Sunday, August 8, 2010

Teen asks about living arrangements

 Subject: living situation

Question: hi  I'm a 17 year old girl and im living with my grandma..my mom left last thursday for rehab and i will not see her for a year...i have a 22 year old boyfriend and my grandma never lets me do things that i want to do....i dont know what to do?
my mom use to let me go out all the time with my friends and my boyfriend and now my grandma wont let me i dont want to live with her anymore. I am tired of always being bossed around, i can take care of myself. I smoke and she thinks im going to get into drugs but im not going to. I have seen my mom for the past 17 years on drugs and i dont want my kids going through what i went through. I dont know what to do?


Answer: Dear Anonymous:

I am glad you wrote to me. First let me say I am sorry you are experiencing so many heartaches at such a young age. It cannot be easy being 17 and having your mom in rehab or having lived with her addiction problems.

You are right and you can choose differently than your mom has although you need to know why your grandma is so worried about you. Addictions often run in families just like other genetic things such as eye color and hair color. You may intend to not do drugs however if you make choices that put you in less than desirable conditions it could stress you out and then you might make choices like your mom. Not because you are a bad choices just because you were raised in this type of environment.

I am already concerned from your e-mail because you are dating a man who is 22. This is a 5 year age gap and I realize you probably had to grow up sooner than most girls your age, however, 5 years at 17 is a big deal. Please work with your grandma, humor her a little. You will be 18 soon and can do as you please when you are of legal age, but you won't be a child ever again. Let your "boss" you around a little while she can. I am sure she blames herself for what is going on with you and your mom and she probably wants to do a good job with you while you are with her. If you can see her "bossy" attitude as her way of loving you it might make things easier between you.

If you love this guy and he loves you, you can both work things out until you are 18. In the meantime, love your grandma and let her love you as she will not always be around for you to love her. Spend more time doing things with your grandma and she may see a different side of you. The more attention you pay to her and doing things with her the more you can gain her trust.

Feel free to e-mail me again!

M Kay Keller