This past week, I had a little excitement from a close friend. He went to visit his girlfriend after many grueling months away being deployed in the Middle East. The thing is that after returning home, he has lived with his parents and they expect that they set the rules. This includes knowing where and who he visits, why, and everything about the daily grind for him. Being an adult who is almost 21, and able to be responsible, you can see the problems that this causes for both him and his parents. In order to spend time with his girlfriend, he lied to his parents about the day and said he would be with another friend about an hour away.
For this trip, he met halfway with his girlfriend and they had a really wonderfully long day. Everything was going well, and he was about an hour and a half from home and disaster struck: He was caught in a three rig and van accident. There were hazmat concerns, so the roads were shut down. He was on a seven mile stretch that was shut down. After 15 minutes of waiting, I was called and asked what he should do. Does he need to come clean to his parents and let them know he was off on this trip? What are they going to do when he got home – he was supposed to be home in less than half an hour. A few minutes can be explained. An hour and a half couldn’t.Worse yet, he had never been involved in an acident like this and was panicked on what he should do. I talked and texted for a while to keep him calm.
Making a long story short, it wasn’t until 11:30 PM that the State police told them how to back away from the accident and then eventually flipped them to the other side of the road. In the several hours of waiting, his mother called and wanted to know when to expect him home. He indicated that he was fine and not to wait. He was safe and would be home as quickly as he could. He was traveling the wrong way and the GPS was telling him to turn around and go the other way. Again, he called and asked for directions on how to get from point A going the wrong way, to getting to point B going the right way on the highway where the GPS gave the right directions.I helped there and gave some directions of the best way to get that done. My biggest worry at this point was worry about what his parents would do would distract him and he would be in another accident.
After he was rerouted and back on the highway, he continued home without incident except for waiting for a train to pass by on some tracks. While waiting for the train, his mother texted she called the police about him and that he was in big trouble. He was home about five minutes later. Both his parents were up, and neither talked to him about what had happened. They gave him the look of disappointment and went to bed.
I have to wonder about situations like this, and why they happen. Even though they love each other dearly, there isn’t any trust between them. As he gets older, the ability to talk about trust gets further and further away. I have noticed that his parents still dictate his day and what he does – they don’t let him be him and make his own decisions. On his side, he doesn’t show much initiative to act like an adult — there are signs, but he is afraid to make them because of retribution from his parents. When he is away from them, there aren’t any problems and everything goes well.
What do you think should happen? Do you think there is a better way to handle this?