Monday, June 21, 2010

Post #6: No More Drama

So when did we go from 8 months of complete obstinacy, forgetfulness, and complete rage to reasonableness?

I had to take away the electric best friend (for some of you that is not a traditional pleasure device--but this generation's pleasure toy called a XBOX 360).  Frankly, it was easier to remove the power cord, then take away the whole console.  So when he realized it would not power on, and why, I told him that I have had it with his antics an he will lose the only thing that he enjoys.  The equipment sat in a shipping box on the floor for a few days when he said, "can you give me more time to get myself together before you ship it away?"  Whoa  . . .  sounds perfectly reasonable.

Then when I asked how we were going to navigate getting him home from school next year, when he is in he 7th grade, he answer, "maybe I will mature over the summer so that I I can start taking the bus again."

I can't believe that we got a respite from the drama that has been part of our life for the last 8 months.  Nice bone to throw at the mother who contemplates on a daily basis just rolling over until adolescence goes back to where it came from.  It was nice to have these to moments of clarity to now that it could be possible.

I have been reading blog postings from tweens and teens who identify themselves as "drama queens" to see what they say about how they see themselves and whether the term provides them with some form of liberation.

Here's a post from 2006 written by a young lady that really resonated:

10th-Oct-2006 03:39 pm - what do you think of me?

Everybody reading my Livejournal, i have a question for you. What do you think of me? after everything that has happened lately.. im starting to question alot of friendships.. and i just want to know, what is our friendship like? how do u see our friendship? be brutally honest, am i complete bitch to you? do i ignore you? or do i complete your world? thanks for those who leave a comment and tell me watch u think.
 The responses were varied and all over the place, but the fact that she puts herself out there for others to define her, to tell her what they think of her.  Is she looking for brutally honest responses? Or is she looking to validate her own self-concept?  I think it is both.

What happens when you know that you like trains and dump trucks to not knowing anything anymore.  You know that what is being asked of you is no different than it was when you were younger:  brush your teeth, do your chores, speak nicely to grandpa--yet these seem so overly inconvenient and intrusive.

Our "Drama Queen" friend got some 17 replies.  All of them spoke to how wonderful a friend she is, how trustworthy, loyal, compassionate, and supportive she was to them.  But could she not see this in herself?  It is hard to know if she struggled in knowing what kind of person she is, or if she needed so much external validation?  I think secretly we all want to know what others think of us and others perceive us, but for me, it wasn't until I was in my 30's did I even feel that I knew who I was.  How can we expect this of our tweens and teens.

Reply #1
hello jessica :)
what do i think of you?
i think your quite the cool gal, who is still my friend even after all the dirty thing i make up :)
sometimes you even help me think of some hha :)
you are a good friend, and you never ignore me :D
im pretty happy i met you last year, and im happy how we stayed firends and we will forever :)<3
 Reading the replies on her post, I have written and felt this way with many of my middle school friends.  I really thought that I would be life-long friends with them, but that does not always happen.  Feelings get hurt, alliances are severed, people change--all in a three year period called middle school. 

While that may true, I may not be as close to the friends I had in middle school.  Having them at that time help mediate the emotional roller-coaster I went through.  It helped with the drama with my parents and with the inner-turmoil of my own insecurities.

I am grateful that I know myself at this stage is life and that I am relatively secure as I raise my adolescent son.  I could not imagine parenting him at this time with any leftover baggage.  I hope that my strong self-concept will show through to him that there is calm and security on the other side of this time.   That you don't have to die to hear how others think of  you and what kind of friend you were to them.  Say it now and while your friends and family are still with you.
The other thought I had was that she was so unaware of who she is that she questioned everything.  From what kind of friend she was, to how she looked, to having the right clothes.  Perhaps her insecurity was so overwhelming that she felt she had to be anything others wanted her to be.  I see some of this in my son.  His self-concept is so fragile that he is prime for the manipulation.  
I hope that over the next few years that this will come to him so he knows what kind of friend he is and won't need to ask that of others.
Reply #2
Honestly, your a great person Jess. Actually everyone is great in some way or another. We all have our downfalls and our faults, but truthfully I think that everyone should go by this saying no matter what the outcome or consiquence [sic] of any situation. "Like your friends for who they are, but love them for their differences; you'll never find someone the same." :)

A cute topographical map of the adolescent brain.

And in the immortal words of Los Angeles Laker, Ron Artest (see 12 seconds in).  'I want to thank my psychiatrist."