Monday, November 12, 2012


Tonight was a bad night.

E had a bad day at school.  She was obviously on edge as she picked fights with her sister at dinner.  With me she was fine, though, and she shared about her day and made plans for the week.

The boys and I were siting in the family room while I did some work on the computer and the boys flitted from some weird football game and the cartoon on tv.  E walked over at some point and asked about when we're going to let her drive by herself to swim in the morning.  Currently, we let her drive 15 minutes on a two lane, 45 mile an hour road where she meets her coach and heads to practice.  It's been working fine.  At some point, we think we'll let her drive herself, but not now.  That would involve her driving 30 minutes down a road in which people drive 60+ miles per hour.  All of this at 4am and all of this on the same road in which her parents were killed.  Technically, she's not even allowed to be on the road till 4 am anyway, so we are skirting the law by a few minutes.

When I said I don't know and that it may be never, she lost it and called me a liar.  She always catches me at the wrong time and knows how to push my buttons. The manipulation started and the fight escalated.  I called her out on the multiple lies the past week from her (mistake by me) and she started sobbing, lying some more and then more sobbing.

Enter M.  She started having a panic attack and crying for us to stop fighting.  Shaking, freaking out, and yelling at us to stop yelling.  It was awful.

E finally went upstairs and locked herself in the bathroom.  M had locked herself in their room.  I got M out of her room and headed to our room, where K was hiding out.  We both finally got M to calm down and eventually go downstairs with the boys.

I went in to talk to E and she was hysterical.  She couldn't talk.  She couldn't stop crying.  I felt terrible.  We talked calmly.  She kept saying, "I don't want to be like this.  I don't want be the typical drama teenager.  I don't want to feel this way.  I don't know why I'm crying."  It was so sad.  I hugged her from behind, kissed her on the head and told her I loved her.  I left her crying softly and trying to study her AP history.

Meanwhile, everyone else went bonkers downstairs and were sprinting around and screaming like banshees.  Lovely.

I called C.  She talked me off the ledge.  I eventually got everyone settled down and in bed.

This is just so hard.  I never know if I'm saying or doing the right thing with the girls.  It's all so complicated.

This was a very bad night indeed.


  1. A bad night - but a night that needed to happen nonetheless - you were going to have to set some boundaries around the driving. A good night for these children (and most children) would be to give them what they want. Then you might even be able to go and relax a little. But you are not taking the easy way out - you are parenting or "aunt"ing as best as you can, darling. They will eventually get it - I hope this road goes by quickly for you.

  2. Under the best of circumstances life is still hard, so I don't know how you handle it with all so well with the extra difficulty in the mix.

    I remember very clearly that feeling of being a teenager and not being in control of my emotions. It's upsetting and scary. I started talking with my oldest daughter about hormones back when she was starting fourth grade, and it's interesting because now that she's starting to feel the effects of them on her system she'll tell me sometimes she's sad or frustrated but there is no reason for it so I can't fix it. I'm really impressed by that. It's so natural to want to find an excuse for those feelings even if there isn't an external one to be found.

    Sorry for the bad night. Maybe it will make the better ones feel all the sweeter.

  3. I'm with Masala Chica and Korinthia here. First, you are setting boundaries which is bound to piss people off. Second, teen drama is inevitable as hormones rage. Compound that with the trauma she has experienced the past few years and the feeling that her life is out of her control, and she was bound to erupt. If what you said didn't set her off, something else most likely would have because she was just that ready to burst.

    I'm sorry it happened because those are miserable times for EVERYONE involved. I remembered some particularly explosive fights with my mom, and our situation wasn't nearly as complicated as yours.

    Hang in there. Anne Shirley had the right of it, "Tomorrow is fresh with no mistakes in it."

  4. I was thinking the same thing as Korinthia about teenage emotions. It's just hard under the best of circumstances. It sounds like you are doing all of the right things. It's just hard.

  5. This so much reminds me of my own teenage years. Can I just say... No parent ever knows if what they're doing is "the right thing". Especially when it comes to the hormones of a teenage girl. As I'm sure you remember, being that age just plain sucked at times. Add to that the enormous grief she's experienced. And the enormous amount of grief YOU'VE experienced. If all of that weren't hard enough, you are now instantly the parent of a teenage girl. Poof. There ya go. Figure it out. OhMyGawd you are an amazingly powerful woman to somehow have managed to figure out how to even breathe after all of that. No one expects you to have all the answers. None of us do, nor have any of us ever.

    The one thing I've learned about being a mom, is that you'll trip, and stumble, struggle and fumble. You'll laugh and cry, and love like you've never felt love before. YOU WILL MAKE MISTAKES. And the fact that you even bother upsetting yourself with whether or not you're doing a good job- means your doing it just perfect. Remember that.