Now I'm trying to picture what of job that was too.
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Old 13th March 2018, 6:37 PM   #8
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Lol....and the only one who didn't have 3 kids by 3 different guys. Now I'm trying to picture what of job that was too.
Inner city tattoo parlor? Appalachian strip club? Hopefully the OP will clue us in...

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