Have you ever said “I’m the parent here” to your teen? Have you ever needed to say it to yourself? I have done both – the latter more frequently.
I have a 15-year-old daughter, *Jessie, who I’ve raised alone. Need I continue? “Yeah, I know, right?” (If you know a teenager you’ll have heard that one.)
A beautiful bundle of joy, just like the day she was born – only now she also has sharp thorns and grenades that fly from her mouth when she’s agitated. On top of the usual teen stuff, Jessie also has bipolar, PTSD and an anxiety disorder, so things can be pretty full on around here.
After suffering a trauma at age eight, Jessie’s behaviour started to change dramatically. She’d always been such a healthy, happy, outgoing kid with a big bunch of friends, and she did well at school. Her laugh was what made her well known and was contagious to all who came in contact with it. But now she was becoming violently angry, having huge tantrums not even seen as a toddler.
Disappointment was something that became unbearable for her to cope with, which she showed in aggressive and abusive outbursts that could last for hours. Her teenage years saw these behaviours escalate and her school attendance drop to the point of non-existence, resulting in her current enrolment with distance education.