My parents never let me go out of the house alone. They don’t let me meet my friends and even make me skip my classes if no one is there to drop me off.

Bayo Ajibola

According to them I am still not of the right age to be trusted to go alone outside.

I’m sorry if this sounds like I’m whining but I am really upset because of this. Also, if this is not the right place to post his, I’m sorry I don’t know where else to post this. I live in Lagos.

Like the title says, my parents don’t let me go out AT ALL. And i am 15. They don’t let me meet friends or even go to the store which is literally like a minute away from our house and visible if you stand near the main-gate, even if I need something and no one else is free to fetch it for me. Hell, I can’t even go outside to the main-gate without a strong enough reason, and if they don’t think the reason is good enough, they send me back in. Even though it’s visible from upstairs and downstairs even if you’re sitting in a room. The only way I met my friends earlier was in school or at my private tuition, where my mom used to drop me off and pick me up. My tutors have asked my mom to let me out and let me be independent but every single time my mom would come back bad-mouthing her and saying “She has no right to tell me how to raise my daughter.”

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I have freedom to wear what I want as long as it’s not very revealing. I have a personal phone and laptop and they never monitor my online activities. They think I am not on any social media platforms. But I have accounts on a lot of platforms, though I do not upload any picture and only use them to talk to my VERY close friends. I am very careful on the internet and never do something even remotely “irresponsible”.

Now like I said, the only way I used to meet my friends was in school but since COVID – I have not met any of my friends for almost a year. I don’t have a lot of friends but I do have a few handfuls whom I cherish a lot and unfortunately none of them are form the same circle. Thus, I need to hang out with them individually and want to spend some quality time together. I have been wanting to meet my friends for a long time but I have never asked to be let out.

The issue is, I asked to be let out once last month and my mom said no. I was upset because I thought since I’m just a year away from Uni, they’d let me have a little independence. But after a couple hours of sulking I did come back around and was never aggressively mad. This week however, one of my very close friends invited me to catch up the coming weekend, I thought mum would let me. Even though my friend is a boy, which neither of my parents like that I hang out with guys, we have nothing but a platonic sibling’s sort of relationship and my mom knows that. She has even met him several times and he’s always polite and well-mannered, even more so than me.

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But when I asked my mom if I could meet him, she said no. She didn’t even bother to ask where or when or for how long, because we were meeting like just 2-3 minutes away from my house, during the day in a pretty popular and new Café. I wasn’t just upset then I was mad. I told her how it’s unfair cause all I do nowadays is study. I may not be a genius or a kid who’s always studying but I never score below 90% in important exams. I do slack off on the unimportant ones but I score very well on the crucial ones. Also, I never ask to be let out. I was quite aggressive when I slammed the door to my room. I didn’t talk to her all day which wasn’t a big deal since I had online classes anyway. I asked her again during dinner and she said no again, we had a fight and I returned to my room again after half-heartedly eating my dinner.

These events occurred yesterday. Today she talked to me about a couple unrelated things but I was hardly speaking a word or two. Same with my dad cause she told me my dad had said if I ever “demand for such useless stuff” again, he’ll cease my all of my classes, take my devices away and “will discipline me” – the way he said “discipline” in our native language, it’s very offensive and he meant it in a corporal punishment kind of way. My mom has said similar stuff.

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They then started to insult me and berate me, not in front of me but in front of my room so they knew I could hear them. They always say mean and hurtful stuff but I never show or tell them that I’m hurt cause when I do, they always guilt-trip me and somehow it ends up becoming my fault for being hurt due to their words. It will be the same this time too. But I want to know if I’m the one who’s being unreasonable here. Should I have been obedient and accepted my mom’s answer without putting up a fight? And even so, how can I get my parents to let me go out so I can be independent? Being able to commute alone is something I desperately need to learn because I plan to leave the country for my future studies.

I am confident that I can handle being alone if given an opportunity – maybe not in a completely unknown surrounding but places which I’m familiar with. But they never trust me. Are they just protecting me? Am I the one who cannot understand their concern? Or are they being overprotective? I’m afraid if this goes on, they will not let me pursue a higher education in a different country which I really, really want.

Bayo Ajibola

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