Just Two Chicks!

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Monday, May 24, 2010

At a Loss


Any parent would agree that raising children is not easy. They start out so sweet, innocent, and vulnerable, looking to us for their every need. As they grow we celebrate their small steps toward independence. We take pictures, keep baby books and journals, and make home movies. During all of this, we’re not really thinking about what comes later. We’re not lamenting on how we’re going to handle certain situations. Oh, don’t get me wrong… we have our ideas! We have strong ideas. We hear other’s horror stories and say with righteous indignation, “Not my child!” Well, let me tell you something… that will come back to bite you in the “a double arse” later.


So here I am… facing some issues with my daughter that I never thought I would have to deal with. I have no idea what I’m doing because I just didn’t expect this. She was “raised better than this.” I can’t tell you I did everything right with my kids. I did a lot of “guilty parenting” after my divorce, even though I knew a divorce was the healthiest thing for us, both emotionally and physically. If you’re curious about this, then read my first blog. I can also tell you that from the time they were born, I worked hard to give them the childhood I never had. My mother drank, did drugs and passed me around to whoever would care for me. I wanted something different for them… something normal. I wanted them to know love, laughter, and to have the opportunity to explore life! They’ve got that… all of it, yet my daughter chooses another path. She has no self-respect and no respect for me. She tries to bargain with the wife, but she lies continuously, and there are other things going on that I won’t get into. She’s extremely anti-social with no friends to speak of, but way too social with boys… none from her school of course because guess what…? Those are good boys… she isn’t interested in those. Though she’s fifteen, her emotional age would probably be comparable to that of a 13 year old. I’m hesitant about allowing her to date at 16 due to things that have come up. I understand I can’t keep her isolated and have no desire to. I just want her to have a friend to do things with… girl things, because at the rate she’s going, she’s going to ruin her life at a very young age and I’m not going to bail her out. She’s been given too many opportunities to make the right choices. With all of this running through my head, I’ve decided to write her a letter. Would love opinions on the content!

Letter:

I remember tea parties in the yard with popcorn and kool-aide.

I remember a princess bed, pink walls, and "The Little Mermaid" stickers on your closet door.

I remember a cute little girl in daisy overalls and pigtails in her hair for the first time.

I remember trips to the zoo, the museum, Six Flags.

I remember the first dance class, soccer game, basketball game, color guard performance.

Now we have a first dance to add to the list of memories and so many more memories to come.

I’ve been thinking a lot about when you were small. You loved dressing up, painting, swimming, and playing with your friends. Even when you were small, you had so much potential… you still do. There are so many things you’re good at! Your writing is amazing, and your photography skills are something I’m quite envious of.

I’m not really sure where to go with this, but I need you to know that I love you. I love you and I want so much for you. You could have anything you want in the world if only you would make the right choices. I know we talk to you about maturity, but I’m beginning to learn that maturity comes with age… it isn’t something we can force, and it isn’t something you can pretend you have. It takes time. I’ve also come to the realization that it’s incredibly difficult to teach someone how to have self-respect. I don’t know how to do that.

It breaks my heart to see you hurt yourself the way you do. I know you don’t think you’re doing anything wrong, and I have no idea how to show you otherwise. I’m at a loss. At this point, no matter what I do, I’m the bad-guy, and I’m sorry for your feelings on that, but not for setting the rules that form your opinions of me.

You’re a wonderful, amazing child. I am lucky in so many ways, and I don’t take that luck for granted. I hope you see these things in yourself. I hope you know it isn’t too late to turn things around.

5 comments:

The Dorkish Redhead. said...

Wow, I think this letter is beautiful! I wish my mother would have wrote me this kind of letter than the letter she had wrote me.

My issue with my mom came much later on. Thoughout HS I was the "good girl". My first couple of years afterward when I was attending a local college, I went out with my "good" friends, but I also had a boyfriend for about a month and then we broke up and then I started dating this other guy that I worked with.
At one point I wanted to talk to my mom about birth control (sorry if this is TMI!) and she was amazingly understanding about it. I honestly was expecting the worse because my older sister got prego at 18. She prasied me for coming and talking to her about it. It made me happy.... until she wrote me a letter a couple of days later.

Long story short she basically said she didn't want me to have sex until I was married. Which parents have the right to say that it's just.. odd... it's like the whole conversation between us before never happened. That and whenever I got the bill from the doctor about getting the pills, I asked her nicely if she could help me pay for them and then I'd pay her back... and she called me a slut and told me I didn't need to wasting my money on stupid things that are just going to get me into trouble.... I still don't understand it. I was trying to be responsible and honest about the whole situation, but apparently that was a huge mistake!!

Hopefully your daughter will see that you are just trying to help her. The letter is amazing.

Ann said...

What a beautiful letter. My oldest is 12 and still an angel but I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the years to come.
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I will surely update with before and after pictures of our deck. I'm so excited!!!

Perfectly Imperfect Life said...

I really appreciate the feedback.I haven't given it to her yet for fear she'll think it's cheesy. She may think that, but perhaps it will be something she can keep and read over when she needs it. Dorkish... not too much info at all! You've actually hit on the issues as they stand except for the waiting until marriage portion. I'll get into more detail with future blogs. I'm still trying to put it all together in my head! :)
Ann... 12 is a great age! 13 and 14 were too. This too shall pass. She told me tonight how lucky I was that she doesn't yell at me or call me names like her step-sister does her mother. I agreed and told her there was no way that would happen more than once :)

Von said...

She sounds like a normal 15 year old girl to me..testing the boundaries, seeing how far she can push you, what your limits are and how much she can guilt you into things going her way.Kids of all ages need boundaries, they need to know where they are, they don't need a guilt trip laid on them about how lovely they used to be and why aren't they now?
Whatever you forbid will become immediately more attractive and more pursued.It's normal to like boys at her age, if she having sex or about to, get her on the pill unless you want a baby on your hands too.And make sure she takes it.Her tasks are learning responsibility and the consequences of her actions at this age, right? Give her responsibilities, allow her some slack and reward what she does good.Easy? never, good luck!
By the way does she know you blog about her, does she read it and how does she feel about it?

Perfectly Imperfect Life said...

Trust me... there is nothing normal about her behavior right now.She is very, very immature for her age and has a low self-esteem. She's been given slack, trust, and responsibilities, multiple times only to have it slap us in the face for trusting her. We aren't putting her on the pill because we want her decision making with sex, or any other life changing event, to be based on a firm foundation of self-respect... not because she was manipulated into it, or because she wants a boyfriend... she has put herself in so many dangerous situations that allowing her the freedom to just go off and make mistakes right now isn't going to happen. That's been done... now we're taking over. Like I said maturity cannot be forced or faked. It will take some time and along with counseling, she will be attending a girl empowerment camp this summer. I want her to come at life with all hands on deck and the expectation that she should be treated with respect. I did give her the letter, she read it, and is keeping it. Luckily she didn't take my memories of her as me saying she isn't wonderful now, because she knows I think she is. She just thinks I say these things because I'm her mom and I'm supposed to. The kids know about my blog, but have no interest in it. They think it's quite the silly thing, but get frustrated with me when I don't write. I think the wife is the one who gets upset about my blogs... she doesn't like reading about herself after she's sent me into a tizzy! :)