Leaving the family to become an adult

by greendawn 11 Replies latest jw friends

  • greendawn

    How did the breaking away from your family and the beginning of your independant adult existence go, at the time when it was due? Did it happen smoothly or was it difficult? Did your family try to keep you dependant or encourage you to spread your own wings?

  • serendipity

    I lived at home until I graduated from college at almost 22. I was glad to leave and had little difficulty adjusting to the responsibilities. I had anxiously awaited my independence from the time I was 4 or 5.

    The main difficulty I had was feelings of being unloved - after I left, my extended family didn't call me or visit. My father was dead by this point but I imagine he would have encouraged independence at an even younger age. My mother didn't exactly encourage independence but accepted it was part of life. She was probably too disinterested in my life once I left, but she had her own problems at the time.

    I think the reason I adjusted to the responsibilities was that my parents made sure we carried our weight in the family and definitely hammered home the message that laziness and irresponsibility were despicable. I went to work at 15 and paid for much of my own stuff from that point on. I knew how to cook, balance a checkbook, care for clothes, etc thanks to Mom. My dad taught me a few things about cars so I knew that cars needed maintenance.

    My parents were JWs but both felt that a woman had to be able to support herself out on her own-which may have differed from many JWs. They raised us to meet that objective.

  • greendawn

    Serendipity you had smart parents that gave you some good ammunition for embracing life on your own. But I am surprised that already from the age of 4 you were looking forward to adult independance.

  • serendipity

    I kept company with disgruntled teenagers who constantly complained about home life and spoke of how great it would be to get a job and be on their own and not answer to adults. I took on their goals as mine at an early age.

  • Highlander

    My family for the most part let me make my own decision. They didn't do much to encourage, or discourage an independent lifestyle. It just came natural for me.

    However I must add, that I wasn't able to break completely free of them until I moved 2000 miles away from them. I was never dependent upon them financially, but

    I realized how much peer pressure there was among the j-dubs and family members when I lived so close. Now being far away, I now have my OWN life to live and don't

    submit to their peer pressure.

  • Sad emo
    Sad emo

    Had to get out as soon as I could afford, for my own safety.

    They would have liked me to stay home to control me - they still tried to some extent after I'd gone but I had the upper hand once I had my own space, I was free to allow them only the access I wanted them to have.

  • greendawn

    That's the way, putting some emotional distance between self and family is always vital for loosening the bond to the extend that is necessary. At times that may be achieved only by also putting physical distance in the way.

    In some cultures eg in Southern Europe children often stay with their parents until they get married, even after they start working and having their own income. It may be something cultural or economic not having to expend money on rent and save it instead.

    In other cultures like in the UK children want to move out as soon as they can and their parents encourage that, indeed many have to leave as soon as they start earning money. Having their own space for sex is probably the foremost consideration.

  • sass_my_frass

    I was the good kid who stayed home for too long to keep mum company. Also I had no clue what to do and wandered into some study here, pioneering there.... I should have moved out long before age 23

  • greendawn

    Well at least you kept company with your mother, as long as a mother is a pleasant and constructive person there is no harm in that.

  • LDH


    I was ill prepared. Everyone and everything was demonised. I burnt bridges left and right with my dogmatism. I had the truth for so long, ya know, I'm right about everything. God said so.

    No friends, no idea how to make them.

    My how things change. Great topic.


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