Today’s a hard day; I’m not going to lie. I’m not in the mood to see the positive, the growth, or the silver lining. However, since I cannot get to a meeting due to sleet and ice moving in to my area later, I’m going to have to behave like the adult I want to become and suck it up. So,in a sense, welcome to my online meeting.
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Being a parent is no easy task and having a teen-aged daughter is no exception. Having a teen-aged daughter who acts, thinks, and responds to others just like her mom does makes the pot even sweeter. Coming to realize the creature in my care is a near-mirror image of myself is rough. Also, whether we like it or not, society looks at our children as a reflection of how well we have parented these said beings. And, I have to – to some degree- hold myself partly accountable for why she acts like she does. So, when over the past year I have learned she has been out drinking, getting high, and being promiscuous, I did what most parents do: her dad and I (divorced for over 12 years) got her help, sent her to a treatment center, took her to a therapist, got medication, and grounded her. That should “fix” it. Problem solved.
So, why am I hurt, angry, and fed up that the behavior didn’t change this past weekend? I mean, after all, I did all the right things. I dealt with the problem; I sought help: I opened up and listened round the clock.
Um, hello. Can I interrupt this regularly scheduled rant?
Come on, Self. Who in the hell are you fooling? If I am honest, I have to realize that what I am slowly figuring out over the past 30 odd days took me 30 YEARS to admit. Why in the hell do I EXPECT her to be any different? I sure as hell didn’t learn from my alcoholic father’s mistakes. I had to live them, hurt in them, make mistakes (some often over and over). But, I expect something better from her. In fact, I even said to once to start acting more like a lady! Yeah, because back when I was in college, chugging from a pitcher of beer after “losing” in quarters and then getting kicked out of the bar was so Kensington Palace-worthy. Sometimes I wonder where my drinking self and thoughts have come from.
What is the right thing to do? Well, first and foremost, I am her mom so she must be disciplined. But I also have to set boundaries, get honest about how I feel, and expect that she is going to make mistakes along the way. It is my responsibility to set the parameters, but, ultimately, if she wants to drink, she is going to sneak somehow. Please don’t read this as my condoning underage drinking. Even in my lowest times, I cringed when other adults would offer my college-aged daughter alcohol because, “You know she’s drinking at school anyway.” Well, maybe so, but I would not be the supplier. Also, to ignore the situation and to act like I’m not in a position to say anything because I am an alcoholic is absurd. This is NOT the time to beat myself up and say it’s my fault. True, I modeled some pretty crappy behavior yet I can also model some great ways to act, too.
I do empathize with her. But, I do not have to walk away because of the faults, the trait, and the genetics I have passed on to my child. The right thing is the hard thing to do.
No one called it tough love because it was easy…and that not only applies to my daughter but to me as well.