I have become increasingly aware that this journey to joyful, vibrant living has incredible ups and downs! Especially when trying to raise teenagers!!!! Raising a 14 year old girl, is both an amazing, wonderful adventure and a humbling and unsettling journey. My daughter is exquisite, kind, thoughtful, a beautiful wonderful girl and the light of my life. I love her dearly, but of late, as she says very matter of factly, “We haven’t been getting along”. Indeed!!!!! She’s 14 and individuating and separating and doing all those psychologically appropriate things teenagers do, that cause their parents, mainly their mothers, an incredible amount head shaking, anger, angst and grief.
Yes grief. Once we get past the rage, shock and pain, we get to grief!! Why are we so scared to talk about the pain of watching our precious daughters move away from us? Yes, of course we’ve all been taught to understand the process and the stress and storm of adolescence etc. etc. but nobody really talks about the pain, the very real visceral pain you feel when that metaphorical chord is yanked hard. Quite literally, a large part of you is being wrenched away, so surely the pain is sharp and very real? And felt physically, emotionally and on a psychic level? It’s not just about the rolling of the eyes, smacking of the lips, the “whatevers,” the “you never listen to me.” It’s not just about the realization that she’s trying on new identities far different from mine or anything I dreamed of, the fear that she’ll make bad choices for herself and the gut wrenching reality that I won’t be able to rock her or kiss away her hurts, that this person I sacrificed a large part of myself for, is simply moving away from me, into her own personhood. It’s also about the fact that I really miss her! I miss her hugs, her squeals, her constant chatter, her questions and curiosity; she needs me less and less everyday and so much more in various other ways. So how does one really let go of this precious gem???? And while all this is something to be cherished and welcomed, it is also extraordinarily painful and difficult.
I have to repeatedly remind myself as I stumble around in my moments of grief and pain, that truly embracing and experiencing these darker emotions are all part and parcel of this vibrant life we talk about.
I’d love to hear about your experiences with teenage children and how you’ve been dealing with YOUR angst….not your teens!