Dear Dr. Darcy,
I recently got hired to work at a school as a mathematics teacher, and have decided to move out with a roommate from my parents place because I am about to start my career and feel they are a distraction. I am just waiting to sign the lease and I am extremely excited, except when I mentioned the idea to my parents, they freaked out.
I know that it is going to be extremely difficult to live on my own since I am going from living at home where I don't pay any bills, and my parents basically gave me anything I wanted (new car, food, clothes, extra money to travel, etc) to now paying all my bills and maintaining a balanced life of work, graduate classes, possibly a social life? I don't know how to tell them that I am officially moving out at the end of August. Here's the reason why...
When I told my parents I was interested in moving out they said, "Go ahead move out if you can, but know that once you move out you are not allowed back". I can't tell if they are being serious or not? I think they are but I have doubts because they're my parents. How could they disown me for wanting to be self-sufficient?
My question to you is how can I make this transition smooth without insulting them while trying to save my relationship with my parents. I've been planning with my brother to move all the furniture into the apartment and then finally tell my parents in which I'm expecting the worst and that's them kicking me out and only allowing me a couple hours to take my clothes. I'm getting really nervous about the actually move day but I'm also extremely excited to start working for myself and living this new chapter of life.
I could be missing something but it doesn’t sound to me like they’re threatening to disown you. It sounds to me like they are very controlling and a little manipulative and they’re trying to scare you into not moving out by saying that you can’t change your mind once you do – but I don’t hear anything about them cutting you out or disowning you.
But let’s, for argument’s sake, say that they are: You can’t be in a relationship with anyone who controls you through fear of abandonment. It’s beyond dysfunctional for everyone involved and allowing your parents to do this to you will predispose you to getting into a relationship with a partner who does the same thing. All of this is to say that you have to call their bluff. Today they’re controlling your move out date; tomorrow they’ll leverage that same control over the person you decide to be in a relationship with… You have to pull the plug and call their bluff.
I recommend that you try to involve them in the move. Ask your mother to go with you to Bed, Bath and Beyond and help you pick out a shower curtain. Let her know that you still need her. Ask her opinion on furniture before you buy it. Show her the floor plan of the new apartment and ask her how you should arrange the room.
I think they may be reacting to their fear that once you are on your own, you won’t need them anymore. As someone who has been living on her own for more years than I care to admit, I can assure you that there will be many times when guidance from an ‘adult’ will be extremely helpful to you in the upcoming years - their job is far from over. But at the end of the day, if they choose to make this ugly, there’s nothing you can do about it. Stay strong and know you’re doing the right thing. For them and for you.
Writer’s stats: Female, Sapiosexual.