Mother says I need to grow up? :-(

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2011
Mother says I need to grow up? :-(
Sat, 04-02-2011 - 6:02pm


My mom and I went shopping today at the local dept. store to return some things and get a gift for my elderly aunt, whose birthday it is today. My favorite section to browse there has always been the home decor and appliances area, because I've begun to aspire to goals of being either an interior decorator and/or professional organizer "just to pay the bills" while I'm studying English at college. Not that I foresee myself ironing or cleaning or cooking, baking, etc., for a so-called "in-home companion" (unless someday I get a dog and cook him gourmet kibble, but I digress). Anyway, the store just recently underwent some "redecorating" of its own, because I was in there just a couple months ago and the entire layout has changed (I have a good memory for these things -- trust me).

So, not sure if this is the right section to post this, but I am 25 and the topic says "relationships in our 20s," which I wouldn't doubt is primarily about, well, you know. Anyway, I had to avert my eyes away from what I call the "danger zone" -- the, uh, unmentionables that still give me a great deal of psychological terror to even think about, especially in context of what the underlying extremities are used for :smileysurprised: -- in order to navigate through the aisles towards the wall art/picture frames/decor and appliances section. She wanted to meet me at the checkout counter once I was done browsing, but I took a long while to get there because I sort of took a detour away from said "toxic materials." We got in the car, and she asked where I was, because of how long it took me to arrive at the front of the store, and I told her -- and she's by no means a floozy (actually she's of very high moral character), but she actually told me to "grow up -- I used to think that was icky when I was about 12, but you're twice that now. You really need some serious help if that's what your problem is." Society's openness about all things once unmentionable makes me very uncomfortable, and I don't want to go see someone who will "reframe" my opinions (because that really is brainwashing) about all things once unmentionable...I guess my questions are: 1. How can I more covertly avoid the unmentionable aisles without completely putting a halt to my otherwise pleasant shopping experience, and also to avoid arguments between mom and me (so that she doesn't wind up having me committed or something), and 2. if there does arise another argument in which she tells me I need to "grow up," how can I better handle the disagreement while still holding onto my high moral beliefs?

Physicians have told me that my "conscious choice" (my words) to remain a virgin "till death do me part" is just because "I haven't met the right guy yet" (they've also scolded me in the past for putting off my annual physical because I don't want my "evil twins" -- the "sour milk bottles," if you will -- exposed in broad incandescent light, much less "examined" for absolutely no reason). I really do view these "parts" as a curse, a pathology of some sort, like Quasimodo's hunch, a protruding malady -- and the undercoverings necessary (like Quasimodo's oversized tunic) to avoid any unwanted attention -- dealing in this case with superflous extremities. :smileywink:

I'm OK with innuendo-ish humor (in fact, that's often what many of my jokes entail), but when it comes to saying the actual words, or the nitty-gritty of the discussion (and not the clever euphemisms like I have in red above), I tend to break down and just put up the defensive. I can't say, and won't say, anything other than "Brunhilda's armor" or some-such, to describe such things when I need to, and then nobody knows what I'm talking about. I wasn't abused or anything; I just tend to shudder in fear when, say, the Always commercials are on TV or I'm in the store and trying to maintain my belief in "Victorian secrecy" and avoid the "stacked shelf" display.

What do I do? I'm not Catholic (although I was raised in the Church), so I don't want to join a convent (because in addition to the horrific actions committed by, as I call them, "men of the loincloth," I've heard some horror stories about nuns getting into "bad habits" with each other. I can't tell you how many times I've called up the ad-blocker for so many of the images on this site alone. What do I do to avoid these negative elements, and also to avoid the arguments and harrassment that occur when people just know (although I'm not overt about it), that I can't take the "heat," so I stay out of the bedroom (and make a beeline towards the frying pans)?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2007
Sun, 04-03-2011 - 7:57am

To be dead honest, your mother is somewhat right. I used to work in a department store years ago in the lingerie section (Iam assuming thats what you meant by saying "unmentionables") Little 12 year old girls would stand there and laught at stuff and avoid the section entirely as you do.So yes, you do sort of need to grow up.

First off lengerie,whether meant for it's general purpose or sex, is underwear,it's used to cover up our body parts because we can't walk around naked.Thats literally all it is.Literally. And even lingerie meant for sexual purposes,well most of the world does tend to have sex this day in age so unfortunatley for you, you will never be able to avoid it.If it bugs you, which I don't understand why it would,don't look at it as something sexual,look at as a piece of fabric with pretty stitching,I mean I really don't know what to say on that.Underwear is underwear it's a necessity.Just don't look at it I guess.

Based on some certain things you said, like psychological terror regarding underlying extreminities, Iam thinking you may benefit from a psychyatrist.At your age this is more than abnormal,trust me.Were you raised to believe this? Which I hope not,if so thats very wrong, or did something happen when you were yonger to cause these feelings and thoughts?



iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2009
Sun, 04-03-2011 - 9:57pm

Well either you have a serious and debilitating phobia that you should start treatment for, or your mother is right and you just need to grow up.

My god, half your effing post is "words in quotes". I have no idea what you mean by "toxic materials", I can only take a half-baked guess that you can't deal with seeing lingerie models or something. Ugh, his whole post reads like an excruciatingly corny "Dear Abby" response and you're only 25.

"I don't want to go see someone who will "reframe" my opinions (because that really is brainwashing) "

It's really not. Making an attempt to change your perspective so you can better deal with day-to-day reality is not "brainwashing". You sound like a person who is really difficult to be around... You absolutely do need to get help. You're not going to change anyone else's opinion, and if you think it's "brainwashing" to learn how to function in post-prohibition society, then maybe you should find a deserted island.

This is not about "moral beliefs", it is about FEAR.

My honest guess is that you have a phobia. If you want to live with it, that's your choice, but you have to take the societal side effects with it.

Avatar for ukgirl82
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-17-2005
Mon, 04-04-2011 - 7:01am
Underwear or even lingerie is nothing to be scared of. There's is nothing bad, wrong, toxic, immoral or dangerous about them. Accepting that reality is not "brainwashing". What is it exactly about underwear/lingerie that bothers you so much? Do you immediately equate it with sex? And if so, what is wrong with sex? Where/how do you buy your own underwear? And why have you chosen to remain celibate your whole life? Do you think sex, even within marriage, is somehow wrong or immoral? Why do you think your breasts are "evil"?

And frankly, if you really think that an annual GYN exam/pap smear is done for "no reason", you are frighteningly ill educated.

To be honest, I don't think this is just a matter of "growing up", I think your beliefs about sex and you feelings about your own body are extremely warped and unhealthy. You're constantly running scared of things that are completely normal, natural and healthy. I have to agree with undercovercrab, this is not about your morality, it's about fear. A very unnatural, unhealthy fear that you would be wise to get help for.
Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Thu, 04-07-2011 - 9:18pm

Somehow this was learned and then incorporated into your psyche,