Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Controlling parents and feeling imprisoned in my own home

Community Member

I've recently finished Year 12 and confessed to my parents recently that I've been dating a guy since April.

My mental health issues have stemmed from pressure from parents, feeling imprisoned at home and not being given independence. Both my bf and I want to go interstate for uni and his parents allow that, but mine insist I stay with them until I'm older.

I'm 18, i want to gain independence, i want to explore the world for myself. More importantly, i don't know how much longer i can stay at home without relapsing into my old habits and how much I'm going to suffer being stuck at a uni i don't want to be and living somewhere that is so triggering for me. My parents don't understand this, and if i tell them this i know they'll think i'm ridiculous and tell me to suck it up (their Asian mentality). I dont trust my parents, they hurt me unintentionally constantly and don't understand me, I've never felt comfortable asking them for help and I've had to seek help from friends (they won't let me out hence i couldn't go to a psych or gp).

My bf's parents are fine with him going interstate. Worst case scenario is that i'm stuck here while he goes, and i know we both won't be able to deal with the separation in a healthy way. Being soft-spoken and submissive my whole life I feel hopeless, i can't disobey or overrule what my parents say, but at the same time i'm being tortured by their words.

I understand they may think i'm too young, they may think i'm inexperienced in the big world, they don't want to let me go. I understand this. But they're affecting my mental health by locking me in. And they don't know this.

I don't know what to do.

5 Replies 5

Community Member

Hi Happysky7311,

Reading your post, I was very grateful because I finally found someone who was in my exact same shoes. I just turned 23. I come from a traditional Asian family and my parents are also very controlling, so much to the point that it's severely affecting my confidence and self-esteem and has driven me in and out of depression. I was diagnosed with severe GAD and depression and my anxiety has mainly stemmed from my family, who are constantly telling me that I am inexperienced, not smart enough and arrogant when I try to explain my way.

It is easy to understand that what they're doing comes from a good place. However, it's really hard to see that this isn't about you, but only a reflection of their own problem. All parents have an opinion about how their children should be living their lives; the importance is that they share that opinion in an open and respectful way and understand that in the end, growing up is an individual journey. Asian parents rarely have this sense of boundary. To be honest, I barely managed to break out of their supervision by lying and hiding because I didn't have the balls to face my dad's harsh words. I moved to Australia when I was 17 to start uni under the condition that I had to live with my relative for years. They were unhappy when I moved out but had no choice because they weren't here. I didn't tell my parents that I had a boyfriend until I was 21 and had been dating for a year. But I didn't know how dysfunctional my relationship with my parents was until my second year in uni, when I first moved out, but that was when it was a bit too late for me to set up a boundary with my parents. I did not advise you to do what I did, because now even though I've been living by myself, working my own jobs, studying my own interest for years, they still constantly have doubts about me and question every one of my decisions, which has really dampened my confidence. I hope you to be brave and stand by what you want because if you're really determined, there's nothing they can do to change your mind. Also, uni is the time when you actually grow up into a full adult. To be able to do so, you'll need a lot of space and I don't think that's something Asian parents comprehend. So be brave and be stern. Do not think of how you are, but focus on how you want to be.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Wooh! Hi there. Your words are the exact same words I have spoken for a VERY long time now.

i won't go into my horrible life but living a life with so much regret and anger, living as a lie, trapped, afraid and missing out ain't worth it. You have one life, one chance to be young!

Yes your parents want you there to help them, be financially secure and live well and be safe, of course! Your family will miss you terribly and I know you will miss them too. But this is Your life.

you have to be strong and tell them what you want, and say you're going to do it. But before all this, MAKE. A. WELL. STRUCTURED. PLAN!

show them you can work for this. Show them you are saving money for it. Show them you will put the effort in. Show them you CAN look after yourself by cleaning, cooking and being responsible like taking out the rubbish without being asked to, keeping the fridge clean, fixing things around the house, knowing how to use certain gadgets and do stuff :a vacuum cleaner, blender, change a light bulb, pay for groceries on a tight budget etc.

be savvy, know how to be safe, talk with your mum as often as you can about life outside of school and how good uni will be- they'll want you to be safe, street smart and money smart. They'll want you to be careful of course.ake sure you get them to spend time with your boufriend so you're not "galavanting off with a stranger".

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Happysky, there are 2 sides to every story, and for your parents wanting you to stay is they believe you are too young, the only time we gain experience is to actually learn from ourselves, the good times and the hard times.

Experience can only be taught by showing us what we have done wrong and congratulated by our success and this has to be by ourselves.

Staying with your parents may save you money, but being in love is much powerful.

Experience can only be learned by experience.


Community Member
I know that feeling as my parents are doing the same thing to me and I’m 43 years old and I’m so sick of them treating me like a prisoner in my home please can you help me

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Vamps, thanks for coming to the forums and posting your comment.

We always hope as though our home is a place where we can relax and enjoy ourselves from our busy lives, but when somebody is controlling our movements then it becomes very difficult.

Can I ask whether they are living with you or come to visit you?

Best wishes.