Strict parents ruined my life

My parents never let me do anything, and now I can’t be happy.

You’re an adult, says our elder — so start living the life you want.

Dear EWC

I was such a pampered kid from my childhood. But my parents are very orthodox and strict. From my childhood I was restricted from speaking with boys and going around with friends. They always wanted me to get good grades. I was never appreciated for the way I was. This made me feel so low of myself. I was never happy with myself, the way I look, my career and everything. I grew up to be a more sensitive person who cannot tolerate any little harsh words and will cry immediately. The restrictions my parents imposed on me made ordinary things feel like a crime e.g. going out with friends, having a boyfriend. And all this made it difficult to make new friends, as I was restricted from making new friends and meeting strangers. I now feel like my whole life is screwed. I am not able to be happy with anything I have. People don’t like moving with me as I am very conservative. Please help me! I don’t want to live this way all my life.

Global-Advice replies

I understand why you are not happy with your life. In many ways, I can empathize and can respect you for honoring your parents’ wishes and obeying them. However, I can also understand how important it is for you to make your own decisions.

You are now an adult. You are responsible for your own success and your career and your happiness. You can and should make your own decisions. Your parents have shaped you in many ways, but you are no in control or your life and your decisions. They will not be with you 24 hours a day for the rest of your life. And it is your life.

So start living your life. Be who you want to be. Do what you think is right for you. You can still love and respect your parents. But you are the one who will live with those decisions, not them. Don’t cry if you don’t like who you are, Change what you were doing and do what you think is right for you. If it doesn’t work out, change again.

We all make mistakes when we are young. Learn from them. Experiment. Be who you think you want to be. If that does not work out, change again. 

You can do this. Become the person you want to be and be happy.  Good luck!

Letter #: 432965
Category: Self-Improvement


  1. Just do things that will make your strict parents not want to have contact with you anymore.

  2. Lady – please see a therapist. Despite your parents almost certain good intentions, you nevertheless are dealing with trauma and it won’t go away unless you directly address it – and the sooner in life you do it the better. Don’t wait until you are, like me, in your mid-40s and have a complete mental breakdown that leaves you so full of the physical and emotional symptoms of anxiety that you are no longer able to work let alone consistently care for yourself. I speak from experience. Please seek out the help of a therapist as soon as possible and expect that this will probably take several years to fully work out.

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