Friday, June 23, 2006

let's workshop this, hmmmmmmm?

all of you who say you were awful teenagers... please tell me how *you* define awful. AND how you define normal in the relative sense of a teenager's behavior. I was neither normal nor awful but I'll share more about that later. I think a lot of my problem has to do with the fact that I really have no frame of reference for dealing with this, for dealing with my teen son's attitude and behavior.

I think this could be therapeutic for you too, not just me. So, please share your memories and your definitions.

6 comments:

PBfish said...

I'm so sorry that you are going through this, it must be incredibly hard.
My misbehavior was of the smoking pot and skipping school variety. I also refused to do my homework a lot of the time and really screwed up my grades. My parents responded by putting me "on restriction" a lot and tightening the controls. I had other friends who misbehaved and got kicked out by their parents at the age of 15 or 16. Typicaly they were teenage boys. At the time Social Services called these kids "throwaways", I'm not sure that they still do. They didn't do very well on their own, but they didn't go back home either. A lot of them ended up in jail.
I guess my point is that you are doing well by continuing to insist on loving your son (even though he resists) and to insist that he play by your rules. If he does have abandonment issues surrounding his biological father, he may very well be testing you to see if you will abandon him too. Even if he tries to manipulate you by saying that he thinks you don't love him, he know that it's not true. I bet he also knows deep down that he is being a pain in the ass. I know I did.
(I hope this isn't too much assvice)

PBfish said...

I'm so sorry that you are going through this, it must be incredibly hard.
My misbehavior was of the smoking pot and skipping school variety. I also refused to do my homework a lot of the time and really screwed up my grades. My parents responded by putting me "on restriction" a lot and tightening the controls. I had other friends who misbehaved and got kicked out by their parents at the age of 15 or 16. Typicaly they were teenage boys. At the time Social Services called these kids "throwaways", I'm not sure that they still do. They didn't do very well on their own, but they didn't go back home either. A lot of them ended up in jail.
I guess my point is that you are doing well by continuing to insist on loving your son (even though he resists) and to insist that he play by your rules. If he does have abandonment issues surrounding his biological father, he may very well be testing you to see if you will abandon him too. Even if he tries to manipulate you by saying that he thinks you don't love him, he know that it's not true. I bet he also knows deep down that he is being a pain in the ass. I know I did.
(I hope this isn't too much assvice)

stefanierj said...

I was a smart-mouth (I made my Sunday School teacher *cry* with my verbal abuse), a screamer (my sister doesn't remember going to bed w/out my mom and me screaming at each other), and got sexually active way way way too early (in girls, I think a lot of the acting out is more subtle to outside observers, but this was incredibly dangerous and stupid). I also smoked like a chimney. No, I never ran away or drank/did drugs, but that's because I was essentially a weenie and afraid to leave my parents (plus, how better to torture them with my bad attitude than to stick around?) and had so many control issues that I didn't feel like giving up control to drugs or alcohol.

But I remember being mean and hateful, and that's what I feel so badly about. I had no reason to be that way--my parents were reasonable and loving and always treated me well.

Not sure if this helps, but it's my $.02

PBfish said...

Oops! Sorry about the double comment, I was having a little trouble with my computer...

Vic said...

I was actually a good teenager. I never smoked. No weed, no cigarettes. I didn't try drinking until I was about 18-19ish, and it wasn't done in excess more than twice. But I had a dad who was a druggie and I didn't want to be like him. My mom wasn't around a whole lot during my teen years. She chose a boyfriend, and I was left to my own devices. Lucky for her (and me), I had a good head on my shoulders. I would have died if I ever embarrassed my mother. I was a good kid. I did get pregnant at 19, but it wasn't done out of spite or because I was being rebelious. I messed up. I was sure I was in love and all that crap, but we see how far that got me. ;)

sweetchaos said...

Generally, as a teenager I smoked, had lots of sex (none unprotected), did drugs (mostly just booze and pot), ran away.

My parent's didn't notice for a very long time and when they did, I told them to fuck off...a lot.

They didn't help me into college and didn't encourage me to be anything. They did insist that I see a therapist regardless of whether or not I spoke or liked it.

Needless to say, my therapist was the reason I went to college and am good to go now.

You son needs you to consistently set boundaries, tell him you love him, and put his rebellious ass in therapy. Whether he likes it or not. Whether he talk to that person or not. He needs to know that you, above everyone else, will not abandon him for any reason.

He's testing you, much in the way a toddler does. Teenage boys are scary because of their size.

Also, maybe put him in sports? I wish someone had done that for me, so I could burn off some of my anger.

Hope this finds you in a calm weekend. Email me if you need anything.