Leaving home against parents advice


Help please! I am 22 years old and have spent the last six years discerning a religious vocation. I have been in 3 religious communities and left the last one knowing I do not have a calling. In the convent I had to deal with some difficult emotional problems and was sent to a couselor. His advice was for me ot get out in the world and make it on my own. So I left the convent and have been home three weeks. I have agreat job offer in another state doing a type of work I have dreamed of doing. It seems sent from God…It is a good catholic job enviroment. However, my parents are afraid that I will get sick or not be able to survive out there (it is a long ways from home) and are deeply opposed to my going. I do not know if I will survie either but I feel that it is something I want to try and that God wishes me to do it. I know the work will help me to grow and change and deal with my emotions. The problem is, if I leave home now I will put a divide in my family and they will refuse to support my choice and not even speak with me. I haev a hard time taking there advice because they are so depressed and unhappy all the time and living here is pulling me down too. It is wrong to break a relationship with your parents to do something you want to do? Would God really call you to do something that will cause so much harm to your family? They would not be opposed to me leaving home a few months and getting house nearby…but this job is something I have always wanted to do ( it is working with troubled teens)…I have to make the choice now…and it is tearing me apart…


Growing up and making adult choices is what you’re supposed to do. I’m sorry if your parents can’t understand that.

Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions, but it sounds like if you stay, they may want to have too much say in your life. That’s not healthy.

If you’re worried about how you’ll manage, be sure to find a church that has young adult support so you can make friends and get support that way.


Your heart is telling you where you should go. Listen to it. Second to Christ, yourself is who you depend on. Make something for yourself, you have the opportunity… take it. :wink:


if at age 22 you are still dealing with issues related to leaving home, there may indeed be emotional and other issues to resolve before you can successfully embark on a religious vocation, or marriage, or career. I will wager that you received similar advice from your spiritual directors in those religious orders, and possibly elsewhere, so acting on it will help in all areas of life, no matter what your eventual vocation.


As others have said, you are an adult. You must honor your parents, but they must respect your judgement.

P.S. There is always emotional baggage, If you wait until it is all resolved, nothing will ever change. An actual religious vocation is a loooooong process which in part discovers if any of the baggage constitutes an impediment. Start walking the path now and you will find out soon enough.


I’m so sorry you’re facing this choice. My heart goes out to you.

It’s natural for your parents to be concerned for your future and safety. It’s NOT natural or okay for them to threaten to cut you off for not doing what they want, unless you’re doing something illegal or immoral. That smacks of bullying to me and you are under no obligation to subject yourself to it. You are an adult and you have the right to make decisions regarding your employment and living arrangements yourself.

Do you think they will genuinely stop talking to you? If so then you need to understand that THEY have made that decision and if it wasn’t this it may well have been something else. This is cold comfort, I realize, but they are wrong to threaten you this way.

I’ll be praying for you.


Dear roseinthewinter,

I understand your current concerns and feelings, as I was in a very similar situation myself. I come from an overly close family with parents who did not want to recognize that I was no longer a 16 year-old when I turned 22. After being granted a great conversion experience from our Lord and entering the Church, I spent time in discerning my vocation and sought the wisdom of pious and orthodox Catholic priests to help guide me and understand God’s Will for me. My parents were completely opposed to me entering a convent, but it turned out that was not my true vocation. I met who I know and believe with all my heart was the man God Himself intended me to marry. My parents were not at all welcoming of him or our relationship and made me feel guilty and depressed many times for pursuing the courtship and then engagement with him. I spent nights crying and in prayer, trying to learn God’s Will for me as I felt horrible for upseting my parents so much. Finally, I learned that I had to follow God’s plan for me, not my parents’ plan for me, and with the strength and support I received from my then fiancee and spiritual director and, most of all, from the peace I felt in my heart in following such a path, I married my other half. Practically, all the way up until my wedding day, my parents acted as though I had broken their hearts in two by “leaving the family,” but then the happy day came and everyone had such a great time. Since I moved out of my parents house and married, my relationship with them has actually become much more healthy as they can respect me now as an adult rather than continue to view me as their little teenage girl who needs them at every second of the day. Of course, they are my parents still, and I am their little girl, but now we are the point where they have accepted that they are getting older and so are their daughters, who need to make lives of their own outside of their home. So please, have courage and do not be frightened in following God’s Will for you.


Rose, It seems to me like you have several seperate issues here.

  1. Your emotional and temporal well being.
    You mentioned haveing problems while in the convent and your parents seem concerned about your health and welfare while away. Will you have the resources to live on your own? Does this job offer housing? health care?

  2. Are you running away from bigger problems?
    Your counselor suggested you “go and make it oun your own.” Are you trying to escape deeper issues? Do your parents need you to be there?

  3. You family situation
    You mention that your parents are depressed and if you leave, it will divide your family. Is it because you are leaving that they are depressed or are there other reasons? Are there family members who are supportive of your dreams?

  4. Your dream job.
    Is this a definate job offer? Again, is the job right for you as far as salary, benefits, working conditions?
    If you have some emotional baggage from this (and perhaps other things), should you be working with troubled teens? That in itself can be very emotionally draining.

  5. God calling you?
    God does provide us with opportunity but also presents us with challenges to make us think. We don’t understand His plan for us and what we think is in the plan or meant for us to do sometimes surprises us and opens another door. He has definately surprised me in my life. :eek:

This is a big, life changing decision that probably should not be decided by advice from this forum. I do suggest you weigh everything and talk with someone who can help you- maybe your proest or spiritual director. Even a supportive and unbiased friend or family member is a start.
The one thing I know you will get from this board is prayers
:gopray: :gopray: :gopray: :gopray: :gopray: :gopray:

God bless you.:signofcross:


You are only taking a job. You are not disowning or cutting off your family. If they choose to look at it that way you don’t have to. You can’t control their response, you can’t heal their depression.
Consider their point of view. If after considering whether their points are valid then make your decision.
In general, fear should just encourage us to evaluate a situation. Decisions should not be based on fears.
What is the worst thing that could possibly happen?
You are not leaving the planet, you will only be a plan ride away.
Loving your parents doesn’t mean not being able to live your life. And part of living your life is taking calculated risks.
Keep coming here, we will be your cheer leading section.
Ms. Cilantro


Hi thanks so much for the fast response! I do think they will stop talkign to me for some time…and I guess my fear is what if I don’t make it? The place where I am going is a good catholic place and there are young poeple my age. Honestly, I could not ask for a better job. The sisters I was with are telling me to goo. I made arrangements with my friends to take to the airport and now my parents are threatening to call there parents( whom they live with) and screw that up…which means I don’t now how I will get there because I don’t have money (being in the convent)to pay. we are in a rural area and the airport is an hour away…it is hard to see things clearly when your parents haev always held such a huge influence over you. They say it is because they love and want the best. My older sister is against me going because they are and she thinks it is a bad idea to cause a break in our relationship. If I go I am on my own, except for the support I may have when I get there. My parents say God would never want me to do anything that would go against my family…

To answer the above questions.YEs the job offers housing, health insurance,ect. The couselor I saw thinks it is a good job for me,and a way to give of myself which is what I need to do. My confessor from the convent is writing my refrence letter. My parents have issues of there own that have nothing to do with my situation. I told the employer all about my emotional issues and she says I will either grow in this job and be helped(if I choose too) or I will sink and implode ( if I choose to) My emotional issues are mostly caused by dealing with my parents…my friends are supporting my choice, and I don’t have a present spiriutal director, so I am going on the sisters ( in the convent I was at) advice and the counselors…and my own heart.


That last sentence really hit home with me. One day, my mother (who is not a Catholic or even baptized but has a very strange and heretical view of Christianity because of both her past experiences and pride), told me that “God gave me to HER and that I belonged to HER” so she had to “fight for me.” It was then that I really realized how messed up her thinking was and I told her I first belonged to God. I was His child and He had entrusted me to her care, but, ultimately, I was given a free will to follow Him wherever He Willed and Lead me. You are His Child, first and foremost too. You can respect your parents even by not following their will for you. Ever read the story of St. Francis of Assisi and how he declared in public one day, that he had only one Father-God the Father?


Also I should mention that the counselor is a solid catholic who is not into modern phscology,ect. Maybe I am escaping my home to some extent, but then, staying isn’t going to help me either, instead it may just build on the problems.This is a type of work I have felt drawn to since I was young, and tried to find a religious order that did that. THe way that it has come to me is a miracle (in my opinion) and I have a very strong faith…but this is testing it…It has been a long time since I really wanted something…I want to help others so I can forget about myself…


Yeah, I agree. You are not in a healthy environment where your parents are constantly playing the guilt card on you for leaving them and “the family.” I think you really should move out and really call on God to help you in your discernment as to what your vocation is in life. Perhaps you have already discovered your “avocation” with this job opportunity, but you still need the freedom to discern your “vocation” in life.


Rose, you have definately told me a lot about you in your last 2 responses. This does not appear to be a rash decision and you seem to have done your homework as well. You have gone out and sought some good advice. It seems that your problems stem from your parents and your sister is upset because she may be left to deal with them.

Your fear about failure- that’s normal. We all have that, espicially when making a life-changing decision. If others who are close to you support this and you feel the Spirit is leading you, then this could be what is right for you. We all must make a leap of faith at one time or another. Again, you have my prayers. :blessyou:


Maybe I am escaping my home to some extent, but then, staying isn’t going to help me either, instead it may just build on the problems.

Even the most psychologically sound person is going to get a sense of trying to escape when there is a move to adulthood. That’s because it’s just plain scary. But staying in the funk because it’s familiar funk keeps people stuck in perpetual adolescent syndrome. Unless you live in one of those anti-germ bubbles, it’s time to get in the trenches at take some fire.


I can’t even fathom parents threatening to cut their kids out of their lives over something like taking a job in another city. You’re not joining a cult or moving in with a same-sex partner or anything sinful.

I feel funny giving advice like this over the Internet, but… if your parents can’t get over their issues, then the problem is pretty much all theirs.

As for how you’ll get to the airport. Just leave that in God’s hands. It will work out if it’s God’s will for you to do this.


If I may I would like to pray for you during this stressful time…

:gopray: Father God we lift Rose to You. Clear her mind, clear her heart and prepare her for one of the hardest decisions she is going to have to make in her life. Father remind her that You are with her and only want the best for her. You tell us in Your word that we would have to leave family for the sake of Christ. Grant Rose the ability to make a choice that is based on her love and trust for You and not just on emotion. She has put so much time and prayer into her deliberations with regard to her desission. Speak to the heart of her family, mother, father and sister. Remind her parents that she doesn’t belong to them. You were but on loan. You belong to God. Bless her Lord and keep her close. Lord let her feel the love that only You can give.


Your parents are nuts, they are being selfish if they do not want you to develop normally and do what normal adults do. My wife’s parents were like this, they wanted her to live at home forever (she is 23, her sister is 28 and still lives at home and the mom thinks this is good).

Pretty sick, a bit like breaking a bird’s wing to keep it at home so you can coddle it. I’d even compare it to munchausen’s syndrome by proxy.

Leave that place, it’ll be better once they truly accept you’re moving out.


Call your Priest and speak with him about this. Then, ask that your parents and you all sit down and discuss with him.

I’d even think your Priest will find someone in the Parish who will drive you to the airport if he feels this is where you need to be. Priests are cool that way.


Stop letting them control you with threats.

Likely if they did call your friends’ parents, those parents would be hanging up the phone going, “What a couple of nutcases!” Don’t worry about that.

You have gotta grow a backbone and do what’s right for you. You’ll never be a real adult if you let them control you this way. Getting away from my overly-involved mother was the best decision I ever made.

Oh, and just as a P.S… I hate it when people use God as a club! (the kind you hit people with)

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