I have no privacy

I am a girl studying in Class 9. My parents and family are very strict; they restrict every single thing of mine. They don’t allow me to wear special dresses, don’t allow me to talk with my friends, they control my emotions, feelings and everything. I have no privacy! I am the only child of my parents; so relatives point out every mistake of mine. They add fuel to fire by telling lies, e.g., I have boyfriend, etc. I hurt myself very badly, at times. I am very depressed; because of this my friends are leaving me. I am not doing well in studies, either.

Dear Akshara,

Sounds like you’re deeply frustrated and angry that no one listens to you, or allows you to express who you truly are. In addition to thinking that others cancel you out, you too cancel yourself when you turn your anger on yourself and hurt yourself. This is neither helpful, nor a safe way to deal with.

You say that your family: ‘controls my emotions, feelings and everything’. Ask yourself, “Is this really true?” “How do I know that this is true?” Make a list. You have written to us and expressed your pain and hurt… have you been restricted?

Certain outside restrictions will always be there all throughout life. But, it is our way of thinking that usually creates a mental prison. So, free your mind and free yourself. You can: keep a journal and write about your feelings; discover your good qualities and talents; help your mom — take up some responsibility at home; focus on your studies; cultivate a hobby — write a fantasy story, learn to cook, read and broaden your way of thinking…and more. These will also help you release your frustrations.

When your parents see you as responsible and grown-up, they will become less protective and more trusting. As for your relatives, it is best to ignore them. Just permit yourself to shine freely and others will see you differently.

Nasreen Hashambhoy
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Nasreen Hashambhoy

Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.