It was August of 1997 when the nurse put my little bundle of joy in my arms and told us that our new little family was ready to leave the hospital. My husband and I looked at each other PANIC STRICKEN. He joked, “Do you have an instruction manual or something?” Here we are 16 years later, and I still wish I had an instruction manual.
Y’all, one of us might not survive these high school years. Shoot, one of us might not even survive this week. I certainly can’t go through another weekend of teen drama like last weekend.
Friday night seemed fine, although LoverBoy came home from his date grumpy. By Saturday morning, the reason for the grumpiness was revealed. He and his girlfriend were planning a day trip to the beach on Saturday with friends, and they invited MonoBoy to tag along. Er well, his girlfriend invited his brother via a slew of texts on Friday night. It upset him, and he was relieved when he realized that too many people were invited and there weren’t enough seat-belts in the car for MonoBoy. When his girlfriend texted MonoBoy bright and early on Saturday to see if he was awake and ready, he replied, “LoverBoy said I can’t go.”
And let the
games drama begin. Suddenly, a fight erupted because “now she is upset” and “why on earth would you say that because it makes me look bad” and on and on. I didn’t feel well. There were two guys working on my house to make it more energy-efficient. I was embarrassed. My head was pounding. My kids were screaming.
So I lost it. There has been so much DRAMA over the past month and so many times where my boys were fighting about something that involved this new girl and different group of friends. My son is inexperienced and text isn’t always translated and there is so much confusion and misinterpretation, it’s like he’s trying to crack some secret government code. While blindfolded. I try not to get involved, but when there is yelling and I hear something like “I could kill you,” I have no choice but to insert myself. As I did Saturday morning. Ever so loudly.
In the end, some people backed out of the beach trip so there were enough seat-belts in the car, and even though MonoBoy no longer wanted to go, I made him because I needed a few hours on the couch with my cold and NO TEENAGERS IN SIGHT. Besides, the faster they acted like it was no big deal and moved on, the better. Am I right?
No. Hindsight, y’all, hindsight. Apparently, the girls brought alcohol to the beach. ALCOHOL. And then one of the girls drove her car home with my precious (yet obnoxious) angels in it. Despite the fact that my son has a driver’s license and could have driven home. Driver’s license? Yes. Common sense? No. Backbone? No. His defense is that it’s illegal for him to drive with that many people in the car. It’s on my list of rules, remember? True, but it’s also illegal and dangerous to drive under the influence of alcohol.
Unfortunately, I didn’t learn about the alcohol right away. In fact, it didn’t come to light until all of the other drama unfolded on Saturday evening…and Sunday…and Monday.
When the boys got home from the beach, LoverBoy said he was going to take a quick shower and then the girlfriend was going to pick him up to hang out. MonoBoy quickly chimed, “Count me out.” (See that red flag? Yeah well, I missed it.) An hour went by, two hours, three hours with no girlfriend showing up, calling, or texting. LoverBoy was pacing the floor staring at the phone in his hand, murmuring, “How could she just forget about me?” For three hours. I suggested (more than a few times) that he text her, but he kept telling me that I didn’t understand. I suggested that he make other plans to get his mind off of it, so he texted his other friend to see if he wanted to go to a football game, but his friend didn’t want to because his hip hurt.
More pacing. Finally, he said, “Can I tell you something without you getting mad?” (Boy, how that statement will make the hair on your neck stand up because you know whatever is coming next is sure to make you mad.)
“I think they are ditching me because I don’t drink and they want to hang out with these other kids that drink.”
Well now, that didn’t make me very mad. I almost appreciated their thoughtfulness for keeping him out of that. At least they weren’t asking him to drink or drinking in front of him! (Or so I thought at that time.) He finally got the nerve to text her, and sure enough, they were hanging out unsupervised at his friend’s house. The friend that I have been saying is headed down the wrong path because he is so often unsupervised. The friend that somehow got the code to my house, that took money out of MonoBoy’s wallet, and that only hangs out when LoverBoy’s girlfriend is around. The friend that couldn’t go to the football game because
his hip hurt he was hanging out with LoverBoy’s girlfriend.
LoverBoy lost it. He was an emotional wreck. The pacing increased and I thought he was going to hyperventilate. He even called his father for advice.
Yep, you read that right. He called Mr. Drunk-and-Shirtless. Mr. My-Phone-Battery-Conveniently-Dies-When-I’m-in-a-Bar-and-my-Wife-is-Calling. Listen, desperate times call for desperate measures. And who could better understand the mind of someone who forgets that they have a significant other when there is something fun that they want to do? And he actually gave him pretty solid advice.
That he completely ignored. Instead of being strong and setting boundaries, he woke up Sunday morning and immediately texted her pleading to get to see her. He wanted to talk and work things out. She obviously didn’t want to talk because she brought her entourage of friends, both male and female. Alas, LoverBoy didn’t care. All that mattered to him was that he was with her. And I guess nothing says “I’m sorry” like the Hickey that she put on his neck. Plus, he explained to me later, her friend talked to him about all of it, and she explained that his girlfriend’s feelings get hurt because he doesn’t text her enough, and he doesn’t take her on enough dates, and he hasn’t asked her to the Homecoming Dance.
Ummm, does she know him at all? He’s an introvert. He hates to text and talk on the phone. He hates dances.
Oh, but he is dancing like a puppet for this girl. He followed her around like a puppy on Sunday and Monday, even skipped soccer practice to hang out with her. I called him and texted him a million times those two days but got very few responses. At one point, he simply replied, “Sonic” to my request for his whereabouts. I was relieved just hearing from him until MonoBoy said, “Uh-oh.” That’s when the story about the alcohol at the beach came out. You see, the girls had put the alcohol into Sonic cups. Panic time!
On Tuesday, The Ex and I met with our son to discuss our concerns. The fact that we agree on something should speak volumes to the kid, but sadly, it seems that he can’t hear anything that we are saying. All that he can see is that he likes her, so he thinks that he has to try harder to make her happy. He just wants to make her like him.
Yes, the codependent apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I get it, my dear child. I know what it’s like to completely lose yourself by trying to mold yourself to suit another person. I know what it feels like to squash down my feelings and pretend to be happy all of the time for another person. I know what it feels like to worry about what I should say or what I should do, so as not to upset another person. I know what it’s like to become obsessed with trying harder and being more. I just don’t want you to do it.
Last night, the pacing started again when he found out that she was texting back and forth with another one of his friends. This time, she and his friend both asked if it was okay and he lied and said yes. I wanted to shake him. I told him that he needed to be honest about his feelings. It didn’t matter if his feelings were right or wrong. He was feeling them, and ONCE AGAIN, he was upsetting the household with his pacing and hypersensitivity to everything that we did or said. He did send the text, but I have no idea about the reply. I went to bed. I just couldn’t take it anymore.
I’m not sure how long they stayed up texting or if things ended up okay among them. I just know that this morning when I woke him up, he was crabby and mean. He sounded just like Mr. Drunk-and-Shirtless last week when he needed a place to stay, and I had to wake him up for work the next day. I’m not sure what’s worse – when he’s codependent like me or mean like his father.
All I know is that I can’t take it anymore. I have no idea how to handle all of this. I have no instruction manual to look up troubleshooting for teen drama. Anybody have one handy?