I think that people are naturally inclined to be rule followers or not. It has something to do with genetics and brain chemistry, and while parenting doubtless plays some kind of role, the fact that children raised by the same parents can behave like direct opposites argues more for my theory.
For some “good” kids, though, there’s a moment when the decide they’ve had enough and just flit to the bad side.
16. Finding your own boundaries.
I was never forced into the goody-two shoes role, but therapy has helped me realize I was manipulated into it. By talking about how proud she was at even the simplest of things that apparently my older siblings couldn’t be pissed to do, I grew up feeling like I had to do the right things and be good and polite and perfect.
I think I snapped when I was 18, I got a tattoo, and she was fine with it, despite her yelling at my sister for getting one when she was 18. So three months later, I got my lip pierced and she hated it. But it was the first time I pulled the “Well, I’m 18 now.” I was still living with her, so I did have to back pedal a bit “Oh, it’s just a piercing, I can take it out, blah blah” but I think that was when I finally realized that being an adult and being independent meant I didn’t need to do things just to appease my mom.
Ten years later, I still have my lip piercing and my relationship with her is great, I’m teaching her about my boundaries and she’s respecting them, and honestly that’s all I could ask for.
15. An argument for middle-of-the-road parenting.
I wasn’t a goody two shoes by choice, my parents were extremely strict and I had no choice other than to go to school, after school SAT/ACT prep, and go home and study everyday.
Once I went to college, I “snapped” and years of what I thought were fun were actually just years of alcohol and drug abuse. I’ve finally handled responsible partying after graduating college, but sometimes regret how hard I “snapped” lol
14. Choosing your own friends.
I started cutting out people that weren’t actually my friends and started telling people what I thought rather than holding it in “to be polite”. Actually works really well, never looked back.
13. All that freedom can be hard to handle.
I relate to this, once I was in college and had so much freedom at my fingertips I just went off the deep end. About three years of alcohol, drugs and sleeping with so many strangers that left me in really bad situations a few times. Basically ruined my college education for that time.
A few things happened and I hit rock bottom really hard, and was able to claw my way back up. I got a new social circle, put a new emphasis on education and work, and really turned it around.
I look back on those years with a lot of regret, even though I try not to be so hard on myself because I know it was a result of having to be so perfect for so long, I basically went from one extreme to the other haha
12. Being nice is overrated.
I was always nice to everyone. Until they were mean to me, then I just avoided them. Sometime after high school I met one of my closest online friends, Sam (fake name).
She took me under her wing, she said I seemed vulnerable and she protected me from a lot. Until I had been around her so much that I knew how to protect myself. How to be someone who doesn’t get taken advantage of.
11. Here’s to still being alive.
I see you. I’m from an abusive family and what I thought were years of fun in college was just me abusing drugs and alcohol to make myself feel in control of my life when I really wasn’t. Ended up goofing off too much and ended up as yet another “college grad working for minimum wage.”
I’m getting back on track now and finishing up a certification that should allow me to get out of this bullshit, but I kick myself sometimes because I’m now permanently behind pretty much everyone I know financially.
But our paths all brought us here, and we’re still alive. Not everyone has that luck.
10. Your parents should love you no matter what.
I grew up pretty sheltered and afraid of disappointing my parents, so I never really did anything wild until I was 17/18. What’s ironic is my mom was pretty wild as a young person and encouraged wild (but “safe”) behaviour…whatever that means.
She always wondered why I wasn’t going out and getting drunk with friends, but must’ve been secretly relieved I was a goody two shoes and wasn’t interested. It was really when I got my first boyfriend at 17 that I started experimenting with alcohol and going to parties.
Then my undergrad was pretty wild cause it was one of the classic “i feel like I’ve missed out, so I need to party extra hard” situations. It took until I was about 23 to mellow out again, and now I still like going out and partying occasionally but I feel like I had my fix.
9. Balance is key.
Same. I’m going into my senior year of college and I am a lot more mellowed out now but I really went off the deep end my freshman year. I worked really hard in high school to get into an elite college (which, in hindsight, isn’t nearly as gratifying as I thought it would be now that I’m here) so I figured that I would celebrate “making it.”
I didn’t do any hard drugs (thank God) but I definitely had an alcohol problem. I was of the mindset that I needed to have fun since I’m young, but now I’m of the mindset that you reap what you sow in your twenties, so I need to make good choices while still maintaining a balance.
8. That’s one way to do it.
I was in nursing school and in a long distance relationship with my ex. He cheated on me and my best friend gave me this advice: “just f*ck the pain away.” She meant it literally and I did.
4 years of hard core partying, drugs and random hookups. I would go to class hungover and still cracked out from the night before. Most times I wouldn’t even go to class. At one point I was super drugged up and I gambled away my tuition money (one semester worth). My heart was broken the whole time, it was nice to black out just so I didn’t have to think about my ex. I was a wimpy piece of shit.
Somehow, I still managed to graduate on time. By the time I graduated I was absolutely sick of d*ck, alcohol and drugs.
I’m a nurse now. I drink maybe 1-2 times a year. I’ll probably never do drugs again.
7. Live and learn is sometimes the best you can do.
My “snapped” was all internal. I was never like that until after having kids. I ran a playgroup and became a preschool teacher. I had to always be a real Disney princess version of myself. The perfect mom, the most trustworthy caretaker, a happy, shiny, perfect woman.
It worked for about 10 years and I was losing it. I started therapy and dived fast into a deep depression for 2 years while on meds and still in therapy. As I started to pull myself out I realized my life needed a total overhaul.
We moved to an area I always wanted to live, I started a job I loved and made friends that had more realistic views on what being a mom meant. So I didn’t hurt anyone but myself but I wish I had been more self aware earlier, eh live and learn.
6. That sounds like an excellent plan.
Oh, I snapped. I snapped unbelievably hard. As soon as my BBA in finance was in my hot lil hand, it was ON!!!!!! After 22 years of planning, avoiding everything fun/naughty/inappropriate that would get in my way, I was ready to SNAP with a FAT salary and zero student debt (worked my way through college) to fund all my adult debauchery.
The aftermath involved living happily ever after
5. Independence isn’t a bad thing.
I grew up in a strict asian household. When my long term breakup with my BF happened. I decided, wow I am in my late 20s, haven’t had any memories because I was afraid of what will ppl think….thats what culturally I was conditioned as, watch every move, be a lady, etc. I was still sneaking out of my house in my 20s to meet my bf.
that changed in my late 20s, lived abroad for 2 years, now I live alone in a major city. None of the women in my family even my cousins have done this…its like I am a rebel in some ways….I don’t care what anyone thinks, as long as I am not hurting anyone.
4. Eat or be eaten.
I was a goody two shoes type until I turned 17 and went to college. Indian colleges have a “ragging” culture and as an introvert to the point of being an almost shut in, I had no idea how cruel the seniors in college and hostel can be. After 3 months of torture borderlining on sexual assault, I snapped.
First I took the high road of complaining it to higher authorities. Nothing good came from that, no action was taken against the people who were torturing me and they started coming after me more because they knew I complained.
I was forced to react and even beat up a few people. Obviously no action was taken against me as well. There was no aftermath, they didn’t bother me until I graduated because they knew how I would react. That’s all.
3. No one else is really thinking about you.
People out in public think of you way less often than you’d think.
And people who do notice details, like security guards, have seen way fucking worse, so you walking around for the first time while wearing purple lipstick or a more outre than normal outfit is leagues better than having to deal with a shoplifter who is shoving items down her pants. Viva la violet, so long as you’re not screaming at store staff, y’know?
Saying something a little awkward or dumb or wearing something that feels crazy is just absolute small fry compared to the things you should actually be judging people for, like being an asshole, stealing or hurting others.
2. Her parents were hypocrites.
I was raised in a super strict Muslim household and wasn’t given a choice about my life – after puberty I was forced to wear the hijab (obviously not a norm for most Muslim families, most women I know willingly put it on).
And wearing the hijab obviously comes with all the other responsibilities – being a good girl is pretty much built into it.
I was miserable every time I wore it until age 19, and I only snapped when I found out both my parents were cheating on each other. I realised they didn’t have any right to tell me what “right” or “wrong” was when they were both living in a moral grey area themselves (to say the least).
So I took off the hijab and started living for myself. I’m agnostic now and honestly I couldn’t be happier that I made that decision.
As for the aftermath, my parents pretty much just had to deal with it, because I refused to take shit from them after that. I drink now but moderately, and have sex but so far only with guys I’m serious about (though there’s nothing wrong with the alternative).
Tbh I feel like I just became a normal person instead of being so repressed all the time.
An interesting side note – I think growing up so repressed in a religious environment made me more inclined to be freaky in bed. I’ll do anything pretty much anywhere as long as I’m with the right person. I don’t have any data to support this but I feel like this is an unintended consequence of raising your kid to think of sex as such a “taboo” thing – it just makes it MORE interesting for them as they grow older.
1. You have to stand up for yourself.
My parents are super super strict. Growing up I constantly had a sword hanging over my head Be it about studies, my choice of friends, talking to boys, listening to music. Literally everything except studying was banned. I wasn’t allowed to step foot out of home if it wasn’t for school or tuitions. I wasn’t even entitled to my choice of college major or college for the matter. Heck, they would change the wallpaper of the phone I was given for only tuition commute just to spite me.
Somehow after all of this I was and still am being labelled as naive, immature and sheltered because “I don’t know how world works” by my parents no less.
I wouldn’t say I snapped. It was a slow process. I realized that no matter how much I gave it somehow fell short. 95 on a mock test was only deserving of a torn test paper. I realized I could never be enough for them. The more I caved the more they pushed. I was almost 6 ft under.
So, I lied and pretended I was deathly terrified of living in my home city which is literally called “rape capital”
They were convinced. The condition was if I get sent away for college it would be a strict as hell all girl’s university that required parental permission for stepping out of the gate.
I learnt a lot in first year only. Built my strength, learnt to speak up, shed narrow opinions, found myself. That summer break, I was terrified to visit home. I didn’t want to lose myself again.
It happened then. We fought, I snapped. I screamed and yelled at them about every injustice they did to me. We didn’t speak for months but I never felt lighter than I did then. Things actually changed after that. They made effort to build our relationship back. They gave me space and privacy. Not a lot or enough but it was better.
We are better now.
5 years have passed and I still thank the day I spoke up because I would’ve been living with a heavy heart if I hadn’t.
I’ve been this mostly-good kid, and can confirm it felt pretty good to break the rules.
If you’ve got a story to add to this list, let us have it in the comments!