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psychlady, Counselor
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  I have over 16 years experience in treating adults presenting with a variety of relationship issues
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How can I overcome the guilt my parents have placed on me to

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How can I overcome the guilt my parents have placed on me to stay at home until I finish graduate school, or maybe even later? My family is very tight-knit and I am the oldest of 3 daughters. My parents have always been helicopter parents and have always been overprotective of me. Recently, I've been wanting the freedom to see my boyfriend (who lives outside of my city), visit with my friends, come home when I want to, go out without asking, etc. I'm a junior in undergrad, and want to move out the summer before my senior year. My parents, however, are manipulating me by making me feel like I'm abandoning my sisters. I am VERY close to them and honestly feel awful and so torn apart by the idea of not being there for them anymore.

My parents think I am wanting to get away from THEM, but I only want to grow up, which is pretty difficult to do in my house. I've been "behind" my friends in "growing up" for as long as I can remember, and I'm frankly very tired of this snail's pace. I'm trying to decide with 100% certainty about whether or not I'm going, but I keep getting pulled back by this fear of losing my place in the family, missing out on the little joys of spending most of my free time with my family, not being able to be a big sister to my two younger siblings, and hurting my parents. My mother is especially emotional and takes everything personally and she repeatedly makes me feel like I am being selfish. They say they appreciate what a good kid I am, but they act like I'm so rebellious. I don't drink, do drugs, sleep around, party, or anything! How can I get past them guilt-tripping me all the time? I want to just make a decision, regardless of what it is, and stick to it...

You are letting your parents make you feel guilty. And because of that they are making you feel guilty. Parents have your best interest at heart but they don't realize they really have their best interests at heart. They will miss you and are feeling threatened. They are threatened by the fact that you are moving out on your own and don't need them anymore. Your mother probably feels this most intensely. You have to gradually get them to accept that you aren't abandoning anyone. You are just trying to grow up. They may not even know they feel threatened. You have to get them accustomed to the idea a little at a time. Also reinforce that you are not abandoning them. Let them know that you still need them. This is every parent's fear. Don't let their fear limit your freedom. Continue to talk about this but gradually. Most of all be yourself. You need to feel that you are growing up. They will accept that you want to spread your wings. They are just struggling.


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