Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Teenage Angst

On my way home today,  I was looking forward to putting my feet up and doing some reading. Instead I came home to a moment that made me have to be that parent, use my better maternal judgement, and hope that I made the right decisions. I know that my on- the- fly, under pressure thought process was done in his best interest but as I debriefed my child, and reminded him of the lapse in development of his pre-frontal lobe, I also had the privilege of hearing about how much he is hurting. Disappointment and anger has slowly dissolved into empathy. I watch teenagers make mistakes every day. I also watch those same teenagers go through emotional hell at times. Heck there are some HS memories that I still have angst about. I just never thought my kid, who seems so focused and put together, could be feeling so down. He is a victim of the loss of his first love. The thing is that it was months ago.
I remember breaking up with my first love, and to this day there are still certain things that are still painful despite being head over heals in love with my husband. The one thing I can honestly say I was grateful for was that after we broke up I didn't have to see the guy every day as he was a two years ahead of me and was already out of school. My kid doesn't have that privilege. He sees her every day. The head games are poignant and still incredibly fresh.
As we sat there and talked I learned so much about a kid I thought I knew so much about already. I learned that there is an "I am coping" personality where he tells me about the world and then there is the "screaming for help" personality that only asks for help when he is falling so fast but the bottom looks as if its never going to appear and the fear kicks in. So as I think tonight about the consequences for his actions and the level- headed resolve that I acted with initially, part of me feels just as heart-wrenched as I did in 1981 when the final dissolution of my first love relationship sent me over the edge and running to New Bedford. I am not in any way excusing his lack of judgement, just trying to understand where he is coming from so that from this day forward I can help him to make better choices.
I do know he knows I love him!

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