If I could runaway I would!
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(You may want to stop right there, what comes next is the mad ramblings of an exhausted and defeated mother of a 16 year old, my feelings won’t be hurt, I promise. I just need to get this out there!)
I am over this parenting thing. I know that sounds so awful to say, but this unconditional love thing that we as parents are supposed to have is being stretched pretty thin lately.
This sweet little girl, who yes, has always been strong willed and in some ways way beyond her years in maturity, has turned into a real meanie!
This is Tara a few weeks ago… before she became a blonde. That was not really her choice, just another “bad” thing to have gone down recently, I personally loved her colored hair, but her hair could not take much more processing…. I digress.
You may want to judge her because of her purple hair, or her multiple piercings…lip, nose, multiple ear piercings and microdermals near her collar bones, but all of this is just to stand out and say I’m different, I’m not like every one else.
My daughter is not “bad” in the way that people think of teens being bad. She does not smoke, drink, miss curfew (she is always home) nor is she sexually active. What our problem is is that she HATES school We we are in the midst of the worst drama I have ever experienced being a mother. What I know to be the RIGHT thing for Tara is not what she feels is the right thing or the thing that she wants.
Tara will rationally sit and tell you all of the reasons the school system in this country is doing it all wrong. I have to admit, I have to agree with her on some points. She will rationally tell you all of the pros and cons for her personally. She’s put a lot of thought into this. She will also recite to you the studies that show that TEENAGERS do not perform well early in the morning, even though I would bet that most high schools in the country have start times WAY before the elementary kids. In our district the first bell rings at 7:22. She has to get up at 5:45am. That’s really early, and even I, an early riser, cringe every single morning.
If you don’t know, I am a mother doing this alone. My only real support, my mother, is support for me at times, but mostly only aggravates issues with Tara. The generation gap between the two of them is 73 years… that more of a canyon than a gap, and we all live in the same house.
We all know that there are laws about our children going to school. At some point school attendance (or not attending) is taken out of the parents hands, and put into the hands of the school district and other officials. I have been working with the school, working with doctors to try and see if we can’t get some of the issues resolved, but I am at the point that I really think there is no medical connection to this, just emotional, so much emotion that she makes herself sick when it comes to going to school. We are at the point where the control of any of this will be taken out of my hands, and I have visions of the truancy “cops” showing up at our door!
At 10:45 last evening after I had been snoozing on the couch, I was awakened by the train whistle that is the text notification I have assigned to her. When originally chose it, I just wanted to make sure that there was no doubt that the text was from her, but lately so many times her texts feel like I am being hit by a speeding training.
She was informing me that I HAD to get her out of school, she was never going back. If I could not find a way that she can finish out this school year AT HOME, she was dropping out. Okay, then. 10:45 on a Friday night, I’ll get right on that. It seems she had been sleeping and woke from a dream in the midst of a panic attack over school and grades.
She told me she hated me and used the “F” bomb several times both in texts and to my face. I try my best to not react or at least over react, that just makes things worse. These words really hurt me. I have always tried to do everything I can possibly do to make her happy. Maybe too much so, and now she can’t take NO from anyone.
I’m going to be the first to admit that I have screwed up, but totally out of love. I was not a single mom who left her home with a baby sitter to go out on dates. I even worked from home up until the time she was 13. I rarely went out without her. I bet I can count on one hand the number of times she had an actual sitter. If I did go out when she was little she was with my mother, and it was usually to the gym, a Weight Watchers meeting, or church. I did too much to make her happy. If she had a bad day, I would buy her a toy, if someone hurt her feelings or she was fighting with a friend, we would go spend the day at Disney. Anything to not have her upset or mad! Now, she seems to not be able to handle NO!
So much of what she is feeling in NORMAL teenage angst, but to Tara, no one has ever been this stressed out over school and grades. To quote a text “I’m pretty sure school is not supposed to make you want to kill yourself.” She won’t ever say that to any one but t ME though, and no one else sees the anger and rage she expresses towards me. Nothing physical. It takes me back to the days of her father, we had some really vicious verbal attacks, again, he never hurt me physcially, but verbally, yeah baby!.
We have been having a battle over wanting to do cyber school (we’ve been there before, it worked pretty well). Back in 8th grade it was HER decision to go back to school, and she never really brought the subject back up. Until the Sunday before Spring break was over. I was supposed to make something happen so she would not have to attend her high school any longer. WTF? I agreed it there was a program that would take her almost into the 4th marking period of the year that I was okay with it, but that was a really big IF!
Needless to say, that did not work out. She was mad, but I thought had come to terms with finishing out less than 50 days (we are not at 35 I think) of the school year. The principal and guidance counselors agreed to help her in any way to make sure she passes.
She has continued to miss days of school, we’ve been to two doctors in the past week trying to attack any medical issues from all sides, and I am in almost daily contact with the principal. In fact, he got an email from me at midnight last night! I hope he has an extra cup of coffee on Monday morning!
I worked today, and dreaded coming home. As tired as I was, I sat in the office for almost an extra 1/2 hour. The people I work with really are close like family and they have my back. They are good sounding boards. All different ages and different types of folks, so I get varied opinions. I appreciate each and every one of them.
I gathered all my courage and came home to I pick Tara up and we went for a ride. She loves to ride in the car, talk and listen to music. We rode and listened to music, and talked, but not about school. It was almost as if last night had not happened.
Should I have addressed the behavior, and the hurtful language? Why yes I should have, but frankly, I don’t have the energy. So far the last five hours have been drama free. We are about to sit and watch TV together, she just asked if we could go somewhere tomorrow to walk…. if only it could always be like this!
I know come Monday morning her plan will be to NOT go to school. I have warned the principal of that already and requested that I meet with him ASAP. I don’t have to be to work until 11am, so I do have some time on my side. She does need to have some blood work drawn, so I might use that opportunity to get that out of the way!
Send some good vibes my way, I just know this next few weeks is going to be a wild and crazy ride!