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Monday, June 27, 2016

She's Having a Problem with Her Parents

Dear Bro Jo,

For a while now I have been putting off this email because I keep feeling that I should be able to figure out these problems I'm having with my parents on my own.

Every time I try to come back to my problems though I feel like I'm getting into a deeper and deeper pit. So now I'm turning to you Brother Johnston because I feel that I have tried everything I can think of.

So last October I decided to move home because I had felt that I needed to go on a mission and upon praying I felt it was right for me to move home to make the process simpler.

Everything was fine till about January.

Yeah my parents got on my nerves with things I felt were kind of ridiculous but I kept my mouth shut and went along with it knowing that I would be gone on my mission soon. I even had a job at Amazon and was able to pay off most of my debt and it made me feel relieved to just be doing something.

Well end of January came and I got a call from my Stake President asking me to come in to meet with him.

I went in and had a meeting with him were he informed me that I was over the weight restrictions and that if I wanted to continue to go on my mission that I needed to lose 40-50 pounds.

At first I was so excited for the challenge, a bit upset but I understood why being that they want the missionaries to be able to perform the physical work put in front of them. I started my work with the help of my doctor because I have some medical issues. I was told by my doctor to start with a 1500 calorie diet and work my way down to a 1200 calorie diet if I could stand it but not to push my body too hard if I felt it wasn't working.

I was able to lose 15 pounds before it all came back. It’s not like I didn't want to lose it or that I still don't want to lose it. I lost the drive and the motivation. I would come home every day from either work or whatever I had done that day constantly hounded by my mother (I do have to emphasis that I literally mean EVERYDAY) how much weight I had lost or how she had found some new fad diet.

Now don't get me wrong I appreciate that my mother was trying to help me but she was going about it the wrong way especially because it was hypocritical with her bringing in candy and sugar and being heavier than I am.

On top of it I was constantly asked when I was going to get a job because I had been let go from my temporary job at Amazon.

I continued trying for 3 months before I couldn't emotionally take it and I felt like I was pleasing my mother more then I was myself.

This isn't the first time I have let her win though because growing up in the house I was constantly pestered about my weight.

The first time I ever remember having my weight mentioned to me was in third grade when I had come to my mother because some kids at school had called me fat.

She had said "Don't worry honey you’re going to grow taller and all that baby fat will even out" it later changed in middle school to (name withheld) "You’re getting fat you need to do something about it" and "You shouldn't wear that (name withheld) it makes you look fat".

That has been a long upward battle that I am still trying to win.

Near the end of my third month trying to lose the weight my brother started his mission papers because he turned 18 right after his graduation.

He turned them in after about 3 weeks (it didn't take long because we knew most of the insurance information from my papers) and received his call in a matter of 2 weeks.

When he opened his call all I remember feeling was a sense of longing toward wishing it was me and feeling like I couldn't do it because all the obstacles that lay before me and feeling that if I succeeded that it would be my mother’s triumph and not my own success.

That was when I knew that Satan truly had started winning the battle using my own family against me.

My brother got called to France - Lyon Mission and I am excited for him because I feel it will be the thing that makes him grow into the wonderful young man he can be.

Now at this point I had started getting questions from my dad about how my progress was coming and I appreciated my dad asking me and waiting till then to ask me but at the same time I felt still kind of raw with emotions and I felt like it was something I didn't want to talk about. I still feel it has to do with the animosity I fell towards my father.

(Quick back story) When I was in 8th grade I went through losing all my friends twice, second time around I met some girls that were nonmembers and became friends with them but after being friends with them for 4-5 months two girls one of which had just moved into town from NY, accused my father of touching them inappropriately. I still don't know if it actually happened. What made me so mad at my dad was that the night before I had found this out I had asked if the girl from NY could come over and hang out. 

His response was a quick "I don't want her anywhere near this family or this house ever again and you should stop being around her." When I asked him why he only told me that some accusations had been made against the family and said that it was adult stuff and that I shouldn't worry about it. 

After finding out what happened I felt so hurt losing all of my friends again and feeling like I had been lied to by my own father. I went through so much that year I have no doubt that if the Lord hadn't sent me a good friend I have to this day I would have committed suicide. 

So having these feelings towards my father, I haven't had the best of relationships with him since. (Skipping forward to August when my brother is about to leave on his mission.)

By this point my being at home is getting worse.

I'm being treated like a 16 year old having to ask to go anywhere or do anything and I am constantly being asked by my father what my plan is but to be honest I don't know.

By his definition I need to know what I'm doing with my life now!

I've prayed about what the Lord thinks and let him know what I feel would be the right direction but I still don't feel any inspiration of a particular way to go.

I also have to put in that my mother seems very anxious to get me on dates so that I can get married. I am constantly bombarded with questions about if this missionary came back or what about this boy we know. She even gave my number to a boy’s mother.

(I did meet this boy. At the hospital as a man I felt was like a second father to me died. He came across as creepy but my mother won't listen to me and leave it be).

I have been planning so far to move out at the beginning of next year and possibly move to Provo, Utah and work on my education to become a seminary teacher.

I love teaching and I love how much light the Gospel brings into my life.

I am making plans and I do have a job back at Amazon again so that I am making a steady income my plan is to have $5000 saved by the time I move which is defiantly achievable with the fact I'm making almost $1000 a week.

The question I'm getting at here Bro Jo is what advice would you give to me to make it through till I move out?

How do I get my mother’s constant matchmaking to come to an end without hurting her feelings?

The most important question I feel here though is how can I begin to start trusting my parents again?

I feel as if they expect my trust but I truthfully feel I cannot give it. I know this is a lot to take in but I can't take holding it in a bottle anymore.

Please help me.

- Name Withheld

Dear NW,

This is going to sound harsh, perhaps, but I want you to know that I'm being sincere and saying this with love...

You need to grow up.

It really sounds like all of this drama in your life is self-inflicted, and you need to stop blaming everyone else and take responsibility for your own life.

Isn't it possible that your mother isn't all over your case about your weight because she's mean and manipulative, but rather that she's supportive and trying to help you achieve your goal?

It takes time to lose 50 pounds in a way that it stays off, and if your goal really is to lose the weight and go on a mission, then you need to persevere, not quit after only 15 pounds (that's great progress, by the way!) or because you have a setback (we all do, little sister, it's part of life).

Instead of blaming your parents for putting pressure on you to Get a Job, Get Healthy, Pay Your Debts, Make a Plan, you need to realize that, frankly, that's what adults do!

If you don't want to be treated like a child, stop acting like one.

Get a Job.

Get Healthy.

Pay your debts.

Make a plan.

If the people you thought were your friends turn out to be horrible people who don't have your back, sure feel sad, but then go out and get some True Friends.

Rather than suicide (the Ultimate Quitting), take prophetic advice and Heavenly Counsel, find the positive and let these challenges motivate you!

Whenever you feel like you're struggling, as Sister Jo says, go be of service to someone (and yes, your family counts).

Mom's on your back?

Do the dishes for her.

Father says things that hurt your feelings?

Go clean the Garage.

Feeling sorry for yourself?

Go rake someone's leaves.

Strange Advice Guy on the Internet is all over you instead of being sympathetic?

Babysit for a young couple so they can go to the Temple.

Lastly, take the chip off your shoulder; put the pride aside.

If you're mom brags about how awesome she is because you did something she approves of, don't get angry or depressed; let it go.

Be proud of your accomplishment and realize, in her own way, your mom is, too.

And if you're doing the right thing and no one is giving you the credit or support you feel you deserve?

Well . . . that's their problem, not yours.

If you're doing what's right, be happy.

If you need to make a change . . . welcome to the club.

Make the change.

Don't let someone else's opinion, even if they want to claim credit, keep you from doing the right thing. In your heart you'll know you're a good person and you've done what's right.

Opinions matter in the following order:

1. Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost

2. You.

3. Those you love and trust.

That's it.

No one else.

And, really, if you've met 1 & 2, number 3 can be crossed off the list.

- Bro Jo

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