Tag Archives: adolescence

How to Cut Emotional Ties with Controlling Parents

I recently got a question about how to cut emotional ties with a controlling parent in response to my article on How to Recover from a Controlling Mother. I know a lot of guys struggle with the conflict that happens when we begin to break free from our parents during adolescence, and this can keep us emasculated for years while we continue to seek a controlling parent's approval. It helps to know that the conflict that arises when we individuate is a perfectly normal process; albeit one that controlling parents often over-react to.

Mike writes:

I'm a 20 year old man.  I was adopted, my sister wasn't.  Yes, I've grown up with a controlling mother.  I have always been musically inclined and have had a passion for music.  After high school, I wanted to take a year or two off to pursue this and generally dick around with my friends while I was young, and maybe figure out what I wanted to do with my life.  I had left high school with scholarships and an 88 average.  3 years later, I'm a third year University student in History (I had to take something in University, forced into choosing a major, she's paying for it) I'm struggling to maintain a 75 in my University courses, I've been experimenting with drugs, and I have no clue with what I want to do. … Continue reading…

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Graham's Story

I suffered from a chronic lack of self-confidence right from early childhood through most of my adult life. I am a sensitive person and was deeply traumatized by the never-ending conflict and hostility in my parent's relationship. My mother was, and still is, the dominant force in my family of origin. Highly intelligent but emotionally withheld, she was always quick to criticise and would never back down in any of the petty arguments with my father that characterized their relationship. He, on the other hand, was relatively passive yet and was often driven to explode with frustration due to his inability to express his emotions or to handle my mother's frequent put-downs. She would berate him saying “You stupid creature; why can't you just tell me what you're thinking!”, not realizing the irony behind her nagging criticism. Our home didn't feel like a safe or fun place to be much of the time. My two elder sisters both dealt with this in their own way, leaving me feeling excluded and abandoned a lot of the time. My sensitivity in this situation was always invalidated, caused me a great deal of grief and felt like a genuine weakness.

My family were regular church-goers, and every Sunday I'd be dragged along to Sunday school to learn about bizarre stories from the Old Testament.… Continue reading…

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