Where Can You Turn

When in need for relationship help or any kind of help, can you rely on your parents to listen and to help?

As a teenager, it is pretty difficult to find where to turn. I just started college, I'm finding new friends, and I finally feel a bit of freedom. With that, I also feel the weight of schoolwork, the difficulty of having a long distance relationship, and crippling anxiety in my everyday life. I have a therapist but she can't really know my whole life except for my diagnosis. I've always had difficulty talking to my parents, my mother especially. She always seemed to like my sister better while growing up an being a tom boy, I thought it was because I wasn't interested in what she seemed interested in and I wasn't skinny like her. Since getting to college, I've learned a few things about my parents. They're people just like everyone else, they aren't perfect, and they can't dictate my life like they did when I was a kid. 

I lost my virginity at 18 and I didn't know what to do. I talked to my sister about it (she's married with a child) and she seemed shocked because she saw me as the little goody two shoes of the family. I couldn't tell my parents because even though they aren't THAT conservative, my mother being an artist and my father a businessman with a theatre major, they would have looked down on me. I distinctly remember when my mother found out my sister was having sex with her boyfriend at the time. Soon enough, they would be getting engaged, married, and having a child but my mother yelled so loudly through the phone at my father about how she found out that I could hear all of her words. Something so natural provoked such a strong negative emotion from her and I couldn't understand it and I still don't. My parents still support my sister but I know that their perception of her was completely changed after that day.

Just think if she had gotten pregnant while out of wedlock. I don't think they would've disowned her but it would not have been good. My parents seemed quite disappointed when my sister got pregnant a few months after getting married and my mother even refused to babysit for a solid few months. That just begs the question, where can we turn if our parents deny us information and other resources? 

From my experience, friends, siblings, and other resources are easier to reach out to and talk to. I see a therapist for help with my anxiety, I hang out with my friends when I'm missing my boyfriend, and I talk to my sister when I know I can't turn to my parents for help. We all need to find our way through this crazy life because sometimes the people who brought us into it can make us feel like we should've never existed.

Another example that I have come across is in the LGBT community. Many of my close friends are in the LGBT+ community and I love them to bits and simply cannot understand how their parents disown or disapprove of them. During high school, I found myself questioning and labeled myself as bi-curious and gender fluid because I felt more like a boy sometimes and got interested in binding and hated gender stereotypes. My boyfriend at the time hated the idea of me being anything except straight and in love with him (he was from a very catholic and conservative family). When I brought up the idea of sex to him after being in a relationship for almost a year and a half he sounded hesitant but agreed but then in the heat of the moment he backed out and promptly dumped me. I was caught in a whirlwind of emotions and felt there was nowhere to turn. I told almost everyone including my parents the reason he left me was because didn't love me anymore. For some reason, a lack of love was easier for people to understand than a boy who didn't want to have sex. I felt undesired and told to only my closest friends and my sister the real reason for him leaving me. I told my therapist about it too and I'm glad that she didn't put the blame on me like she usually did. Sometimes I didn't tell her things for that very reason but I found a different one at my university to help me now.

Sometimes the close friends can be more than friends. They become your family when your family seems to turn their back on you. Just remember, even if nothing seems to be going alright, there is always a new and better day out there waiting for you. You just have to seek it out and take it for your own.

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