Dear Therapist: My parents don't give me any privacy

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By Prateeksha Shetty

Published: Thu 21 Oct 2021, 1:37 PM

I have strict parents to the point they don’t give me any privacy. I study in a co-ed system yet talking to boys is something that’s strictly prohibited in my house. Oftentimes all my friends are in groups of boys and girls and I’m forced to be standing alone. Sometimes, I wish to talk to my friends when I am down but the fact that my device is being tracked makes me uncomfortable to open up. I get yelled at every other day for some reason, saying I’m there to just waste their money but that is not true. I doubt my existence every now and then as I believe I have failed my friendships (because I’m not allowed to talk to people), failed my parents and failed academically as well. — Name withheld

Dear Writer, I am concerned for your well-being as it’s quite clear that you are homed in a toxic environment. Questioning your existence and self-worth can take different forms and I hope that you remember to take care of yourself. Living with your parents who track your every move can make you distrust the world at large and heighten the feeling of isolation and hopelessness. It’s important to recognise that you are your ‘own person’ and that you don’t internalise your parents’ unfair criticism. Let this not become your inner voice!

It’s not clear to what extent you are being tracked, but I highly recommend that you work on your social skills and develop a strong support system. Your friendships will serve you well during difficult times and perhaps give you a glimpse of what the world can also be for you. Venting your feelings by journaling or blogging in a protected space can help you contain your emotions and not let it overwhelm you. Finding professional support can teach you to validate your needs and instil faith in the path of individuation.

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