An adult male is finally flying the nest after living in an apartment with his 58-year-old mother.
While most proud parents are excited to become empty nesters, this guy's mom is a helicopter parent and intends to prevent him from taking control of his life.
But Redditor "Sirna2" is a grown 31-year-old man with a new job prospect.
He sees it as an opportunity to escape the clutches of his overbearing mother to get his own place.
However, the good son is struggling with the guilt of abandoning her and is afraid she will become destitute.
"Ever since my college days she's been a helicopter parent. During school she'd call at all times demanding where I was, and called the campus police several times if I didn't pick up the phone in time."
"I was 'heavily encouraged' to come home each and every weekend and I fell into a deep depression. I almost failed out of school and had to take a fifth year; during this last year my mom drove me to school and would sit on a bench outside the classroom until I was done."
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One of the school professors took notice of the Orinal Poster's (OP) controlling mother and suggested he visit the counseling center for guidance.
"My counselor and I talked about gaining more independence, but I was too tired and scared to follow through."
"Graduate school was the same deal but I did manage to eventually graduate. I spent almost two years living with my mom in and out of motels and other temporary living areas, working retail and applying for jobs in my field."
He finally saw a light at the end of the tunnel when he got a job as a lab technician.
While his life entered an exciting new chapter, some things stayed the same.
"At first my mom would try the same thing she did at school, calling me and even coming to the company door a few times."
"I was so grateful my boss didn't notice this and that my coworkers were understanding."
"I eventually got her to stop by telling her that my boss had said something about her coming around (she listened to 'his' suggestion but not me).
The OP slowly began coming out of his shell and started embracing his social life, but mother was not pleased.
"The past two years at this company have been life changing for me. While I was shy (social anxiety) at first, I gradually got used to socializing with my coworkers, just chatting at work and after a while going out for drinks, etc."
"I even went to a Friendsgiving weekend getaway, which my mom absolutely was against, and I had a full blown screaming match with her and she relented."
"I've been promoted twice and now lead a small team within the lab."
One day, the OP got a better job opportunity, but this time, it involved relocation.
It was time to break the news to mother.
"Recently I got an offer at a large biotech in another state. They offer a generous relocation package and I'd like to get my own place nearby."
"I haven't told my mom yet, but she is going to have a meltdown and try anything to get me to stay or let her come with me. She makes a few dollars over minimum wage, and couldn't afford to live by herself in our current state."
"When we were living out of motels, there were times we had to live out of our car and I'm afraid my mom would end up in a similar state if I moved out."
"She often says things like 'Now that you have a good job, you'd abandon your mother' whenever I bring up the idea of getting my own place. I feel that's the best move for my own mental health and personal growth but there's that guilt factor hanging over my head."
Redditors took the pressure off by making a decision for him and suggested he take advantage of the job opportunity.
"NTA. You are enmeshed with your mom and the co-dependency is having a terrible effect on your mental health and ability to cope with life, and is not helping your mom to be the vibrant, thriving person she should be, either."
"You need to learn to set and insist on appropriate boundaries and develop separate lives. It's one thing to be close and well-connected; it's entirely another to be living in each others pockets."
"For both your sakes, be as kind as you can and give as much notice as you feel able, but by all means take that job and MOVE." – NeedAnOffButton
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He was encouraged to "be strong" and take back control of his own life.
"NTA ofcourse. You must be strong OP. You must fight for yourself and your life."
"You have right to work, to have friends from work and outside of work, to find that special person you will love, to maybe even have a child, or a dog, or a hobby or passion, anything you want."
"What I would do - accept job offer, say that to her, not relent not even one time, find a place, not give her the address, give her a lot of love through words and gifts."
"And then help her financially, lets say for one year. Say that you will gove her x amount of money for y amount of time. Stand by it. When it passes, stop sending. Be strong. You have your life to live. Don't allow her to suffocate you. Fight. Be strong. Be you." – Brigadir32
Others identified their relationship as something far more troubling beyond the label of "helicopter parent."
"This is not helicopter parenting, it is something different and worse. Children of helicopter parents don't develop basic life skills and are unable to 'adult' because their parents have always swooped in and solved problems for them."
"Here, you have shown amazing ability to succeed in life despite all of the obstacles your mother has put in your way; by contrast, she is the one who is unable to care for herself."
"She has brainwashed you and put you in a two-person cult, and it's abusive."
"Take the job and move. If you must, help mom find a rented room and roommates, but know that she will do what she can to frustrate these efforts. You may just have to leave her to force her to work it out on her own." – JeepersCreepers74
"This is far beyond helicopter parenting. It is full blown obsession. Go and find your life OP. Break the cycle and run."
"You may have to make some very hard decisions about limiting contact or going no contact. She will try to derail you. Honestly, I think I would refuse to give her your addresses- work or your new home." – katmeowness88
Redditors suggested the OP leave his whereabouts unknown to prevent mother from finding him.
"NTA. There comes a time in life where you must cut the umbilical cord because she never did."
"It's extremely unhealthy that she continues to expect you to live this way. A break like this is a God send."
"I would not tell her where you are going. I would only give her your phone number for emergencies or she may show up on your door step." – njax74
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"Give her as much notice as possible so that she can make other arrangements (but be warned she will try to stop you if you do that, so it's up to you), but absolutely DO NOT tell her where you're going. She will follow you."
"I wouldn't even give her your real phone number, I would buy a cheap burner phone just for her tbh. You'll probably feel guilty, because she's conditioned you to feel that way."
"But what she's done to you is abuse, and you need to get away from her and start your life, man." – rugby_enthusiast
"Get a PO Box as well so you have a mailing address that's not a physical address." – yourmother5415
Mother wouldn't be totally without assistance.
"There is still some social services to be had. I know. I've had to call on them from time to time."
"There are also charitable organizations that can lend a hand to your mother as well." – Space_cadet1956
The OP expressed his appreciation for all who imparted their wisdom.
"Thank you for all the encouragement everyone!"
"I even offered a few months back to help out with expenses if I could (though she'd probably have to find a roommate to afford living in our current area). I was also thinking about giving her some of the relocation bonus once distributed, since it basically has no restrictions on use."
"We both live in the USA, which means the social safety net isn't as prominent as other countries."
This parent was empathetic towards the mother but also excited for the OP and imparted some financial advice.
"If you want to help her financially be very specific about what you will send money for. Like $500 every month and only $500. She can use the money how she needs. Don't negotiate the amount with her. Be sure you can afford it before you offer it."
"This sounds like an amazing opportunity for you personally and professionally. And let me tell you as a parent, it is our job to raise our children to become independent, healthy individuals who can grow and contribute to society."
"I am sorry your mom lost her way and seems scared to be on her own. But go and be your best self." – Emebust
It is time for him to cut the proverbial umbilical cord and live his life.
It's now or never, buddy.
The book How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success is available here.