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  • Writer's pictureAmba Brown

I’m 17 and my parents control me and want me to conform – what can I do?

Teenage story

"I am a 17-year-old girl from a conservative family; they were furious when they discovered I was dating. My boyfriend is of a different race and nationality, which exposes the underlying racist nature of my parents.Since then, they have made my life stressful. I understand that this is shocking for them, but I do not believe it justifies their behaviour: making threats to send me elsewhere, cutting off my education, using money as a means to control me, saying hurtful things and hitting me. I live in a conservative country that disregards human rights and there is no way for me to seek legal help. They say that I am ruining my life, even though I have the highest grades in school.We differ on many issues, such as religion and nationalism. My parents are in an arranged marriage, highly toxic and unhappy, as are other members of the family, who stay in unhappy relationships for the sake of it. My parents have stressed that they value their reputation in society over my happiness. I do not want to end up like them.I am grateful for everything they have done for me, but this conflict is starting to take a heavy toll, amid the stress that goes with being in the last year of high school.My boyfriend and his family have been very supportive. I have attempted suicide, but each time I was too scared to go through with it. I feel helpless. I have no means of being financially independent and my only hope of doing so is getting into university. I am not sure what steps I can take to ensure I remain in a healthy state of mind, and prevent them from jeopardising my future."

...Read the advice piece from Annalisa Barbieri HERE >

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