I have to laugh, ruefully, that I now feel like the parent of a normal kid after all this time. The problem? He’s a normal snotty teenager. I’d like to kill him. (Editorial note to anyone that takes themselves too seriously: That was a joke meant to relieve stress.)
My husband and I decided my 16-year-old was on too many meds (4) so we took him off one of his anti-depressants (Zoloft). The result has been a much more “live” as opposed to “dead”, deadpan, flat kid. But with that came attitude, unpleasantness, facial expressions that make me want to slap him (again, a joke) and tones of voice that drip snot. At first we thought maybe he couldn’t handle being off the med, but then it occurred to me, no, he’s just acting like a normal teenager.
I hate it when other parents say, “Oh my kid does that, too” as though we all have special needs, RAD kids, but in this case, I have to take it. How does anyone get through this? It’s not like my son was pleasant until he turned teenager, he’s just *more* unpleasant now, and getting more unpleasant by the day. There was a brief shining moment back when he was almost fifteen where he seemed to be turning into a nice young man. We cling to the hope now that the nice young man is still inside this kill-joy that comes down to breakfast every morning with a snarl. It’s kind of my version of, “I knew him when he was sweet and cuddly so I can tolerate his adolescence.” This one was never sweet and cuddly, at least not with me. I’ve been pushing this rock uphill (think Sisyphus) for eight straight years. (In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was a king punished by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this throughout eternity.)
I have to figure out a way to live, day in and day out, for at least another two and a half years with this kid without being mad all the time. It doesn’t help that one of my hot-button issues is unpleasant interactions. I find them so unnecessary, and I hate unnecessary unpleasantness. Wait, oh my gosh, I just had an insight: this is for me! I’m supposed to use this to learn how to deal with unpleasant behavior without getting unpleasant myself. I hate when that happens! Everything my kids throw at me is a chance for me to grow. Gross. Well I guess I better get on it, sounds like a long-term project.