Tag Archives: high school

Damage Control

A new day, a new month.

Last month saw loss. Grief. Instability and anger.

My son has been going through the stages of grief at rapid pace, up and down, day to day. Trying to be patient and let him deal with them as they come. This was the worst thing he’s ever had to go through. The first loss. And one so close, one so painful. His grief has been tearing me up because I’m trying to help but there are days I’m not sure if I’m being too easy-going or too tough. I see his dad dealing with it better then he is.

He may be turning 17 in a month, but with his Aspergers he isn’t always able to deal with his emotions the same way someone without it might. Not to mention that he’s also hypersensitive. Something he comes by naturally courtesy of his mother.

I know he fell short with his classes and his finals the last four weeks. I expected nothing more. His father didn’t either. Which makes it complicated because we know that some of his grades are probably not going to be as good as we had hoped, and the two classes he was suffering with the most may possibly result in failing grades(one class it’s been discussed already with the teacher that if it happens he’ll retake it next year). How are you supposed to approach a situation like this when the child’s experienced a hellacious loss within weeks of finals, when they already deal with depression?

I’ll tell you.

You cut them a break. You have to. For their own emotional health and growth and for your own.

Sometimes coming down hard & giving them consequences during really hard times does nothing but compound a situation and possibly propels the child into further depression/anxiety/doubt about their ability and self-worth.

Being a teenager sucks. Add divorce, alienation by peers, bullying, loss, grief, self-doubt, and the never-ending stream of impossibilities set upon the teens of today by the media blasts(social in specific) and it’s complex to try to raise a well-rounded teenager without any issues at all. If you have, I congratulate you, you got lucky. Really lucky, because I’ve yet to come across more than a few without the above.

I grew up in the early-mid 80’s. Or rather I was a teen during those times. My parents divorced when I was 11, my Junior High & HS years were awful off and on. However I found my way, I had my books. I had my writing. I had the theater(secret: I was in plays). Sure, I didn’t always like how I looked but I look back on those pictures and laugh now. I appreciate myself as a teenager now as a 40 something more than I could ever before. I didn’t have facebook, twitter and instagram telling me I was ugly or dressed wrong. I was punk rock. In High School my go to by junior year was a leather jacket and ripped stockings, and knee high black boots. I found solace with the other kids who didn’t feel as if they fit in, but at times we didn’t even always fit in with each other. However it worked. And I forgot my pains.

Sometimes I feel it’s kids like my son, those who straddle that in between, of feeling as if they don’t fit in anywhere and wanting to fit in everywhere that have it the worst. I want people to love him the way that I do, who understand him the way that I do. I want him to find his way eventually. Next fall he’s a junior and while he has friends in school and a couple of kids he texts without outside of, I want him to find out who HE is. He has to.

Because he’s worth it. Because he needs to be someone. He already is someone but he has to believe in himself. And for now the only way to help him in this is to let go a little of my expectations and let him develop his own.

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It Must be Tuesday

Bah.

I promised so many wonderful things and this is all you get. If I had a proper laptop with me while in the mountains I would have published the three things I was writing, but by mid last week I decided they outlived their relevancy so I scrapped them. This left me with nothing.

Last week I was also dealing with the come down from traveling and getting my life & house back in order. I made my kids run a million errands. The heat was unbearable again so I damn near held them hostage in the house all week. My husband worked long hours and I was pissy.

To be honest I don’t remember a lot of last week. Most of our plans fell through. And I started watching the calendar with a crazy amount of glee.

The kids go back to school in a week. Yes, a week. We’re crazy here in the suburbs of Chicago. That’s ok with me, I’m done with summer and my kids are bored with me and each other. Today I considered selling them on Ebay quite a few times. The teenager was such a thrill to be around and the 6 yr old found it her duty to scream like a C horror movie actress at every and any chance she could get today. It was just plain awesome. And I even took the little monsters to the local beach(man-made pool that probably every local kid has peed in at some point this summer).

I’m supposed to be up in bed right now but that isn’t happening. I was sidetracked by “this”. I have my son’s HS registration tomorrow. Where I’m going to go in fuming because I dropped the ball and didn’t read his schedule properly when it was sent to me two months ago. Yes, so I’m going to be the asshole tomorrow. See, how was I to know(unless I dig out the long ago stuffed in a drawer course book) that they stuck my kid with ADHD & Aspergers, but who is fully functioning, in all special ed classes despite my calls and our meetings with them arranging he only be in two. Hmmm. So of COURSE I figure this out tonight and have to arrange to have the 6 yr old to hang with her friends tomorrow so I don’t drag her easily irritated self with me while I calmly(snort) discuss(steam) over this with the people at the school tomorrow. Deep breaths, Deep breaths. This is partially my fault, but honestly unless you have the course book nearby(mine was stuffed in a drawer under a million pieces of paper for three months)you could be signing off on anything.

So here we are. Tomorrow will be fun. My kid already thinks I’m a badass. Seriously, he does. He not only thinks I’m the funniest person alive(well I do have a flair for the sarcasm) but also that I’m pretty tough when I need to be. Sounds pretty good to me.

Oh, and I stopped drinking on sunday! Figured I’d give up wine for a few days. Then I started getting awful headaches the last three and decided just maybe the lack of wine was the reason. Is that not sad or what? So I gave in tonight. So yeah, it must be Tuesday. And a cat just walked in front of my monitor because he still thinks it’s ok to climb on the desk while I’m writing. He’s lucky I love him because many of these words almost turned out wrong. Nah, who am I kidding. I can type in the dark if need be.

Other notable things that happened in the last week:

  • Took my kid and her friend to the movies saturday. Brave. Kid has seen it before, didn’t flinch. A half hour until the end I had my kid in my lap screaming and her friend clinging to me for dear life. I had to laugh. During this time I check the radar on my phone because I knew a storm was coming in. I look and it was almost on top of us. We had 30 minutes left to the end, if that. I can’t drive in storms. Rain yes, storms no fucking way. So I’m texting my friend Jess to ask her if it’s coming in, and notice her texting at the same time(cue Twilight zone music). She tells me it’s getting scary out before I can ask if it is. She tells me if it starts to come down she’ll come get us(her kid is part of that us). I kind of ask if her husband can come so my car doesn’t spend the night in the parking lot of the cheap theater. Of course she says. 15 minutes later we walk out to a pitch black sky and rain/wind arriving in a fashion that calls to mind a hurricane. If you heard of the storms in Chicago saturday, yeah this was that storm. Jess and her husband showed up 10 minutes later and she drove my car & us and he drove theirs. By the time we were three blocks from home it ended. All I have to say about this is that I love having good friends out here and one who can damn near read my mind. Took me a while to meet some people who I really clicked with, and once I did I was grateful. You know who you are.
  • I won’t be a snob and say I never watch tv. Hell one of my dream jobs is to be a Tv Critic. I hate however when I pass over a new show and then one day get the dvd and discover it was one of the best shows I’ve seen in a while. The past 24 hrs I just plowed through the first season of Scandal. Soo damn good. So damn good. I honestly can’t wait until season 2 next month. And I love seeing Joshua Malina on my screen. I had a crush on him when he was on Sports Night, The American President, West Wing, and anything else Sorkin has made probably. I know Sorkin didn’t make this, but still. I have a weakness for the kind of geeky type, I have ever since high school. And Josh Malina fits that description.
  • I love Burlesque. Yes I do. And no it’s not the same as stripping so shush. I love the glamour, the comedy and how dedicated the dancers are. Most of the ladies are artists/writers/comediennes/designers. There’s no dancing around a pole. The performances are very thought out, drawn out and the art goes way back folks. And it’s made a huge comeback in the last 10 years or so. I’ve been appreciative of it since I was a teen. Lately, just plain obsessed. We haven’t been to a show since Christmas time. And we’re going to one in late August because two local artists/dancers who I’ve come to admire, who’ve inspired me to want to learn the art, are performing the same night. Can I say the minute my babysitter said yes to working that night I did a happy dance? I did. I cannot wait. And who knows. Maybe this winter I’ll take my lame ass and sign up for that class with Michelle L’Amour’s studio like I keep threatening to do.

;

Ok, my cat won’t stay away from my screen. He’s waiting for me to go to bed. And I think I should.

Goodnight.

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