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When Is It Time To Let Go?


Eris
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For those that have read my post in the past, you already know most of my story; adult, wants to leave, tries to leave but it always pulled back in due to stupid shit. I'm turning 25 this year and as far as I can tell, there is no end in sight for this. Since I hit the big 2-1 mark, I can easily say that my life has been more or less moving with the flow because a lot of attempts to do something often result in bitter arguments and other things that do no help me along the way. All I'm asking is that I get a chance to experience something new before I hit the age of 30 and most of my 20s have been wasted away waiting...or to put it better, waiting for God as my mother puts it.

 

I gave this situation I'm going through a name; Lonely Black Mother Syndrome. I know it sounds mean but after all this time, my nerves have been worn down to the point where I don't give a shit anymore. It basically goes like this; single black mothers who can't comprehend the notion of their adult children actually wanting to leave the state to see what the world is like. In the mind of these women, children are on this Earth for two things; to raise and to be with until they die, meaning that their children must remain with them and if they leave, THEY must follow. Its a cycle that seems like a stereotypes but at this moment, I am living it...and its shit. Even worse is when these same mothers try to use religion as a leash to hang onto to their adult children as long as possible. They will tell them that it is not in God's plan for the child to leave them and when God sends the sign, both the child and the mother will make the move together.

 

All I can say is that with this mentality, I have missed too much.

 

It embarrasses me that I have let this hinder my own growth in life. I have let my mother's feelings basically keep me from doing things because I feared the answer she would give me. The problem is that I never know what to believe in her answers. One moment, she yells at me for not asking but when I DO ask, the answer is always something that keeps me at home rather than interacting with the world like I need to be doing. Its a fucked up logic that has made me into the person I am now. I just can't trust someone who tells me the same answer no matter how old I am. There is something wrong when a grown woman treats her 24 year old daughter like she's 14 and acts as if she is scared to let her out in the world. There is something wrong when a grown woman stops her adult daughter from going on school trips out of her own fear. There is something wrong when a grown woman act as if getting home at 8 at night is the same as arriving home at 3 in the morning.

 

So what I am I asking for you guys is just some sort of advice; some suggestions on what to say to make her brain realize what she has been doing and how it is detrimental to both of us. Her acts have only been fueled further with her engrossment with religion after so many difficult times and at this point, my biggest fear is that I will never be free and that my entire life will be spent missing more opportunities based on the fear and control of others.

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It's possible that your mother is suffering from Separation Anxiety Disorder, and because she's religious, she uses that to control you, but it would more than likely be a problem whether she was religious or not.

 

I've experienced this with my own mother. Part of it is a fear of rejection, and the idea of you leaving is a rejection in her mind. Read the link I've attached, and if it seems to fit, perhaps you can start talking to your mother about that. Put the focus on her issues rather than allowing her to keep controlling you.

 

If you can't get through to her, you may just have to decide if you're willing to sacrifice your entire life to keep her "happy". She's not happy however, and neither are you. So it may be a good idea to sign up for something that she cannot participate in. Is there something specific you'd like to do? Got any interest in the Peace Corps for example?

 

Everyone goes through this to some degree, and a lot of times, what lets a parent know their kids are adults, is when the kid stops trying to get the parent to approve their behavior. You have to do what you want to do, and stop worrying about convincing her to agree with you. Yes, it's very hard. But it gets easier over time, and a healthy parent will adjust. If your mother truly is unhealthy, then perhaps she can get therapy after you leave.

 

If your hope is that you can somehow convince her that it's a good idea for you to leave, I think you may be having unrealistic expectations.

 

I can also confirm for you that it has nothing whatsoever to do with being black. I've seen this with whites, Asians, blacks, Indians. It's just a function of conservative values, and I'm not referring to Republican when I say that. :)

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Eris, you may just have to make your move, all at once and without warning, and put some physical distance between you and her. She cannot legally stop you from leaving.

 

Start preparing to leave. Gather important documents, and move your valued possessions out of the house to a safe place so that she can't hold them hostage.

 

And whatever you do, do not tell her what you've got planned until you've already done it.

 

For more ideas of what and how to prepare, google "domestic abuse" + "safety plan" as it should cover all the key points of how to break free of a bad situation.

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You need to do what's best for you. Feel free to explain things to your mom along the way and try to soften the blow... but it's ultimately up to her whether or not she accepts you as an independent adult. You really have very little control over that.

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Hi Eris! and I thought I had the most over-protecting mother in the world!! My mother used to call the police when I was 1 hour late!! So, needless to say, I was always home on time!!

 

I also agree with 'Scifichick', that it very well could be separation anxiety. That would be my story.

 

When I got married at 19 (back in the old days!:grin: ), I was allowed to leave home because we were moving around the corner from my mom's house.

 

Then at 30 - I made a decision to leave my home town and move straight across the country. I wanted to go on a venture and I knew that my mother was not going to like it and I was right. When I finally told her that my mind was made up - she begged me not to go. It was heartbreaking. In the next three months, as I prepared to go -she stayed quite mad at me. I promised her that when I arrived at my destination, I would call her everyday and I did keep that promise.

 

The day I left - she would not let go of my hand and she cried and begged me not to go and I also begged her, with my arms around her neck: ''Please, mom, let me go on this new venture. I need to do this for me'' It was gut wrenching and I will never forget that day as long as I live. I actually was as scared as her!! I had never been away from her before either!

 

Here comes the good news. The day I left, I cried for an hour on the drive. I got 60 miles outside the city and called her and all she said was to be very careful on the drive. :twitch:

 

I moved very far away and I was in touch with her mostly everyday to do a 5-10 minute call and tell her I loved her. She got very used to it and we had the best relationship over the telephone that I could ever ask for. I lived across the country from her for 3 1/2 years. She did fine.

 

It was just her and I letting go of each other 's hand in those last few moments................ and setting each other free.

 

Best wishes as you make your life plan!

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I think ScifiChick nailed it. Your mom probably needs some psychological help. If you can't persuade her to get help before you leave (I'd say in the next six months as a reasonable time frame) you need to go anyway. Nobody's happy in the current situation and you are the only one who can change it. Don't fail to remind her that families don't have to live under the same roof to be close.

 

Good luck.

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May I encourage you to do some reading on "boundaries" and then be assertive in setting some with your mom.

 

For me, learning about boundaries was very liberating. I am not responsible for how someone else feels. Even if they threaten that they will be miserable, drink, etc etc, I can only control me and that is what I am responsible for. One thing which was really powerful was the phrase "an internal 'no' is never an external 'yes'."

In other words, don't agree to something that your gut says no to.

 

This very positive learning for me came from a christian book that I read some years ago, though now I would avoid books with a christian angle.

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