So growing up, I walked a fine line. I was a model student, always well behaved and high achieving- only because I had a sense of fear of my mom and what could happen if I let her down. I’ve always joked that my mom was the Sailor boy attention you are in the presence of a very special boy behave accordingly shirt What’s more,I will buy this original “helicopter parent”- she was involved in everything I did, volunteered at all my school functions, controlled who I could or couldn’t be friends with, the music I listened to, shows I watched, etc. I remember begging her, just once, to let me go to a school dance alone with just my friends, without her there, and her asking me accusingly, “Why? What are you planning to do that you don’t want me to be there for?” Although I’d never been in trouble- not even minimal missed-a-homework-assignment trouble, I was made to feel that I could never be trusted, that I couldn’t or wouldn’t be able to make sound decisions for myself. I never was able to confide or openly talk to my mother about life, questions about growing up, issues I faced with friends or the opposite sex or anything- because I always feared getting in trouble or being put on lock-down if my mom didn’t like the way something sounded. Even something as simple as, “Can I start shaving my legs?” at the age of 12 was enough for my mom to question who I was hanging around with and where was I getting these ideas, and maybe I need to find new friends, etc. Mind you, we were/are a typical western family living in the US Midwest in a midsize city- not particularly religious or anything. So as you might imagine, after being shut down for simple requests like shaving my legs and armpits, other, more controversial topics were definitely off the table. So when I was older and faced sexual assault, my mother was not someone I could trust to confide in, and it’s been a secret I’ve kept from her for decades. By all accounts, I’ve lived a wonderful life, I have fond memories of childhood, and I’ve accomplished much in my life- so maybe my mother’s methods really were for the best. But these specific, pervasive and continual comments and behavior by her have had a cumulatively negative effect on my own views of myself as a young adult.
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