Why are teenage girls so complicated?
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Last Saturday, I wanted to runaway, and runaway I think I should have done just that! I also want to apologize if any of your are return visitors who commented last week for not commenting back…
The week just got worse.
Sunday Tara wanted to get out and walk around, so we headed out in search of something to do.
On the way, I made the mistake of asking if she intended to follow through with NEVER returning to school. Her answer was YES. I tried to talk to her about it, I mean her one responsibility is school, and it is my parental (and legal) obligation to make sure she is educated until. she is 18. What she wanted was an day out and not to talk about it at all. I should have waited for her cue to discuss the subject.
The rest of the afternoon and evening were not pretty. Much of the “ranting” was done in texts, and they are actually pretty painful to re-read.
I have spent the best part of this week in a heightened state of anxiousness myself.
I do not like arguing, I do not like people upset with me. I do not like upsetting or disappointing people and this is all this week seemed to bring.
Monday was the WORST day. True to her word, NO SCHOOL. I had sent the principal a long email, and left him a voice mail. He returned my call with a voice mail, and stated that he would be sending the school district “Home Visitor” out aka the “Truant Officer”.
To make matters worse, my mother said some hurtful things when I explained to her that I was done fighting with Tara about this, my next step was to seek some type of counseling for her, and let the school do what they must. She said Tara was the QUEEN and just wanted things her way and people to do things for her. Tara heard these comments and took off out of the house, in the rain in bare feet, shorts and a T-Shirt.
I got her to get in the car with me, and we drove around. I totally get that Tara is being more than difficult right now, but those comments were not called for by my mother.
We have more than extended family member that has suffered from and been professionally treated for anxiety and stress related issues, and addiction issues as well (Tara’s father for one.) I don’t understand why she can’t admit that this is not all about Tara just hating school and being defiant. I mean she is relentless in her stand that school makes her SICK. I personally in her shoes, if I was just trying to get out of physically going to school every day, would have given up long ago. This is exhausting for us all.
I called on my sister, who thankfully works an over night shift and was available to text me. I try not to call on her for “drama” as she tries her best to be SWITZERLAND, but I needed some one to talk too. She came over and for the first time in weeks of all of this I broke down. She talked to me, tried to talk to Tara and for me at that point talked to my Mom. I hate stressing my mother, but this day, she over stepped with the hurtful comments.
The home visitor came, talked to both of us. Offered a smaller district alternative school (to which Tara answered NO), he told Tara that in PA, she can’t drop out of school at 16. Good news for me, a blow to Tara’s plan I think.
I am so thankful for my manager at work, he is being very flexible with me. I am not missing work, just having to adjust my arrival and departure times. I do not want to miss work. It is my safe place! People there who care about ME, who I can share how this is all making ME feel, and who all have a different perspective.
I worked diligently to find a mental health provider who could see Tara. The best I could do was TUESDAY of this next week. UGH! I mean she is not a danger to herself, it is not like that, but there is stuff going on. She does not like talking to other people about “stuff” but this is the final step I feel I need to take to follow this through as far as I can.
No school Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Things happened, more stress.
Wednesday I offered to work a “split shift” at work when someone called out for the evening shift. It helped the store and it had it’s advantages for me. I was able to go home, collect Tara and head out for some food shopping and just to get her out of the house and out of my mother’s way.
Apparently when Tara is home, my mother feels she is IN THE WAY? Nice thing to say about your granddaughter! When Tara is home, she mostly stays in her room or sits on the sofa watching TV. She will prepare herself food. This seems to be where the most conflict occurs the FREAKING kitchen. It’s not a large kitchen, and the two of them are unable to occupy that space at the same time!
We had a decent few hours. I bought and prepared salmon for dinner (Tara is a “vegetarian” but will on occasion eat fish) and headed back to work around 6:30 until 10:30.
I was off on Thursday, hoping with continued phone calls to possibly get an earlier counseling appointment. It was at that time that I received an email from the principal tha basically said “we appreciate your efforts with Tara, but we must know by tomorrow if she will continue to be educated at NP, or be enrolled in another program. If neither, then they would have no option but to turn the case over to the county children & Youth Services!
I was not surprised, I am not really sure what seeing the counselor will do to help Tara’s case for not physically going to school As bad as school makes her feel, I don’t think there is a case for “home bound” education for the remainder of the school year.
CYS being involved is not totally a bad thing, but the intrusion would not be pleasant. Home visits, mandatory counseling, and what ever their decision would be on Tara’s education I believe until she graduates, would be under their control. All of it taken out of my hands! Years ago a family member went through a very similar situation, and for that time it was probably the best thing that could have happened.
I spent some time talking to my sister, at her house. I was feeling very trapped and just needed to be out. Once I came home, I broke the news to Tara. She took it amazingly well. Again, the decision was hers to make. She agreed at that time to go to school on Friday. (This was around noon.)
We headed out, just to get out. It was a beautiful day. Tara LOVES being in the car, talking (or sometimes being quiet) and listening to her music. We made a stop at a thrift store, and then just drove. We laughed that it took us 2 hours to find a Burger King (they serve veggie burgers) I learned from my mistake on Sunday and did NOT bring up the subject. I would wait until she was ready. There were a few comments “I really don’t want to go to school”, but I just kept my eyes on the road and did not react at all.
We finally returned home for a bit before her bass lesson. After which we went to a park and did a little walking and some more talking about everything BUT school. After we came home a few more comments were made, and then about 10:30 just as i go in bed the text I had been dreading all day came. “I just can’t do it.” I calmly texted, you really need too. A few more calm texts were exchanged and then they stopped.
The plan was I get her up at 6am, and before she would go to school we would head to the lab for some blood work that had been ordered. I was so dreading 6am. I did not know what she went to sleep thinking. I slept well for about 3 hours, but then I was awake, myself getting more and more anxious. Pretty darned close to a panic attack in the shower. I kept hearing a friends’s words “Just breathe”.
At 6am I delivered her a cup of coffee and woke her up. She turned her head the other way. I gave her 10 minutes and went in to see if she was awake. Yes, she was. I walked away and the rest was up to her. In a few minutes she was up, she came in my room, flopped on my bed, and said “I do’t feel like doing “stuff”". I did not engage. She got up and finished getting ready, and the rest of the morning went as planned. I dropped her at school after the lab and a quick breakfast on the run, and I myself headed into work 1 1/2 hrs late!
At 10:47 I got the text I didn’t want to see “I can’t do this, I want to go home”. I DID not respond. That was HUGE for me. I had agreed that I would take my lunch break and pick her up from school so she did not have to ride the bus or walk home by herself. We did not discuss her day, just some possible evening plans, and I dropped her at home.
I came home, not knowing how the evening would go. Fortunately she had been asked to go to our town’s First Friday, and she had made the decision to go. First she and a friend were going to stop by another friend’s house who apparently had attempted to kill herself on Monday. Her cell was turned off, and they wanted to check on her. She is okay, but in a local facility right now. The I took Tara to meet up with the other friends.
I am hoping this evening is the “ice breaker” that she needs to mend the relationship between her and her BFF from the past year. The relationship broke down when the other girl started dating a boy who she now admits changed her. They are no longer together, and according to Tara, she is back to her old self. I hope their friendship can be salvaged!
Tara actually spent the night away from home with another friend who they were with. We’ve gone full circle…. this was a friend who Tara was close too in 8th grade, and the relationship changed over time, and it broke down.
Teen girls go through so many changes, figuring out where they fit, who they are, etc. It is amazing any of them have long term friendships! Tara seems to cycle about every 12 months.
So that is where we are today. I need to work today and I am off tomorrow. What will Sunday bring, when Tara is again faced with going to school on Monday? Will the events of the weekend help her feel better about being in school? I do not know and I am bracing for the next wave!
The drama is not over for sure. There are still about six weeks of school. I have moments that I feel complete defeat and frustration, but I am trying to keep my head up!
Love and lattes,