When I was nineteen, I had a boyfriend my mother disliked. We fought constantly about him. She made it clear that he was not welcome in our home after he took issue with her about something and, honestly, I can’t remember what it was–something inconsequential. I was embarassed and chose to blame her for rude behavior forgetting that he was just as rude if not more so. No matter how I tried to convince her to accept him, she just would not. I decided I could no longer live in the atmosphere my mother created. She was smothering me.
So without much money and only a suitcase of clothes, I left home. I went to the only place I knew of–a hotel near the Staten Island Ferry. It was a horrible place that usually charged by the hour and the man at the reception desk told me I didn’t belong there. But, I didn’t know where else to go. The next day I found a house with a room for rent. I took it. I found a job and eventually got my own apartment.
That first step out on my own was so difficult and I missed my family terribly. I know now that I left for the wrong reason and without either the mental or monetary preparation that would have made my first move toward independence a much more positive experience.
Yes, it took courage to leave home and a good deal of stubborness. And, after a while, I realized that my “boyfriend” never provided any emotional support during those first very tough months. I wanted to see him as accepting and supportive but he was extremely judgemental and rigid. In the end, I was able to repair my relationship with my mother. It was my “boyfriend” who I no longer wanted to be part of my life.