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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Teen Angst? Not Exactly.

Sometimes, I think the entire "teenage rebellion" phase is just a hoax. I think too many parents expect teenagers to go through this phase as well--and sometimes, that can just push a teenager to doing just that.

I don't know what it is about those merger years, when we go from that slightly pudgy twelve year old, to the slightly less pudgy thirteen-year old, to the acne-riddled fourteen year old.

But I noticed something very interesting about it. Sometimes, it's not about change. It's about the fact that in that transition from awkward preteen, to even more awkward teenager--sometimes, kids don't change, at least not that much. And it's the fact that they don't change that causes things to happen.

And this is where the parents come in. I think there are parents out there, who just seem to think that a year added to your age consequents extreme growth in maturity. My mother is one of those people.

And the truth? Maturity isn't counted in numbers.

I don't have the best relationship with my parents, either of them. Not going into specifics, my dad isn't really that great of a person, and my mom...well, my mom is just another story. Sure I admire her single-mom efforts. But our personalities differ so much, it doesn't exactly make for joyful family times.

Something must have happened on my fourteenth birthday, because one day my mom went from, "person I can trust with anything," to, "person to avoid talking to at all."

Yes, there used to be a time where I'd have long talks about my days at school, my friends, my friends' friends. Those days are long gone, and might as well be forgotten. They're worth forgetting, anyway. It just seems, like the moment I truly entered teenage-hood, my mom suddenly became critical of everything. Whether it be the sports I played, the instruments I practiced, or the schoolwork I did, everything was soon micro-analyzed. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised--she is a scientist after all.

I'll admit, in that time frame, there was a lot of stress. We were moving for the umpteenth time, my mom was annoyed, and she took it out on me. Did I say anything? Well, no. For once, I kept my mouth shut, and let the woman blame me for all sorts of stupid things; whether it be how the house smelled, to why we got lost on the road.

And I think that was the time I reached a kind of breaking point. Soon everything about me was being analyzed. My performance in school, how often I practiced violin, how I used my time. Every simple conversation turned into an argument, no matter how hard I tried to be civil.

When it came to dinner, and she called me down. I would respond, but she wouldn't hear. What would happen? My mom would start raving about how I need to keep my bedroom door open, stop putting in earphones/ listening to music. And you know what's the killer about that? When that argument took place, guess what? My door was open. And I was quietly writing. Yeah, mom, it's all my fault.

Next came sports; tennis to be exact. And practicing. I love to play, and I would always ask to go practice. Of course, my mom would get irritated with my constant nagging, and let me practice. Then comes the one day when I don't ask. Was there a particular reason I didn't ask? No. I just had forgotten about it. I am only human. And she managed to start another argument. She began to rant about how I need to practice, because she "spends so much money on tennis," and I needed to practice, or else it's a waste. After one day of me forgetting to ask to go practice. Hm.

I had another common argument that ended up always exploding. Driving with a GPS. I was always in charge of it, and though it seems mean, my mom is a complete control freak when it comes to directions. Every few seconds, she'll ask how much longer we need to drive on a road, route-by-route directions, when exactly the next turn will be, what exactly the next turn is, and how many miles/feet it will take to get there. There isn't two minutes when she doesn't ask for a time/ amount of miles. She'd probably be perfect for the movie, "Are We There Yet?". But here's the issue when it comes to this. Picture me, trying to look at the GPS, then trying to relate it to the road in front of us; and trying to see which roads match up. Sometimes, roads can be pretty misleading. So if I don't mention a road, the minute it's coming up at 200 feet, I'm in trouble. Especially because my mom doesn't particularly listen to Ms. GPS Lady.

That's how most of our trips are ruined. Our last trip to the beach, ended up something like this (just to get there).

"I should never let you be in charge of the GPS, you don't pay attention at all. You're supposed to tell me when a road comes up. " Yes, mother, I'm supposed to tell you at exactly what point to turn, reciting when we've come closer a couple feet. Yes, mother, it was all my fault, because obviously talking GPS' aren't helpful at all, especially when they tell you to  turn here. Yes, mother, I'll take all the blame for a turn you didn't take.

No. But see, my mom isn't one to end there, and quite frankly, I'm always one to defend myself. And so I did. But she said some more bullsh*t excuses, which started to grate on my nerves. If she could call me terrible at "giving directions," then hell, I will call her a control freak. She even agreed. She said:

"Exactly, I'm a control freak, so I need someone with patience to handle the GPS, not someone as impatient as you!" Keep in mind the fact, that she is the one who impatiently asks how many miles are left every minute. But my mom is always a hypocrite, so there's no use pointing this out to her.

I'll give my last example, now. And it has to do with math. I had placed into advanced classes for math when I was in the eighth grade, and then was forced to take those advanced classes. While I'm not amazing at math, I'm not bad either, and I never give up. But, when eight grade was over, and summer began, my mom decided that since I "needed help" with math, she would get some math books. (She didn't have the patience to teach me). Of course, I think everyone knows that math books, aren't really that helpful. Or, they aren't as helpful as a true teacher.

I did a couple pages, occasionally. But what drive did I have? Everything was completely out of order in the books. And here's where the momster comes out.

Randomly, and when I mean randomly, I mean randomly, my mom would say something about math, and how I needed to practice. And then she would start with the criticizing again, on how I needed to practice math, and do those math books. Yeah, because it's just so simple to do math with no direction whatsoever. I think it's time to mention that my mom is close to genius at math, while I'm...not so genius. She expects me to understand things immediately. But I don't. And then she'd get mad.

So what to do? Well, I ended up holing myself in my room, trying to avoid her as much as possible. The plan kind of backfired, because she started yelling at me for that, too.

But that's my relationship with my mother. If there's anyone to blame as to why I was depressed while growing into my teenage years, it's her. Will our relationship ever be fixed? Doubtful. I know that as soon as I truly grow into a full-blown adult, she can expect that I won't be calling her that often. Or at all. But, you know, discrepancies.

I've tried time and time again to fix issues with her; time and time again to be civil with her. I've tried to make conversation, tried to tell jokes, tried to talk about my feelings--and learned that that's just a big no-no. It's best to just avoid my mom when it comes to those things. When my mother pushed me away, I changed. I became more sarcastic, more skeptical, and stopped believing in a lot of things.

So maybe I'll never understand anything about that time in my life.  But I do understand this.

Sometimes, a teen is pushed into doing things they don't want to do.

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