When I was 15 my parents separated (to later divorce and bitterly scorn each other to this day)- and my father left, among other things, his rowing machine which I began to use while watching television in our finished basement.
I had to sneak.
Because my mom would yell at me, telling me as she so oft has through my life what I did and didn't want for myself.
"Karen, I want you to stop using the rowing machine- it's ridiculous. You don't want to have big developed muscles."
At age 25 I started to lift free weights, and continue til this day. Last spring a mandated college fitness course arose and of the choices available I opted for weight lifting. Finally my trepidation in the weight room, so predominately a man-populated area, began to wither. Now I feel like I belong there as much as the often 100% male population that surrounds me on the benches. Guess I knew my own mind on that one.
When I was 14 it was suggested by one of my many revolving psychologists - my mom is also big on diploma'd psychology, and no one could figure out why Karen had such low self esteem (my guess is natural shyness and introversion coupled with ostracism at school and in public) or diagnose my tics- anyway, it was suggested I volunteer at the hospital as a candy striper. The duties of a candy striper were explained to me by this therapist, and it all sounded fabulous to me. Please, Mom!
An absolute NO. Because, like so many others things I've wished to do and done, it would be too dangerous for me. Too many germs.
I never got to be a candystriper, but I am a nurse now; clinicals done in the hospital, work days in various longterm care centers and physician's offices. I've worked around flu, pneunmonia, hepatitis, AIDS.
So much for protecting my from the world and myself, though she still tries.
I did not choose nursing or weight lifting to spite my mother- rather I found myself involved in these things before remembering her wishes against them; just two more veins running naturally through my life.