DEAR ABBY: I am 21 and about to graduate from college. I have lived at home these last four years partly because my dad didn't want me to go away. He never said it, but he made up reasons to make me stay at home. I was 17 and being manipulated and controlled. I tried to explain to him that I wanted to go away to learn independence, but he said I wasn't mature enough.
Now that I am about to graduate, I have been offered a job with a company in California. I am afraid to tell my parents about the news. I know that it's my life, but my father is a master of psychological manipulation. I want to finally get away from my parents' strict controlling and financial strings and start a stress-free life of my own. How do I explain this without them manipulating me all over again? -- SOON TO BE A COLLEGE GRADUATE
DEAR GRADUATE: First, make up your mind that you are leaving. When you tell them, be sure to say how grateful you are for the love and support they have given you, but that you have been offered a job in the field for which you have studied and are now well-prepared enough to fly on your own.
Set a date to leave and do not allow yourself to be dissuaded, whether because of a guilt trip or any other manipulation. I'm not saying it will be emotionally easy, but for your own sake, you must do it.