Adolescence Adjacent: Part 2...
Well, they are not so much fun today. Like at all. One of them took my car. The other one of them had a get together at my house when I was out, after being told multiple times NOT to have ANY friends over. I now have a poor girl sleeping on my couch who got stranded in Ojai because her friend left her here. I am not sure how true that is. I am not sure how true anything is anymore.
Up is down, down is up. Everything feels so incredibly fucked up. And I feel sad, let down, disappointed, angry, betrayed, scared. It is not fun being adolescence adjacent right now.
Both of my children are grounded. One is without their phone. The other one dangerously close to that happening at any second.
We are all flailing...like a lot.
I do not feel equipped to deal with any of this. I am tired. And upset. The puppy is barking outside and I am just so done. Torn between my urge to wake up my daughter and tell her to go take care of her dog and not wanting to wake her because I know she is barely sleeping as it is...
Motherhood is fucking hard.
Being a teenager is also hard. And I see that. I remember that. I remember believing that the adults in my life were just out to get me, great killjoys that were ruining my life. Actually my parents were likely keeping me on this side of the dirt but I didn’t see it that way back then. And my kids don’t see it that way now.
I was so angry yesterday just spinning in the betrayal and hurt. I went to a meeting last night and of course, the speaker said EXACTLY what I needed to hear. And of course, I came home to a shitshow that I would have handled so poorly and worse had I not just heard someone tell me from the podium to chill the fuck out.
I got some guidance and some ideas. I will being working on those today. I need help. They need help. We are all stark raving mad over here. And now they will be in my space way more because they are neither one going anywhere. I am not sure for how long. I don’t even know what appropriate punishment is these days. There are so many infractions, some that I know about, some that I just suspect and some that I know about but can’t really consequence them because I will lose my source if I do. And like all good writers, I can’t reveal my source. Actually I think that is just newspaper people, but still. If I consequence the stuff I learned surreptitiously then the information source is curtailed and I don’t want that. Nor do I want to breach the trust of my source.
I am telling you the life of a single mom of teenaged kids feels like a double double agent operative for the CIA. I am busy, confused, really unsure where my loyalty lies and what the fuck I am doing and there really are no rules. None. I am just flying blind and solo and the people who employ me are likely trying to kill me too. And they may, the stress of having my home life completely upside down is so incredible stressful. I actually purchased a safe yesterday on Amazon. To keep not jewels or guns or even my will. No, to keep the car keys locked up! And the chocolate. And likely my wallet. I feel like I am living in a den of thieves. Like I am under deep cover, alone, left for dead if I can’t get the information...and I don’t even want the information I am getting. And I am pretty sure all the information I am getting is bad...
What I have learned is that my kids are liars, thieves and generally ok with taking me for granted. They have little to no appreciation for the lovely home they have, the privileged existence they are leading, their mom who is here every day to ensure they have a good life and stay out of the constant trouble they keep finding and seem content to find, and actually seek out.
I have lost perspective on what is normal. What is supposed to be happening? I was totally running amuck when I was their age but I almost died from my adolescent solutions. And for the life of me, I cannot figure out a way to save them from peril either. My head is bloody and sore from beating it against a wall where I make rules and they just break them. After looking me in the eye and promising that they won’t.
SMACK MY HEAD! Ok, ouch that hurts so I need to stop doing that...
I am at a loss. I am adrift, lost in the stormy seas of undercover operative single motherhood. Trying to keep them alive, safe and mentally stable. And I am not sure how safe and mentally stable I am after all this.
I do not know what I am doing and I am afraid and that makes me angry. I hate being scared or sad or upset or hurt. I would so prefer being angry. But that isn’t helping any of us. I can be angry but that just makes me angry and doesn’t do one Goddamn thing to help any of us.
Adolescence Adjacent sucks today. I don’t like it. I would like to ship them both off to their dad but that isn’t going to happen and really I wouldn’t do it even if it was an option. Because whether I like it or hate it, I believe that I am the one best suited to parent them. And that is a scary proposition today when I will fully and readily admit that I have no fucking clue what I am doing.
I love them. I do not like them with increasing frequency. And I am terrified that their developing minds and bodies are going to make a huge error in judgment that is going to result in their death.
Well not really, with the dogs barking like they are if I start screaming the police are not far off. But I want to. I want to run away, get in the RV and say fuck it all. Travel around the country, finding myself. But that isn’t what is on the agenda for the next three years. Nope. Parenting. Heavy fucking, CIA operative, undercover parenting is what I am going to be doing. And I am not excited about it at all. It blows.
But I have to stop and remember that I signed up for all of this, even if I had no idea what I was signing up for when I became a mother. I have to remember that the consequences of my failures, most especially at this stage of my kids’ development could mean irreparable harm, even death. And this is not an exaggeration or TV headline shit. It is stuff that is happening every single day, even in Ojai. And I as I write this there is a girl who is living in foster care sleeping on my couch. She caught between the life she wants for herself and the one that she was forced to live because her parents are too fucked up to parent. And so there is that.
Which brings me, as always, to gratitude. I am grateful I am sober and in my right mind, well as right as one’s mind an be while sleeping with the enemy. I have to remember that we are all in the foxhole of adolescence and all of us are in peril. But I have experience, I have been in this foxhole before and sure, the weaponry and arsenal for destruction is updated and scarier than when I was here before, but I do know how to get out. I know how to survive because I did. And I have to remember that I can share that with them, I cannot make them listen, but I can show them how to climb out and end the battle. I know, because I did it. Well, me and God. And that is all I can offer, I cannot force, or demand or even consequence them into compliance, appreciation or change. I can only show them the way out and do my best to maintain my own sanity on the path.
And I can remember how very hard it is to be a teenager. And I can try to be compassionate while I am not putting up with their BS. I can love them and show up for them and not run away. And continue my double, double agent operative deal because without it we are all sitting ducks. I may not have wanted this to be my reality, but nevertheless it is. And I might as well make the best of it. And try, try, so hard to remember to laugh about it. Because this shit is funny, and hard, and heart rendering and scary and in the end, it is just life with teens...