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This is Stan. Do you know that phrase, “big brother is watching you”? In his case, it’s “big mother is watching you”. Sounds creepy, eh? We all want to grow up, but for Stan, growing up was really urgent, because his mom was a control freak who needed to check every one of his steps.
Until he started going to school, Stan didn’t even notice something was wrong with his life. His mom brought him up alone, and of course she loved him so much, always defending him from everything and being by his side. That’s normal for a toddler. But school is a time to learn to be independent, starting with small steps. He remembers his first day – you know how it often happens that kids start crying when separated from their parents for the first time? Well, there were tears – but this time, it was Stan’s mom crying, saying, “Please don’t go!”. Gosh, that was embarrassing.
And from then on, his mom wanted to control every step of his life. Every day she came to take him home from school, but they didn’t drive home straightaway. She went to his teachers and asked for a daily update on his progress. It was really tiring for them. But they were very understanding for a couple of months – you know, a single mom, the only child. But eventually, they asked her to stop it. However, she still took every chance to control him. He would do his homework as they drove home, and she always stood in his bedroom watching him as he finished it off. Stan’s room didn’t even have a door, for God’s sake! When he wanted to go for a walk with the kids from the neighborhood, she would say, “I’ll come with you, but I won’t bother you, don’t worry.” And she just stayed there watching them from a distance! Needless to say, he didn’t have many friends. No one wants to be observed all the time.
While he was growing up, Stan realized that this was not a case of normal parental concern. He asked his mom why he needed to be constantly observed and couldn’t get at least a bit of privacy. She answered: “Why, do you have secrets from your mommy?” The worst part was that now that he was in his early teens, Stan had his social media accounts, his smartphone, his blog. He wanted to keep them secret, but his mom managed to find them all, get the passwords and control the chats. It was so frustrating when he came home and she would start discussing the conversation he’d had yesterday with someone. He tried to rebel against it, to change the passwords and get himself a freaking door for his room, but these efforts ended with his mom being in hysterics on how dangerous the world is, that it’s full of criminals and pedophiles, and that when he grew up he would understand her.
When he turned 14, the time came for drastic action. He understood that it was impossible to reason with his mom and to convince her to finally get a life. So Stan changed his tactics. He had to develop a secret life of his own, because otherwise he would have no social connections apart from his mom. For several months, it went fine; his mom was sure he was leading a perfect home-school-home life, and he was now enjoying his social life almost like any other teen. But one day, a catastrophe happened. He left his secret smartphone at home, and while he was out his mom found it, unblocked it and read everything he had there. You can’t imagine how this made him feel when he came back home.
It was at that point that his mom had a sort of emotional breakdown, having seen that he had slipped out of her control. That time, Stan was grounded for good. His mom told him to stay in his room, and he couldn’t leave it even to go to the kitchen. It seems that she didn’t realize the situation had became totally crazy and very dangerous, and she was behaving like some kind of maniac. Stan understood that he had to do something. The time came to stop the rebellion and to behave like an adult. He thought about a possible solution (he had a lot of free time to think) and went to his mom to convince her to go to a family psychologist.
Of course, first she said no. But he insisted, because he didn’t see any other solution, and also because this was the only way for him to leave the house. After all, she had to agree just to shut him up. It turned out that therapy was the thing that they both needed badly. His mom was reluctant, but within the first half hour she was already opening up to the doctor. Stan also had issues, but they were more a reaction to his mom’s actions. When they returned home, his mom told him all of a sudden that he was going to go back to school, and that he was even going to have a door for his room. Wow! That’s what you call a therapeutic effect. The problem is that he was not sure what was happening in her head, because now she was giving him liberty with the same enthusiasm that she had when she had kept him locked up. All he wants to do now is grow up ASAP.
Music by Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com