But, before I start ranting about all the stupid shit I think your generation is doing, let me empty my closet.
If you ask me, I have some pretty cool attire I could pass on. Some nice “accessories” to add to your ensemble. Where do I begin…
- I was born into a family holding the energy of shame, judgement and rage. Within me, this looked like an overwhelmed perfectionist, trying not to be noticed.
- I hated my public school experience. I thought it was the biggest waste of time and I could not wait to get out of my small town. It was full of a bunch of people I just wanted to fight. Knocking them off their pedestals was something I dreamed of doing.
- I hightailed it south for college and jumped right back into the same energy. Relationship after relationship, I found myself dating an addict. Years will pass before I use that label to describe myself.
- I completed a couple degrees that I thought I should because my desire to float around, kinda aimlessly was heavily frowned upon. After spending more than a decade as a family counselor, I finally started listening to what I want. And counseling a bunch of kids, with giant labels and even bigger meds within a severely broken system was not it.
- What I DO want to do is cheerleader/bootcamp style every freaking young person I see into believing in themselves. What others think of you matters not, so don’t spend too much energy getting lost in something you cannot control.
Well, that was a power-packed nutshell of my almost 40 years earth side.
Now teens, I promised you some juicy details.
And, a little rant. But let’s get to what you really want.
It’s what I wanted to.
A little sex, drugs and rock & roll.
I was a newly single, recent college graduate, ready to get on with the next chapter of my life. I had screwed up my college years in similar ways as my high school days. You know, completely lost myself in my boyfriend no matter how he treated me.
I finally saw the pattern and I was ready for something different.
No more addicts. DAMNIT, I was going to stick with my bottom lines.
And I was going to wander. Anywhere but where I was, and most definitely not back home.
My first stop was a tattoo shop.
It was an intense experience. And holy shit, I found my soul mate.
<enter collective cry/moan/shriek>
He was perfect. My heart was pounding over how amazing I felt when I was with him. The way he looked at me. That smile. Those tattoos. He had bad boy written all over him. And I said, YES PLEASE.
I remember the first night I thought I was going to die during that relationship.
I had just tried my first line of crystal meth and was convinced I could hear my neurons bursting into oblivion. I sat perched on an old recliner next to a recent prison parolee, in a house that no one knew I was in, thinking this is how my mom learns I’m not perfect.
I didn’t die that night. But it was GAME ON.
I wanted more.
His chaos matched my own.
For 3 years I smoked crack in bathrooms, avoided pissed off dealers, listened to music all night and partied all day. I LOVED life. It felt fun and risky. It was full of drama and passion. I wanted it all. Until I didn’t.
Two more years would pass before I was successful in releasing myself from that relationship. Two more years of police calls, lots of drugs, and a night that I thought would end as a murder/suicide.
I was the victim.
I was so blinded by love I didn’t see it coming until it was to late.
I wish I had an adult I trusted so I could have shared some of my secrets. Maybe I could have seen the signs way before the danger set in.
And I did all those things because it was in my programming. Nature and nurture. What my family provided me and what my environment showed me.
And YOU are the victim. (rant time!)
You know it. You play it well.
And you’re loved the whole way through, even though it is WILD to watch you do what you do. You do it well.
But, I can’t blame you.
It was also spoon-fed to you. When I really go down the rabbit hole, I want to blame Disney for making you think there needed to be a handsome prince for every helpless princess. But it’s everywhere. The programming.
The subtle messages and hints that you should hate yourself. That you need to be harmed and hurt to be worth anything to anyone. The belief that you need to disown yourself for the betterment of others.
It makes me want to scream. I scream so much about the bullshit that we adults place on you teens that I finally created the space where we do it differently. We know the fairytales and stories and it’s getting old. So dangerous.
If you are ready to look at your shit, call it what it is, and want real-life, I-can’t-tell-my-mom-but-I-need-some-help guidance on the storm that is brewing around you, let’s do this. I kept my shit-kickers, they’re in the closet. Maybe they’ll fit?
THIS is what I signed up for.