Last year was a tough year in our house. We had teens that were struggling, but who were not talking to us about it. The result was that one got into a pretty big mess and pulled others into it, as well. I won’t go into detail because it’s not my journey, although as the parents, we were greatly affected. For a few months, I was receiving phone calls from concerned parents, relaying information that I did not know about my child; details that made me question if I had ever known this person at all. There were nights when I would walk past my teen’s closed door, on the way to bed, and not want to stop. I just wanted to let it slide for a night. But each night I would knock, and go in and face the truth. After a time of confrontations, confessions and consequences the behavior eventually was back on track, and I am happy to say that we have all come out of this stronger, and closer than we were before.
I don’t think I realized how hard it had been for us until recently I received a phone call from one of those parents and when I saw who it was, I froze. Questions and accusations came screaming at me all over again, I did not want to know, I did not want to answer that call. But I did answer, and it was a benign request for a fundraiser. I could barely speak I was so relieved and I sobbed after we hung up. It occurred to me that I had been holding myself very tightly for months, just waiting for another call.
Hard things come when we don’t expect them, and rarely do they go away quickly. It’s bad enough when it’s the result of our own mistakes, but when it’s your child, it can feel particularly hopeless and very isolating. I’m not writing this to bring attention to my child, but to the fact that we all make mistakes sometimes. The best that we can do is pray, drawing closer to God as we hand over the issue, and continue to do the hard things.
Thank you so kindly for this entry Jennifer. I could relate on so many levels. Although I think/hope we are past the worst of those teenage times, I can certainly relate to the feelings of isolation and, for me, feelings of failure and inadequacy. Maybe this post will help others know that they are not alone and to remember to draw closer to God during the times when we feel most unworthy.
It’s been interesting how people have responded to this, I’m becoming more and more convinced that all parents go through some form of this, and yet rarely talk about it. Thank you so much for your words.
The other comment really sums up my feelings. I don’t think we’re quite through ours, but reading this did provide a sense of comfort. Thank you for posting. It does feel very lonely and scarey going through the tougher times with our teenagers.
A friend was recently sharing his story and made the comment,”…but you can’t outrun a praying Mom…” – let’s all hang on to that one!
Jen…this parenting stuff can be haaaard, huh? Love the quote. Parenting is the best of times and the worst of times all rolled in to the same five minutes. You are such a good mom. Love you!
It so true! Equal parts joy and burden all the same stinkin time! Thank you for loving and supporting us this last year without judgment.
You have no idea how timely reading this post was for me…..
I’m sorry to hear that. Please know that most all parents get it, but we don’t talk much about it.