The View From The Other Side pt.1

I’m interning with Driven for the summer and  I was asked to write something that I thought parents should hear.  I have a lot that could go in that category, but I’m not writing a book and I need to keep this as short as possible.

I didn’t grow up having the best home, best examples,  best parents (although my mom is wonderful), or just the best influence all around. I grew up in a world that I felt didn’t care. I was hurt by the people in my life that chose to make careless decisions and failed to look around to see who those decisions were affecting. I felt abandoned, abused, and neglected. I was lonely.

The way I expressed those things when I was a teenager were by yelling, back-talking, refusing to do anything my mom told me, and to tell her how horrible of a mother I thought she was. Now, at 22, I still struggle with some of those things; old habits die hard and living with your family isn’t always the easiest thing, but I’ve learned a lot since being a 15/16 year old who didn’t care about anything but herself. I’ve realized through the years that I wasn’t the only one with problems and that I wasn’t the center of everything, but being told that and learning that are two different things.

My point here is this: I was crying out for attention (I know, so cliché), but it’s true.  However, now I look back and realize I just need someone to realize that I’m human too, that I have feelings and emotions and I’m not crying because I’m out of control, or because I don’t want to listen, but I’m crying because I need them to understand where I’m coming from. I need them to understand that I’m hurting and I want them to stop telling me where to improve or how I need to fix myself and allow me to have a voice.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I don’t want you raising teenagers that walk all over you, but if you’ve come to a place where your exhausted because you feel like your teen is an emotional wreck or you don’t feel like you’re getting your point across; think about it. Are you listening to your teen? Are you really hearing what they are saying instead of just thinking they are whining about their lives? Your teen is a valid person, with opinions that need to be heard.

~ Contribution from Amanda Matias


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