Q. Help My Parents Are Religious Nuts!: Please help me … my parents are super-conservative religious. They converted when I was 10. I’m 15 now. I never really felt the same, but I pretend to go along, or else I’d be in a lot of trouble. Their new religion is really conservative about anything to do with sex. Well, I totally messed up. I’m a guy, and well, my mom walked into my room one night when I was masturbating. OK, I wanted to die, but she screamed and went and got my father. They were really mad, lectured me about how wrong it is, and just won’t let it go. They told they pastor, and he has recommended that they send me to the country for a while. His brother has a farm, and I’d be expected to do a lot of manual labor in addition to going to school. I don’t want to leave my friends, and I don’t want to work on a farm, just for doing something that the health books I peeked a look at (at a friend’s house) says is normal behavior. How do I get out of this!
A: You’ve let it go, and now they won’t. You should not have to be sent away because you’re engaging in behavior that is totally normal. It is so normal that parents should be more concerned if their teenage son doesn’t start handling such urges himself. I hope you have some relatives who have not converted to this punitive religion who might be able to intervene on your behalf. If not, I think you should go to your guidance counselor at school and explain that you are in danger of being kicked out of your home and you want to be able to continue at the school. It could be that you might be able to live with a generous friend’s family until your parents develop more compassion for their own child.