It all seemed to begin in her fourteenth year of life. That's when I realized my daughter must of lost her mind! She who had been an excellent student and loved school, enjoyed running track and playing volleyball suddenly became a moody, aggressive underachiever. Who was this stranger and where did my sweet,loving daughter disappear to? little did I know that my life was to become a living hell and there wasn't any medicine that could take away the pain.
she started with cutting school,then drinking, pot smoking and sneaking out of the house at night. Of course the belligerence and disrespect for her self and everyone else was continuous. Her old friends just disappeared and a hoard of delinquent,destructive vermin seemed to replace them. Where on earth was my daughter and who is this unbelievably obnoxious person who had taken her place?
At times I was actually afraid of the child I loved so much. The tears that I cried, the sleepless nights and the ulcer were just the beginning of the damage that was to come. It had got to the point where I didn't want to come home from work because I knew she would be there with her fangs out ready to pounce. Sometimes I would literally vomit from the stress I was experiencing.
One day it had gotten so bad that I dropped to my knees right in front of her and started to pray that God would help us. She stood there laughing and turned and walked out the front door. Later I received a call that she had been arrested for fighting and was being charged with 4th degree assault. She spent 4 days in a juvenile facility and came home with an even worse attitude but now I had some leverage since she was on probation. My prayer had been answered.
The rebellion continued and eventually I had my beautiful daughter declared incorrigible and placed in a facility for at risk youth. To say she was angry would be an understatement! Over the months she adjusted and began to participate in the programs and treatment provided. Then to my surprise she wrote asking me to visit . When I arrived she ran to me with the eagerness of a small child. I was confused but cautiously happy to hug my Baby Girl after such a long battle with her. As we talked that day she told me that she knew a secret, and the secret was that she would grow out of the rebelliousness and that she wanted me to know that too. I wish I could tell you that everything was wonderful from that point on, but I can't. She came home at age 16. We home schooled which helped a lot with the peer pressure problems but my daughter was still unstable and at times volitable. When she would start acting up I would remind my self of the secret she had told me . Yes she would grow out of this and eventually she did.
Now as a young adult my beautiful daughter is a vibrant, successful woman who is a kind and loving daughter and I thank God that she is my child. Is there residual damage to our relationship? Yes, but nothing that we haven't been able to deal with.
As your child struggles with adolesence, maybe you can share the secret a troubled girl once told me. Knowing that the struggle won't last forever helps both parents and kids put things into a better perspective. They really will grow out of this!
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