I Became A "Prisoner" In My Own Home
- Published on Oct 20, 2019
- Hi! My name is Annie. What do you know about parental control? Well, I’m an expert in this field. I wanted to tell you about the worst years of my life, which I spent almost literally like a prisoner, and my mom and dad were, sort of, my jailers. Now I’m 17 but the whole story started when I was 13, and my family was living in a nice house with a pool and a patio...
I had gotten a brand-new video game and I was totally enthusiastically checking it out in the living room, and mom was doing something in the kitchen while looking for my baby-brother Andrew. At some point the landline phone rang, which I heard, and mom went to answer it in the next room, and she swears that she told me to look after Andrew, which I didn’t hear. And the back door was open, and we had a swimming pool there. I remember the only thing that finally distracted me from that video game was my mom’s cry full of horror. My little brother drowned that day.
There are no words to describe a family grief like that. There were lots of tears. I think, everybody felt guilty back then but nobody could change anything. Mom kept saying that nothing was my fault, with her eyes red from tears, but the more she told me that, the more I felt miserable. Oh, if only that phone didn’t ring back then, or I wasn’t playing that stupid video game. By the way, I could never bring myself to touch it since then.
It's no wonder that after that happened, my parents started to strictly control me. I know that everybody's under supervision when they are underage, but I was subject to the strictest and sometimes the most extreme type of supervision. My mom was not only driving me to school, but she would bring me to the classroom while holding my hand. Of course, everybody would laugh at me the first couple of times, until they got used to it.
By the way, speaking of holding hands, mom insisted on me being everywhere with her, be it at the grocery store, or her visit to the beauty salon, or whenever we were already out of our car she would take my hand. I was not allowed to even meet my friends somewhere outside. Mom insisted on accompanying me either to the mall, or to the movies - depending on where we were supposed to meet, and she was constantly nearby. Or she gave me an alternative, I could invite my friends to my place so that she could watch us. None of what I mentioned was actually fun, and at some point, I just stopped being invited anywhere.
What can I say? I couldn’t blame my friends for having abandoned me. Who likes hanging out with someone else's mom, especially with a control freak like my mom was? And, this definitely made me upset, you know, when on social media I saw photos of my friends having fun at the amusement park, for example. But at the same time, I couldn’t blame my mom either, because she was apparently afraid that something was going to happen to me, and after she had lost one of her children, she couldn’t bear to lose the other. Thus, the only thing left for me to hope for was to just wait until the grief subsided and hopefully my mom’s grip would loosen.
This, sort of, happened almost a year after the tragedy. I met one guy at school whose name was Terry, and I really liked him, especially taking into account that I was lucky and he made the first move. One day he noticed me staring at him during lunch, and he just came up to me and said “Hi!” I remember, back then I thought that it was the easiest beginning of a relationship ever and that if he invited me anywhere, even to the opera, which I hated, I’d say yes. And he actually did and the coming weekend we were supposed to see each other at the park. Oh, also, he was new to our school and didn’t know about my mom yet.
Of course, at home, I had to tell my parents everything and literally beg my mom to let me go there all alone, I mean, without her accompanying me, because it was supposed to be a real date and it was definitely not about a “meeting the parents” thing. I guess, after I've given you a bit of the background, you can at least try to imagine how low my chances were then.
Finally, my dad met me halfway, saying that I could go to the park on that date under certain conditions. Mom was supposed to give me a ride to at least see what Terry looked like; I was supposed to send her a text every half hour indicating that everything was OK; and I had to be back home by 7 P.M. (taking into account that I was supposed to meet with Terry at 5 P.M.) It was still something, I thought, and I went to my room anticipating the coming weekend...
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