My boyfriend and I are in our late 20s and both of us struggle greatly with self esteem issues. He just recently moved out of his parents house to live with me and I just finished college a couple years back.
We both had very similar issues.
Our parents refused to let us adult.
Both of us experienced helicopters instead of parents. We both grew up in an Orwellian nightmare of over sensorship and lack of personal freedoms. Our parents refused to let us find ourselves.
Let me go into more detail.
My grandma kept a very tight leash on me because she was afraid that I would “turn out like my mother” – tattooed and a drug addict. My parents were apart of the first generation of teen parents in the early nineties and my grandparents, wealthy baby boomers, were embarrassed by their son’s failure to stay in tow that they took me away from him and raised me “better”. This meant I had no personal choices and I was treated like a 5 year old until I left for college. I wasn’t allowed to choose my hair style, my clothing style, my friends, or even the food I ate. It was all under my grandmother’s control.
She was going to do things RIGHT this time and control every move I made.
This installed a sense of dependency on my grandparents rules and wealth that I still struggle with today.
My boyfriend was the baby in his family. His parents wanted to give him all that he needed and wanted growing up. They didn’t want him ever to feel disappointment. However, this extreme coddling left him broken spirited, emasculated, and feeling like a perpetual child his whole life.
We both are lucky for our up bringing. We managed to break free a little and get our own place.
I think, sadly, that our stories are not unique. Many people born in the late 80s and early 90s to upper middle class families had similar sterile coddled upbringings. We now are afraid of the world, we have no emotional skins, and don’t know how to deal with life’s lack of care towards weak noodles.
It sucks when his mom calls and wants him to move back in with them because we are having to have to take out loans to live.
It sucks that my grandma calls to ask if I need money and reassure me that I can always move back home if I feel like it.
No, stop! I want my own life. I want my own money. I want my own house, where my family can’t lord their wealth over my head in an effort to take away my right to live the life I want.
Yes I am spoiled. That’s the point. I wish I was encouraged to get a job at 14. I wish I was encouraged to go out with friends and get drunk and find myself while in high school. I wish my grandmother would have let me go to school in pink hair and dirty shoes. I would have learned something. I would have gained a sense of self.
I think a lot of 20 somethings like myself are facing this same struggle with their parents. The fight for personal freedoms and emotional support for taking risks and having to get a job and buy a house. I hate the idea that my boyfriend and I may be dependent on our families wealth the rest of our lives instead of the money we made ourselves.
When I have a baby they will get dirty. They will get a job and buy tbeir first car. They will travel across the country to go to college. They will get to pierce their nose and wear a funny haircut. Bcause they will be their own person. They will learn how to live in a big bad world, kicking ass and taking names!