“My dad is overprotective and tells me not to follow my dreams”

I don’t know what to do about my dad. He and I have always disagreed on how I should live my life (I’m 19). He thinks that I shouldn’t follow my dreams, and that I should instead go to college to get a degree in something I don’t even like and have a career in something I hate.

My dream is to travel the world, and he HATES that I want to do that. He’s worried about my safety out in the dangerous world (which I understand) but traveling is the thing that makes me feel like I have a purpose, and it’s the reason I get out of bed everyday, I have an adventurous soul! So we’ve been fighting for the last couple years about how I should live my life.

I’m about to transfer to a college in Chicago, and he also hates that I’m not staying close to home, and I could never fully understand why he was holding me back so much. Until today, when my mom told me that ever since I got my drivers license, almost four years ago, my dad has been following me around when I go out. She told me that he would follow me to community college and watch me walk to and from class. And not just to college, he would follow me around all over until I got back home. She said it was a frequent thing, and that he would complain to her about my driving skills, and where I was going, and that I shouldn’t be allowed to go out and do whatever I want. She said he often thought about taking my car, even though the worst thing he’s seen me do is drive a couple mph over the speed limit!! That’s not really what bothers me though. I feel like my privacy has been majorly invaded and he doesn’t even care! I’m really upset that he would do that, and that he doesn’t trust me enough to be on my own in my home city.

I’ve tried asking him for space in the past, when I felt like he was being overly protective, but he doesn’t think he’s doing anything wrong, and he just doesn’t care what I want. It doesn’t feel like he has any respect for me as a person, and also as an adult. He tells me not to follow my dreams. He tells me that he thinks I should suffer through a career I don’t like, because I would earn a lot of money. He constantly tells me to put making money over my own happiness. I’m very frustrated, and my mother is begging me to not tell him that I know about him following me, so I can’t even talk to him about it. I want to scream and get as far away from him and his insanity as fast as I can, but I’m still every emotionally attached to him. I realize that he has good intentions, but this is just getting crazy! I’m an adult and I still feel so trapped. What do I do?!?

One thought on ““My dad is overprotective and tells me not to follow my dreams”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Are you paying for your college? I would (and did) cut all strings. Pay for everything by working. Moved out a week after college graduation and worked several jobs and took loans and scholarships to pay for college. I’m still paying for college at 35. Your dad is trying to helicopter parent you and the best way to do that is cut strings. I was not lucky enough to have a car gifted to me, so I paid for that too. Now my parents love me, but to be a adult I had to go my own way. If you can pay your own way, then they really don’t get a say on what you do other than to voice concerns. Show them that you don’t need to be parented.

    I do think the school in Chicago is a great idea, as long as you pay for everything yourself. No asking for co-signs on loans. FAFSA will also help you out. Find out options to help pay for school in at your college and DO IT YOURSELF. All of it. It’s a great way to show that you are a adult.

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