Saturday, August 11, 2007
Taking Things Personally
I think maybe my biggest problem in parenting teens is that I take things personally. I would like to hope that everyone feels like I feel and i'm just the only one who blogs about it, but maybe it is me and the roller coaster emotions of the teens gets to me too much.
Like last night. I should have just been able to go to sleep instead of lie awake restlessly. Today, when Salinda responded in writing, some of her words were like a punch in the gut.
But looking at it rationally, none of what she says makes sense. It's almost all teenage girl justification of her choices -- she only feels happy when she is away from the family she doesn't feel a part of and her friends are her only family. But three sentences later she couldn't come home last night because she was with her friends and having a really hard time. Is it me, or does that just not make any sense.
So, in trying to justify her choices, she talks in circles, but every few times around the circle, there is a personal jab against me and our family. We are the cause of all her problems.
I guess I really don't understand it. I have several sons who say dumb crap like that all the time. I mean seriously, they are the way they are because I'm fat, remember?.
Maybe because it isn't as articulate or because it isn't expressed in such deeply emotional terms, I can let it go. Yeah, I know, our family sucks. I'm the cause of all your problems, yada yada yada, water off a ducks back.
But when I see our daughter, way too beautiful for her own good, doing things that make her future bleaker than it should be and threaten her safety, I get overly involved. And when she somehow infers that she has to do these things because of our family and the way we make her feel so depressed and unwanted, it feels like an emotional blow.
So, it is a constant struggle for me to rise above this particular child's angry words. I have chosen not to deal with her note today when I am so tired, but to wait until tomorrow to respond.
The gist of her letter was, "I know I was wrong and I will accept my consequences. But you and this family depress me and you are the reason that I have to do what I do. And I'm probably going to do it again even if you say I can't."
So, I am trying to make myself say to myself, "What a silly teenage girl. It's my way or the high way. Nobody can depress you if you aren't already depressed, so let's get you some medication. The rules stand."
But I'm feeling a lot less confident at the moment -- which is why I'm waiting until tomorrow.
And right now regretting my decision to always blog honestly. By now you're all probably thinking I'm such a weekling... but keep in mind I'm writing this with only 3 hours of sleep.