Posts Tagged ‘teenager’

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Raising Teenagers and Valentine’s Day

February 15, 2019

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I was having my afternoon coffee when my eldest kid arrived from school, yanked open the kitchen door too hard (because we Filipinos don’t normally use the front door), threw his backpack on the library floor and slammed the door shut to his room.

I was ready to rage like what the f*ck was that when his brother followed inside after him, laughing. I asked what was funny and he said that his brother got turned down by a girl on Valentine’s day.

I’m raising teenagers aged 14 and 15. I’m 34.

I remember back in high school, every Valentine’s day, a number of girls would be called to the Student Affairs office to receive flowers from their boyfriends or admirers. Almost everyone would wait by the hallway to see the enormous bouquets and gush and giggle. (I went to an all-girls school by the way.) My name was never called, I never had the shameless opportunity to claim a dozen roses because as far as I could recall, I did not waste my time tearing over some ridiculous crush when I was this age, I was busy sneaking out to drink and play pool (not something I’m really proud of). Boys were the least of my concerns.

So I found my kid’s situation kind of amusing. I’m not a bad mother.

I knocked on the door to his room before letting myself in, it was pitch black. I turn the lights on and found him crying on his bed. I sat beside him and stroked his back, asked what was wrong. For a while, he was just silent, trying his best not to cry. He finally said to leave him alone. I’m not doing that, no kid is demanding me to do anything I do not want to do, so I remained where I was, told him that he could talk to me, that he could tell me what happened at school, that he could tell me why he was so triggered. I guess he realized I wasn’t going anywhere until he spills, so with a heavy sigh, he said that his heart was broken. I seriously tried not to laugh. I AM NOT A BAD MOTHER. But honestly, I don’t know how to deal with this. Motherhood, especially parenting teenagers, did not come with a manual. I asked how his heart was broken. Apparently, since it’s Valentine’s day, he gave gifts to this crush, but she turned away and he felt humiliated. I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. I mean here is my baby boy, all grown up, having his heart broken by some ugly piece of shit. Sorry.

I did not know what to say. I told him it’s going to be okay even if I know it’s going to hurt really bad at the moment. I told him there are still so many other girls he will eventually meet and fall in love with even if I know his heart longs for a certain someone. Not the best choice of words.

But I also told him, assured him, that even if we don’t agree on most things, Mama will never turn away from him. Mama will always happily accept even paper roses and half eaten Kit Kats. I’ve collected all those V-day cards he and his brothers gave me since they started to learn how to make one. When everyone leaves, Mama will stay, Mama will always be here. Mama will never stop loving you.

A broken heart, heavily laden with dramatic weight and sadness.

Many years ago, I too suffered from a broken heart. Lots of uncontrollable sobbing and tantrums involved. If I had a dollar for every heartbreak and disappointment I’ve ever experienced, I’d just well be able to quit work and travel the world. But I’ve long mustered forgetting and blocking out the pain, the hurt. We cannot just continue to keep reliving our misery. I’ve come to terms with what has been and have totally moved on.

There is no socially established mourning method for broken hearts. It’s just plain sad. But if we try to see it as an experience to learn about ourselves, the process of moving on opens up an opportunity of self-betterment instead.

He wouldn’t be able to understand this for now, it’s a lot to take in for a fragile 15-year old, so I just let him be sad and cry it all out.

Before I left the room, I asked my kid, curious, if his crush even accepted the gifts he gave before she turned away and he said yes (that b*tch). I told him to give it time, that maybe she was just shy (while rolling my eyes). I am not a bad mother. I asked him what he gave her, he told me he gave a single red rose and some chocolates. Hearing chocolates, I asked what kind he gave, he told me he got some of the chocolates I keep in the fridge. We had a good laugh.

 

xx

DMV

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It’s Okay to Freak Out

December 18, 2017

You think you’ve got it all figured out until it all blows up in your face.

My world paused for a moment there.

Mind, blank.

Everything around me started to fade in the background and I was left staring at myself sitting perfectly still.

When the only reason you stay put in such a repugnant and uninteresting place, unselfish enough to not pack and leave a whole world behind, is the one thing that could utterly break you.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m some sort of hypocrite, preaching one liberated thought, even expending unsolicited advice but totally freaking out when it gets thrown to my face.

Thirteen. Only thirteen.

A shitload of what ifs running through my head.

What if I did better? Am I any better?

As confused as I am, I keep wondering what they might be thinking, what he may be thinking knowing that he is scared and confused as well, more confused even.

Do not add any more scars, I say.

There’s a constant inexplicable pain throbbing in my chest as if my heart is about to burst only to be filled by an unmatched emptiness that is almost too much.

Am I pushing you away?

I can’t.

I can’t lose you.

You are my breathing existence.

You make sense and I’m not sure how I’d go about if you decide to shut me out, reclusive, unavailable.

But I am here.

I will never leave your side, I will not look at you any less for what you truly are.

Because I know you.

Because I love you.

And I will fight for you through slammed doors and ugly bruises, through raised voices and muted conversations, through awkward puberty and drunken night outs, through an ocean of tears and countless bear hugs because I remember one morning, 13 years ago, when the sun rose over a sugarcane field, piercing the jalousie windows of a small bungalow with the rusted blue gate, soaking a slumbering infant with heavenly light, I found myself staring at the most peaceful face, your chest rising and falling in the morning glow, little gurgling coos in between snuggles, your tiny hand closing on my thumb, safe, secured, and I thought to myself, there is nothing I would never do for you.

And I meant it, I mean it.

 

xx

DMV

 

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ASD, bullying and being a single mom

April 11, 2017

I never thought that being a single mom and raising a teenager with Asperger’s syndrome would be so difficult, until now.

So today, I found out that my kid gets bullied at school. He’s been called names and laughed at because of his different behavior that most people would call weird. His schoolmates would put in disparaging comments on his Facebook posts but he would be answering them back with naivety and it irks my sleeping bitch.

[ I am totally against kids and social media until they are maybe of legal age. Some of the things going on there would not be fully comprehended by a thirteen year old. Just because it is shared doesn’t mean it is right. If it was just up to me, I wouldn’t allow my kids to have social media pages but their school required them to create one in relation to their school activities. ]

As a mom, I would do anything to protect my kid. I literally want to grab these stupid bullies by the throat and drag their faces on asphalt until they are expunged (and to think I’ve never been physically violent for whatever my whole life but I actually have these thoughts) because it hurts so much to see my child being taken advantaged of and ridiculed just because he doesn’t think the same way as they do.

I’ve never felt so helpless. I honestly don’t know how to deal with the kind of situation my kid is going through as I have never experienced being bullied in elementary or high school. I’ve tried talking to him, asked him what was wrong, that he could tell me anything and that I am here to help him and he would just tell me everything is okay, that nothing is wrong and then shut me out, he doesn’t want to talk to me or maybe he doesn’t trust me enough to confide in me.

So here I was, crying all morning, feeling useless, blaming myself for whatever reason that would cross my head and decided to ask for advise from a friend. I poured out how I felt and the one thing he told me was that my kid maybe needs a man to guide him and I felt so brokenhearted because I’m all he got and I don’t know how to help him. I’ve been raising three boys on my own and I know at some point there would be things that I won’t be able to teach or impart to them but I’ve been trying really hard to fill in the gaps. That “needs a man” option is not on my list because I believe he doesn’t really need one.

Maybe he’s in an awkward stage, you know where teenagers vie for attention from their peers, that sense of validation or belongingness, I have no idea, but he might be doing it all wrong. I was thinking earlier of going to the school, reporting the bullies to the principal or even get in between and be involved but my friend told me that it would just make matters worse. My kid would be branded a momma’s boy or a little baby and I was like I just can’t sit and watch my kid go through this madness. I know I may have exaggeratedly reacted to the situation but this is my kid we’re talking about here.

My friend told me to relax and assured me that eventually, my child would learn how to deal with his monsters. He went through a lot of bullying himself, at home and at school and he got out okay. He told me that I have to let my kid be, he has to learn how to be independent and deal with different situations on his own. I won’t always be around so he has to figure some things out for himself.

I’m feeling more and more confused so to speak. I feel so alone and defeated. I just want my son to open up to me and tell me what is wrong and how he wants to deal with whatever problem he’s facing and how I could help him.

I guess being a parent doesn’t warrant me to think and act for my kid but I don’t know if that also applies to children with special needs. I recently enrolled him to take guitar lessons because he’s more interested in music than sports (although I’d really want him to learn boxing or mixed martial arts). I just hope this is a good diversion to whatever awkward situation he is going through.

xx

DMV

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