“Our individuality is all, all, that we have. There are those who barter it for security, those who repress it for what they believe is the betterment of the whole society, but blessed in the twinkle of the morning star is the one who nurtures it and rides it in, in grace and love and wit, from peculiar station to peculiar station along life’s bittersweet route.”
― Tom Robbins
LAST WEEK, Y’ALL. JESUS H. CHRIST ON A BITCH EATING CRACKERS. WTF GIVES, UNIVERSE??!!
This post isn’t about me, but it is about sobriety + recovery and how much more difficult parenting has been since entering into a life of both. This post is also about how much better parenting has become since entering that same life of sobriety + recovery.
Out of respect of/for privacy for my Mona Bear, I will try to be as nebulous but clear cut as possible. This post is for her, and other children like her.
When you’re raising an 11-year-old who has ADHD/ODD (is potentially on the autistic spectrum), and is trying to not only process the changes their body is going through, but is additionally trying to figure out and/or understand the endlessly wondrous + wicked ways of the world in 2019… it’s fair to say, your plate can fill up *really* quickly.
It can fill up in both positive and negative ways, but more than anything, it can overflow with frustration and confusion. After a while, it can create a lot of uncertain tension; not knowing how to properly parent a child who does not know how to process, articulate or even communicate the rampant amount of thoughts + energy swirling within them, themselves… It’s hard, y’all. Especially if you’re a “superparent” (an exemplary or exceptional parent, especially one who successfully manages a home + brings up children while also having a full-time job).
Know what’s even harder? Being the child in this situation.
How many parents truly stop and flip the roles, and try to see it from the kid’s perspective?
EVEN FURTHERMORE, how many parents can/will say “fuck it” to everything else around them (if they are priviliged or fortunate enough to be able to) in order to help their child understand why XYZ is happening to them?
I DO NOT HAVE THE ANSWER TO THAT QUASI RHETORICAL QUESTION. I’M YELLING BC FUCK THIS WEEK *NOT GENTLY* WITH A CHAINSAW, AND I’M TIRED & I’M MORE TIRED OF BEING ANGRY AT THINGS I DO NOT UNDERSTAND, AS IT PERTAINS TO MY CHILD.
I’m tired for my baby who is hurting and also doesn’t understand how or why kids say and do the things they do to her. I’m tired for my baby who doesn’t understand how or why these chemical + hormonal changes are happening to her the way they are. I’m tired of my baby being inherently existential at such a tender age, and I’m fucking sick and tired of how our family has been treated by our public school system.
Just because a kid is “different” or a “handful” doesn’t mean there’s something “wrong” with them. Nobody knows the amount of effort or energy it takes for some of these kids to “successfully” go to ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ON A DAILY BASIS, BEING TREATED THE WAY KIDS LIKE MY DAUGHTER ARE BEING TREATED.
“The number of children & teens in the U.S. who visited emergency rooms for suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts doubled between 2007 and 2015, according to a new analysis.
From the 300 emergency rooms sampled, the researchers tracked the number of children between 5-18 who received a diagnosis of suicidal ideation or suicide attempts each year.
Diagnoses of either condition increased from 580,000 in 2007 to 1.12 million in 2015, according to JAMA Pediatrics’ study. The average age of a child at the time of evaluation was 13, and 43% of the visits were in children between 5-11.” (CNN)
I never expected my daughter to stay the bright-eyed, tenderhearted, outspoken but always compassionate little girl I brought into this world and raised her to be. I was well aware the world would shape her much more than I would ever be capable of doing, but I did not think in a matter of a year and a half — a direct result of her being placed in the elementary school she currently attends — it would turn my child into a person I no longer recognized or understood.
I’ve gone to the school counselor, I’ve had numerous meetings with teachers, I’ve met with the Vice Principal — and as much I wanted to trust and believe that they were on my baby’s side, after this week… I’m not sure I can say I believe they ever were.
During the entire duration of this unexcpected roller coaster ride, my daughter and I have discussed (in both rational conversation and, sadly, impassioned heat-of-the-moment arguments, fueled by BOTH her pre-adolescent angst, hormones, self-discovery, and the direct results produced by these factors, in the form of intrapersonal + interpersonal communication/relationships AND THEN we throw in all my… well, I’ve been fairly vocal about my recent + ongoing emotions and mental health, etc.)… We’ve always maintained an open, honest parent/child communicative relationship. I share the kinds of conversations we’ve had because it took both the calmness and the anger for all these things she’s been holding inside her *so tightly* to come to the surface, and it’s only THEN, that I’ve been able to grasp the magnitude of the situation, in its entirety, because up until this week you couldn’t have bribed her with a trip to Disneyland in order to get her to tell you what goes on at school… and… it’s so evident we still have so far to go as a collective society, y’all.
My kids “problems” all tie back/boil down her individuality/personality (which is fantastically huge) and her trying to understand not only herself, but the ways of the world, too. And as I stated, she’s already begun being (involuntarily and prematurely, IMO) indoctrinated into this world, and having her eyes opened to how tepid people can be.
And thus, I am so fucking grateful to be sober and at the point that I’m in, in my recovery… because my baby needs me, and I’m going to CELEBRATE (and probably have 10 billion arguments with) EVERYTHING MY BRIGHT, EMPATHETIC, FUNNY, BRILLIANT SMART-ASS CHILD IS, BECAUSE SHE WAS BORN A LEADING EXAMPLE OF WHAT GOOD PEOPLE ARE AND SHOULD BE AND I’LL FIGHT ALONGSIDE HER TO MAKE THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE.
First, I gotta find a way to get her out of the school she’s in, so she can thrive in all the ways she’s meant to. I can. And I will. Because not only am I sober — I’M ONE PISSED OFF MAMA, TOO.
DO NOT BE YOUR KID’S FIRST BULLY.
EMBRACE, ACCEPT + CELEBRATE ALL THAT THEY ARE.
That. Is. ALL.