Ever since I was fourteen, my relationship with my parents has been rocky. I was head-strong and full of opinions and I had a very hard time dealing with being controlled. This is normal for any teen, but it was amplified for me because I’m disabled. Due to the fact that I grew up in a rural area, nothing was accessible and I was never ever alone. So whatever control I did have, I fought for to the point of yelling at times. I was very intense about wearing what I wanted and doing things on my own if possible. I spent hours in my room doing nothing because it was a way to exercise what little privacy I had, which was very little. My mom often came in when I was getting dressed or quietly reading, even if I didn’t want her to. In her eyes, she was giving me my laundry, but to me, it was a violation of my privacy.
As the years went on, I became filled with more angst. I realized I could do nothing for myself in this stupid house. Not only that, but my mother was intensely controlling. She told me how to dress, how to have my hair, even where to sit. I hated it. I said no just because I wanted to. There was no reason I couldn’t grow out my nails and keep my hair long anyway, right?
We fought all the time. I was defiant and oppositional quite often. I didn’t think it mattered since I never got to control anything anyway. Why not just bitch back? Like a typical teen, I figured if I was going to do something I didn’t want to, why make it easy?
My family is also quite bigoted, and whenever I would challenge anything, I’d get called a hippy treehugger and they’d try to laugh with me about it. It was never funny. I’d yell at them for using various slurs or try to shut down but nothing worked. I felt alone all the time, even when I was just expressing my opinion. I started to see that my mom interpreted me rejecting her opinions as me being ungrateful for all the times she stood up for me. If I told her not to use the R-word around me, it would somehow spiral into, “IT’S MY HOUSE AND I CAN SAY WHATEVER I WANT, DON’T YOU SEE HOW I FIGHT FOR YOU?” I hated everything. I couldn’t wait for college.
I thought I could go to Toronto and take courses to become a library technician. It seemed like a plan, and I thought I’d like it. Toronto didn’t have a program for personal care that I need in order to go about my day, so I sulked a little and headed to Ottawa. I had been a little angry because my family automatically told me there was no way I was going to Toronto, but overall I was happy to leave.
I loved the city and the power I had. I changed my nose stud to a thick ring, which was not allowed in my house, grew out my hair and dyed it black, ate Cheetos for dinner and bought a vibrator. I stayed up until five in the morning for no reason and changed my wardrobe. I wore bold lipstick all the time and got drunk on Tuesdays. After a big fight, I changed my program from library tech to tourism and travel, even though my parents wanted me to work in the government. Visiting at home was hard. All the freedom I had was gone and I was expected to follow Mom’s orders. Wear this, go to bed at this time, keep your hair out of your face.
My time with friends made me grow in my opinions, and liked talking about what was going on in the world. My parents had never been open, but I wanted to relate. It never worked. I would get told I didn’t understand anything or I’d get pissed at their racist crap. I was the “treehugger” again, which was a dumb name to begin with. Having no one to talk to about anything, I got to be really distant.
This past Christmas, my dad called me immoral and something else I can’t remember for defending my cousin when he called her a whore for apparently sleeping around a lot with both girls and guys. He yelled at me for two days on and off, and told me I needed church even though he doesn’t go.
All of this makes me feel so conflicted and because I know they love me. The pay for my school, call me, take care of me when I’m sick, and brag about me to their friends. But sometimes I feel like they wish I was another person. I’m not saying none of this is my fault, I can be an an ass too. But it never feels okay to disagree without them taking it as a giant insult.
Blah blah, the end.