Thursday, November 18, 2010

“The Curse of 12”

One Pissed Off Princess (2 - 12 what ever)
There is something about 12.  I talk a lot about family patterns on this blog, I think it is important that we as parents see them and acknowledge them or we could likely doom ourselves to repeat them blindly.  

There is something about 12...My mom was adopted at 12, she decided that she deserved more than the life of a wife and mother and went back to school soon after my sister turned 12, then she left and they sent my sister away to boarding school and my sister never really came for long after that. Eventually my mom came back and got me from my dad.

As I approached 12, my mother would in fits of rage would pack me up, drive me to runaway shelters, my Dad’s house, or mental hospitals where ever she could think of, at all hours of the night and day, if she got them to keep me at all they never kept me more than a couple of days but it kept escalating, more places, more stories, more lies.  By the time I was 12, I just didn’t freaking care anymore.  I finely told one social worker (who had known my family for years because of the same type of shenanigans had gone on with my sister) that I was just tired of being dropped off all over the place.  It was humiliating!   By that time I was just really freaking pissed and just wanted to get off the frigging ride.

All my life I have felt the “Curse of 12” (more accurately the “Curse of the Tween”) hanging over my head.  I have lived in fear and dread since the thought of children crossed my mind.  Oh, but what about 12?  Some day they are going to be 12…

My Mad is 12.  I mean really, really 12!  

They say “what you fear you create”, so I have tried very hard not to fear.  She is my oldest, she was an only child for 7 years, even after our second child Mad remained the center of the universe, and the rest of us were just living in her world.  It wasn’t until CoCo was born and started having problems that Mad’s universe shifted, and shift it did, in a big way.  The family that used to travel in a pack was suddenly split up and having to go in different directions, I was afraid to take CoCo out of the area.  Her dad has ended up working mostly out of state.  I had to go to work…every thing has changed in her life…and boy is she one pissed off princess! 

AND she is 12!

I have no idea what normal people do with 12 year olds.  It is safe to say that I won’t be dropping her smart mouth off at the nearest runaway shelter.  But she has been making me crazy(er than normal).

I know intellectually that she doesn’t actually hate me, she doesn’t really think I am stupid, well maybe she does…but it is not personal.  I know that she has to separate her self from us emotionally over these next few years, so she can be prepared to go out into the wide world and be strong and confident, it is not about me…but sometimes it sure feels like it.

How do normal people deal with 12?  No clue, I thought…

Until I read a couple of aMom post about "RAD" ("Reactive Attachment Disorder"), and I thought I am dealing with the antithesis of "RAD", and do I know "RAD".  (I don’t like labels, explanations, yes…labels NO.  That is just me.)  How do you deal with a kid who is unattached and needs to attach?  With Patience, unconditional love and reassurance. How do you deal with a kid who is very attached and needs to detach (a little) OK, I am having a hard time with it. With Patience, unconditional love and reassurance.

I still have no idea how normal people deal with 12.

The past few days have been much better; I have stayed calm and much less reactionary. I am here, I am her rock. I will be firm, I will set limits and I will keep her safe.  No matter how much I miss my baby, I have to let her do what she needs to do.  She needs to test the waters she needs to push herself away.  I need to stand firm and be her safe haven.  

*November is National Adoption (of FOSTER KIDS) Month*

* This post is a part of my National Adoption Awareness Month, a post every day in November campaign, to remind perspective adoptive parents that there are 140,000 kids for whom family preservation is not an option, who through no fault of their own are currently available for adoption in the U. S. foster care system, right here in our own back yard.  If you are considering adoption please consider adopting a foster child or becoming a foster parent.  It could change a child’s life.


Angie said...

That FACE Mama HAhahahahah! Bella!

Angie said...

May I just tell you, wait till 13! I'm not "allowed" to talk to him in public if there are people his age around. I'm thought of as "out of style", little does he know I never was "in style". Enjoy the ride sister and take pride in their confidence and self esteem. Something we had to LEARN to feel.

Love you

Just Me said...

I wish I could help but I don't have kids and Tom's bio daughter decided before 12 that she wanted to be adopted by her step-father so we never had to deal with 12. I don't even remember when I was 12... maybe it was so traumatic for me and that's why I can't remember? You're a good mom if you're worried about this; that's what mothers do. So, every now and then, my only advice is to let yourself come up for air. (Cause you're swimming now!) LOL!

Marsha Sigman said...

Hey, Sunday! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I have a fifteen year old and at some point when I wasn't looking he stopped believing I had super powers and decided I must be the most uncool person in the world.

Tween and teen years are tough, but just try to enjoy the ride. Don't take things too seriously and pick your battles. I know girls especially are a bundle of hormones at this time and the best you can do is keep your cool. It gets better, trust me.

Von said...

Keep cool if you can, leave the house while you count to 100 if you can't, give plenty of responsibility, her own money to spend in her own way with no restirctions and don't complain if she spends it on rubbish,let her get a Saturday job so she can buy her own clothes, as much freedom as can safely be managed and plenty of sleepovers.Good luck! They grow up fast, if you're lucky into responsible, fun to be with young adults!

Amy Koffron said...

I know you remember my Lauren at 12 and 13 and 14...........And look at her now!

Campbell B. said...

12 is a hard age for everyone. I would never want to be 12 again. All those hormones, peer pressure, etc... 12 just sucks, but one day you'll look back and miss her being 12 and hormonal. :-)

Sunday said...

Angie, Marsh, Von and Amy - thank you. So much for your encouragement. It is good to know that people really can make it through it with their sanity. (I do hope that was what you meant!)

I know Campbell, it is a good thing we only have to go through it ourselves once. And Just Me I am assuming you just blocked it out! ; )

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