I am the mother of a teenage girl. I wake up almost every morning in disbelief. For the past few years I’ve spent a great deal of time wishing her real mother would come and get her.
I understand the dynamics that accompany mother/daughter relationships, because this is my second, but this knowledge me nothing. Apparently, my personal experiences do not arm me with the necessary skills to master motherhood.
I was a pretty mouthy teenager. I said some really terrible things directly to my mother’s face and mocked her when she cried. I hated her guts and there was never any doubt she was 100% to blame for everything wrong in my life. One day she put a spell on me with wild magic that involved something about one day having a daughter just like me. The words “just… like… you” still haunt in me. It was dirty, and also effective.
My daughter has been blessed with some of my favorite qualities and
is possessed possesses some of my worst. She’s like the hybrid version of who I was at her age.
Naturally, our house is no stranger to Hatred, Cruelty, and Sarcasm. There are dirty basketball socks, bras, trash, and half empty water bottles hidden all over the place, and “No One” is always responsible. She screams horrible things I have learned not to take personally. I am the enemy of fun and coolness, and literally everything about me is lame. Apparently, there is absolutely nothing good about me and. to top it all off, I am the dumbest person on Earth.
I used to think I was brilliant and terribly witty, but my daughter has burst my bubble. Apparently I am just annoying, embarrassing, and incredibly stupid. I try to cut her some slack, because I remember how hard it is to be a teenage girl. The world has not gotten any easier or kind, and I cannot imagine having to be seventeen in today’s society.
I dread even stepping foot in her high school – as a grown-ass woman. The air is polluted with pressure and judgment and I’m sure if the walls could talk they’d beg to be relocation.
I remember the deafening noise and demands for perfection and popularity. I wore fake, bright red (like Sally Jessie Raphael) glasses in seventh grade for God’s sake, and was beyond devastated when I got called out, in front of the whole class for pretending to be blind. Those glasses were to be my “in” with the girl I wanted to be, because she wore red rimmed glasses. She was supposed to love them and they were meant to bond us. That (and the reasoning behind super-gluing the backs of earrings to my teeth because she also had braces), is what keeps me in therapy to this day.
Sometimes just being a girl sucks. PERIOD.
I wish I could say the torment will end, and probably won’t matter in five years. I want her to able to process the fact that the only reason almost every kid in high school is a complete fucking douche-canoe is fear of the same shit she afraid of. They are all filled with self-doubt and insecurity.
My high school career would have been A LOT easier if I had been able to understand that. I
probably wouldn’t have physically assaulted as many people.
It’s beyond unfair that during the most difficult, frustrating, confusing, gut wrenching, scary as shit time in our lives, our brains are not developed enough to deal with anything. If only we could get after creating earlier development of that pesky little lobe instead of so many weight loss and hard on pills. I’d much rather have the gift of logic than an erection any day, but that’s just me.
The truth is, I am afraid of and for my beautiful daughter. She has everything I did when I was her age (although I do fear she’s smarter than I ever was). I was seventeen when I had her, and when I’m not waiting for her head to spin fully around I feel quite blessed to have had a daughter like me. I have the unique opportunity to raise her with as much compassion as I can muster while she screams profanities, how much she hates me, and all the ways she wishes me dead before asking me to drive her to the mall.
I hear, “this too shall pass,” and let me be clear. I am not holding my breath.