What Do I Do ?

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

It all started when I started dating him. I didn’t tell my parents that I was dating because I was afraid they would say no and not let me date. So I had to date him behind their backs. During spring break I would go to his house often without my parents ever knowing and we got intimate but never passed the line. Then school started again and I would try to go to his house on the weekends telling my parents that I wanted to go to a friend’s house. One day a couple of my parents church friends spotted me going into his house and told my parents. My parents confronted me and said everything was going to change. They were going to take my phone away, ground me and they weren’t going to let me see him again so I ran away and when I told him about it he thought I was crazy. I know it was a bad idea but I just wanted to get away from everything. That same day I came back home to pick up my stuff but my parents wouldn’t let me leave and called the cops. My parents then changed their mind saying I could keep my phone and that I could date him. So I told him that I think he should meet my parents and he said okay but he sort freaked out when I told him to meet them the next day. The next day came and I told my parents I wanted to go to his house but they said no way it’s not right for a Christian girl to go to the guys house and then they said tell him to come over here but I was like no way because this house is too embarrassing to even bring any of my friends over. When I told them that I don’t want to live here anymore and live by their rules they said to leave this house then and I was like but you didn’t let me go when I had the chance and then they were like go ask your boyfriend if you could live with him and his parents and if they say yes then we’ll let you go. So I asked him but he thought I was crazy and then he said it would be best if we were just friends. After that I spend the half day crying. When school began again he acted like everything was normal and he started to flirt with me and then he said you can move in with me but I told him to stop because I knew he was joking. Then everyday afterschool he always tried to get me to sit with him on the bus and so I did and he would try to kiss me and etc. but I would try to stop him and tell him that we’re just friends. But eventually we started to talk again. After school was over we both knew it wouldn’t be easy to see each other again so one night I snuck out to meet up with him at his house and I was actually happy. I came back home and no one suspected a thing. The next week I tried to sneak out again but this time I got caught and my parents took my phone away. I had such a horrible feeling inside of me because I thought I would never see him again. Anyways days passed and my parents trust in me is gone. I told them I don’t want to be a part of their stupid religion that doesn’t even let me celebrate any holiday or my own birthday and only brings embarrassment to me and they said that as long as I live under their roof I have to keep going to this church. I’m really tired of this religion because it’s the reason I have little freedom and have to hide things behind their back because they won’t accept it. As I keep talking to him he said that he’ll get his own apartment soon and that I could live with him when I turn 18 or when my parents let me. I still talk to him but he seems to be more distant since my dad has trust issues with me and takes my phone away from me often. I just want to get a job already and get emancipated because everything would be normal if it wasn’t for this religion. I wish I could open up to my parents more and tell them everything and how I feel but every time I try it just seems that they don’t want to compromise. I don’t know what to do anymore I would be more detailed but this all I can think and write about now. What should I do?

A: Thank you for writing your thoughts and feelings with a clear explanation of the issue. I think the short-term approach is to find a counselor you can begin talking to about all these concerns and think that will be very important. Since you are 15 and are still in school you may want to talk to the guidance counselor about these issues and see if he or she can arrange for you to talk to someone on a regular basis about the concerns you have.

The issues you are having are very typical for your age. The embarrassment and restriction you feel from your parents’ religious beliefs seems to have heightened this struggle. The long-term goal is to invest in your own future and plan for being more independent and self-reliant. In other words, see your graduation from high school as a time where you can be more independent and on your own.

Finding someone to talk with now and planning for your future are essential.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Aug 2013

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2013). What Do I Do ?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/08/04/what-do-i-do/

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