there are a lot of things which hype does that a symbol as you see it in flash or sencha wouldn't do, e.g. symbols seem to always be linked to the timeline so if you play the timeline the symbol also plays so yeah it's not ideal i fully agree with you. They're not independent things, like a movieclip.
I wouldn't even touch symbols atm honestly, they also have a bug where if i put a stop in the beginning of them they dont stop in Safari, only in Chrome... The work around is to shove your pause 5 frames into the symbol , which isn't ideal. May I suggest just use different timelines, it's way less hassle.
Have a character 1, 2 etc timeline and just call them when you need to. This way you can just loop the timelines, and they'll still be relatively exactly where you want them to be on the main timeline.
Symbols are still just at an alpha level, just ignore them IMO unless you want a lot of headaches.