i need help

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-03-2003
i need help
Sat, 08-09-2003 - 11:37am
i am a 19 yr old female from the bronx. in a couple of months i'm going to be 20, but i am still treated like a child in my home by my parents. i have 10pm curfew, how embarissing is that. me and my parents never got along. i was very emotionally abused from them. i have a boyfriend which i've been with for 3 years. my parents don't like him because he is black. i want to be able to be happy but i know that at home i can't be. i tried talking to them but it doesn't work. i just don't understand why they can be racist when they are hispanic. yet i still cant stay home alone when my parents want to go on vacation. i have to live my life like it was theirs. i don't havew the right to choose for my self. i wish i could move out but i have no job, and its hard to find one in NYC. what can i do? i need help? i can't live like this, i'm like a fish without water. HELP HELP.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2003
In reply to: psanchez84
Sat, 08-09-2003 - 12:36pm
Well seriously, without a job there really isn't much you can do. A person cannot be independent from their parents unless they are able to get along without their parents - and you can't. You are stuck unless you can find a relative or someone that you could move in with in another city where you could find a job.

What about your education? I am sure that even in NYC if you have an education, some kind of skill that is needed, you could find a job. Even if you are not academically inclined there are all sorts of things you could do I'm sure. There are trades like baker or seamstress etc. etc.

You will have to find a way to get a job, otherwise what are your choices?? You have none. You are dependent on being ruled by your parents because you have no other choice.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
In reply to: psanchez84
Sat, 08-09-2003 - 11:22pm
You sound so much like my friend. I posted about her a while back because she was in a similar position, being treated like a child or criminal depending on how u look at it, and unable to move out, even unable to find a job (although she is a little younger & still in high school and her father was forbidding her to get a job, which was her reason) but anyway, eventually she found a job that her dad trusted her to do, and that helped her break out of the "lock up" feeling she had where she couldn't go anyplace or do anything. I know ur situation is a lot different, though. I agree w/ the other post that said they dont think u have a whole lot of choices if ur totally dependent still on ur parents. Normally I'd say, try talking to ur parents, but from what u said in ur post that might not help, if they are somewhat abusive and such :-( Is there any way u could possibly move like the other person suggested, w/ a relative or trusted friend? Does your bf have a job? I dont know if u believe in living together but is there any way u & ur bf could move in together and get jobs, even if it meant u had to move away from NYC? 10 pm curfew would be kind of wild when ur 19-20, I havent had a curfew since I was 16 (Im 18 now) but I kinda understand because my parents worry bigtime if I stay out too late. Which is almost worst (like a guilt trip deal at times!) I know its hard to make it on ur own, heck I havent moved out yet myself, but I think u have to sooner or later esp. since ur so unhappy. If I were u I'd just try to look for ANY possible way out. Is there maybe a Job Corps program or something like that (where u live in a dorm type situation) u could get into, if u dont have a lot of education to fall back on to get a job? Anything sounds better than ur current situation where ur totally miserable. You will need to make some changes sooner or later cuz I know u dont want to be 25, 30, etc and in this same house w/ them being under their thumb still! Are u interested AT ALL in the military? I know that sounds crazy and I probably wouldnt go that route but hey I am grasping at straws trying to think of ways u could get out of there! Let us know what happens girl! Hugs, Rhiannon
Avatar for leslie2353
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: psanchez84
Sun, 08-10-2003 - 12:44am
You're pretty smart to be so young, rhianon! I agree about what you said: yes! The military is the answer. My neice lived at home until the age 25. She couldn't study, couldn't have boyfriends, her job sucks, lived at home with RULES, no freedom, blah blah blah. When she entered the Navy, she knows how to get good grades, concentrate BETTER, and was driving a MERCEDES. She now has a CAREER all thru her lifetime. She loves competing with the men and at 5'1" and 119lbs. she was one of the strongest and fastest in her team! ! ! ! We were so proud of her accomplishments. And she's HAPPY.

Also: having a black boyfriend, is that mean someday you'll marry someone who is black?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-24-2003
In reply to: psanchez84
Mon, 08-11-2003 - 1:29pm
I was reading your story and you are me 6 years ago. I am from Bushwick, Brooklyn and have since moved to Florida.

I was 19 dating my boyfriend of 3 years and still getting yelled at for going out alone with him. My parents were also very emotionally abusive. As I was growing up I was always told I was stupid and that I didn't know what I was doing (no matter what it was). They did not support me in things that I wanted to do if they thought it was frivolous (I wanted to act, they thought it was ridiculous. I ended up letting their words discourage me and never really tried). When I started dating my boyfriend (now husband) they really didn't like it and in the conversations regarding my boyfriend I was often called a whore and a slut. I know what you are going through.

I got married at 20 yrs old to get out of the situation. I just couldn't take it anymore. The fights were driving me crazy and literally I was crying almost everyday and having violent fits of anger out of my frustration to make them understand. I was at the point of having a nervous breakdown. All of this treatment from them while I was working part-time and going to college. I did not pay them rent but I never asked them for money. Anything I did I paid for my self. I was getting good grades in school and doing the right thing but as far as they were concerned I was a disobedient slut because I wanted to go out to clubs with my friends and have a boyfriend. So I had had enough and since my boyfriend and I really loved each other and spent every free hour we could together we decided to get married.

When I told my mom she said she would disown me. I said 'oh well'. It was her decision if she wanted to make it but I refused to live my life for her any longer. I had made too many decisions about my future because of them and I wasn't going to do it any more no matter what that meant. They didn't kick me out (I was lucky because not all parents are like that in the face of disobedience).

My mom in the mean time tried to change my mind. As a Hispanic I am sure you know about the thing between Puerto Ricans and Dominicans so this was a real problem for my mom because we are Dominican and my DH is Puerto Rican. She even started talking about how he has so many dark people in his family (he is whiter than white) and I should think of my children. I reminded her that she has two brothers who are very dark skinned and my whole fathers side is very dark skinned. I don't get the racism either, never will. She even tried telling my DH that I couldn't cook and that I didn't clean my room so I wouldn't make a good wife and he should think about that.

I stayed there until I was married and they actually came around and gave me a wedding a few months before the scheduled date. The first year was hard. My mom left messages on my answering machine when I was out late (Its 12pm on a weeknight, why aren't you home, I didn't raise you this way. wah, wah , wah...). They still tried to control my life and we were still fighting every time we spoke. They however, finally got the point and about year later we were actually back in their house living in the basement. We paid them rent and they saw we were living responsibly. They have been helpful to us and they still try to tell me what to do but back off once I have made clear what my decision is.

I am not advocating marriage because to tell you the truth my life would be a lot easier right now had I stuck it out. I has taken me almost 10 years to get my Bachelors degree WITH OUT children plus being around the man I love 24 hrs a day was a real distraction. I don't think I could have managed it with children. School always took a back seat to making ends meet. I am finally graduating this December but it has been a long hard road. Getting married also didn't really change the situation as you can see they still tried to control me. It was when they saw we were taking care of our responsibilities that they backed off.

They are not going to give you your independence you have to take it and show them you can handle it. So my suggestion to you is to work your hardest to find a job and move out. Not in w/ your boyfriend that is not the answer. Find a room mate maybe a girlfriend who is also looking to get a place of her own (I know rent is really high now in NYC). Get an apartment in Jersey if you have to since commuting is like a half hour from Newark it shouldn't be too bad (I can't remember the name of the trains that make that line but I am sure you know what I am talking about). Don't slack off. If your not in school find work that will lead to a good career or go to school and work towards what you want (believe me it will pay off - I suggest going to school, H.S. Diplomas don't go very far these days). It will be really tough at first (since you are Hispanic I am sure they expect you to live there until you get married) but hang in there. They love you I am sure and will come around when the realize you are serious.

I know they have emotionally abused you and this is a tough thing to deal with. I am still dealing with the way they have treated me and how that has affected me as a person. I never think I am good enough or smart enough even though I keep getting A's.

I have managed to forgive my parents for their behavior for a couple of reasons.

One: NYC is a tough place. Bad things happen there a lot of the time. My parents were scared. We lived in a bad neighborhood and they wanted to make sure that nothing happened to me and that I didn't get in with the wrong people and start making a lot of bad decisions (my brother did go this route and I think this has a lot to do with how they treated me). You live in the Bronx and I am sure you know from experience it is not an easy place to raise children. As an adult now I look back and I can see how the things they did prevented me from getting into trouble. They should have had more trust in me but I did some racy things as it was. I wonder sometimes what crazy things I would have done if they were not so tough on me and I wasn't so scared of them. I'd probably have kids, no education and be living on welfare right now like many of my peers ended up. So you have to thank them for at least caring that you are going in the right direction even if they are going about it in the wrong way and are letting their biases affect their decisions.

Two: They are from a different time and place. My brother and I are first generation in my family here in this country. They were raised in D.R. and lived very hard lives. Their families did not treat them much better and I think this is the only way they know. Unlike me they did not have other children around them living different lives and with parents who treated them in better ways. They do not see the error in their ways because this is they way everyone around them was raised. It is just the way it was done. When they saw my friends who had more freedom they would say that they were loose and that their parents didn't care about them. Ridiculous, I know but this is what they truly believe. I can't blame them for being a product of their surroundings. They did the best they knew how. Try to keep this in mind when you are frustrated with their actions.

Try talking to them also. Explain how what they do is hurtful to you. Your mother had no right to read your diary whether or not you are under her roof. People of all ages and households regardless of rent paying or not deserve respect and trust and your mother broke that with you. Respect is a two way street parents or not and she should not expect to get any from you if she does not give it in return. They may still not see your point of view (especially about the boyfriend) so your only decision will be to stay and deal or go out on your own.

I do not agree with the military as an answer. If that is something you see fit to do then more power to you but I have only seen the military hinder my family and friends who chose this life. They often come out with skills that are not useful in todays workplace because they were not given any real guidance in the way of careers and injured for life because of the stress military work puts on the body. Since 9/11 the IT professionals have had it really tough can not really find a job so if you do go in please do not take that route. You would be better off in administration or medicine. I don't know everything about the military only what I have been told by those I know who have been through it so there may be other areas that would be helpful in the real world. Just a word of caution look in to it very carefully if you think this is where you like to go. Talk to people in your neighborhood who are in the military and see what they think don't just take the recruiters word for it. Their job is to get people signed up so they may not always have you best interests at heart.

Sorry I wrote a novel but I hope it helps.

Good luck and keep your head up.

E-mail me if you feel like talking zyddie@yahoo.com

Edited 8/11/2003 1:47:39 PM ET by nyditz

Edited 8/11/2003 1:48:13 PM ET by nyditz

Edited 8/11/2003 2:33:09 PM ET by nyditz