Friday, December 12, 2014

My Letter to a Child Psychiatrist

So, I have a few kids.  Four to be exact.  In three short months I will be the mother of three teenagers.  Three.  Let me break this down for you...that's about a 30% increase in teenagers; three times more teenagers than mom; a greater amount of teenagers than I've ever had.

I may be freaking the fuck out.

I'm already feeling a bit overwhelmed with just two.  In fact, I've been so overwhelmed recently, I decided to write a letter to a child psychiatrist I found online:

Dear head doctor of psychiatry,  *I really was trying to be punny here got lucky with that one

I am searching for some help for my kiddos.  I have four, aged 11 to 19.  They are my pride and joy, the lights of my life, my motivation for getting up in the morning, my everything.  I love them with every fiber of my being.  They are truly amazing individuals.

And they are all attitudey, ornery, self involved little assholes. 

I have one child who wants to be a doctor.  Not just any doctor, but an orthopedic surgeon.  How effing awesome is that?!  She wants to go to med school.  She wants to spend about a billion years (and dollars) going to school. 

I'm impressed.  I thought I wanted to be a lawyer when I was growing up.  The fact that lawyers go to school almost as long as doctors kept me from actually doing it.  That and having actually tried to read a law book.  Granted I was like 11, but still.  Talk about wordy.

Anyway, she has plans.  However, I can't seem to get this asshole to go to class.  Lately she'd prefer to be eating pizza or wandering aimlessly.  Then, she has the nerve to act confused as to why I'm furious with her when she gets caught.  Do you have any idea how inadequate a parent feels when their kid is such an obvious asshole?  I HATE being called into the school.  Why does it always have to be my kid that gets in trouble?  There are something like a thousand kids at this school, so why is it always my kid?

How am I supposed to get her to med school when I can't even get her through high school???

Now, I wasn't an angel as a kid.  My parents had to pick me up from the police station a time or two.  We don't really need to talk about the various holding cells I've been found in.  I was a problem child, for sure.  But, one time getting busted for something generally cured me of doing it again.  What's wrong with my child that she just keeps doing things she shouldn't?!?!

Then there's my child who is far too like Reese Witherspoon's character, Tracy Flick, from the movie Election.  She is so involved.  In everything.  Every.  Thing.  Honestly, I don't know how she can keep up with herself.  I certainly can't.  It's like some sort of weird OCD thing where she has to be in all the clubs, organizations, groups, activities, plays, musicals, battle of the books, off track betting, student council, and societies she can find.  It's exhausting.

Ok, so when I was younger, I too did musicals and plays and clubs and church trips and random extracurricular unsupervised field trips.  But, I'm an only child.  My parents could handle it all.  They lived for going to hear me sing jingle bells for the 974th time.

But there are four of them and one of me.  Why can't she understand that all her activities are wearing me out???  She's already got quite the resume for her college applications, and she's not even in middle school yet!  How do I get her to slow down some???

Oh, and then there's my oldest.  *sigh*  He's killing me.  He's so intelligent.  He finished high school with honors (after having a "problem child" episode or two...) and was taking classes that are harder than most of my college level classes.  That I struggle in.  He has talent.  So.  Much.  Talent.  He drums.  He's been doing it for close to 8 years now.  He's gifted, even if he doesn't think so.  He's also very impressionable.  He let someone close to him talk him out of going to school for a teaching degree in music.  It's what he wants to do.  It's his passion.  It's not a phase he's going through, it's not a passing fancy.  He's incredible and wants to share this passion with others.  I think it's wonderful.

So, how do I get him to see that he should follow his heart and do what he wants to do with his life???  Instead of going to school and learning how to teach, he's given up and dropped out of college.  It's like he's lost his will to play sometimes.  It makes my heart sad.  How do I get him to shut everyone else out and listen to what he wants???

Alright, I let someone convince me that being an English major wouldn't amount to much in the "real world".  I gave up on my passion.  I'm not saying I'm not happy with my choices, but it wasn't where I pictured myself ending up.  I wanted to do wordy things.  I guess I'm not too far off the mark with a major in ASL and a minor in communication...

Then there's my little man.  He's my rock star.  He's bipolar, just like his mom.  He's also an Aspie.  But, I know he's got big things in store for him.  He can soar to the moon and back, if he wants.  He's about the smartest kid I've ever met.  And he has personality for days.  He has a stunning smile and a kind heart and he's quite the catch.  The problem lies in that he doesn't see it.  He doesn't have much confidence.  It breaks my heart.
I grew up feeling very much the ugly duckling.  I was teased for my full lips and my full hips.  I wasn't fat, I was curvy.  Only curvy wasn't what all the other girls in my grade where.  They were all bean poles.  I wanted to be a bean pole.  I was a size 9 and thought I was fat.  No telling me to the contrary would abate my way of thinking.  And my "super model lips that every grown woman was envious of?"  Yeah, well those women didn't have to ride the bus with me and listen to a rendition of "Do your lips hang low?"  Confident was about the last thing I ever was.

So, how do I get him to see how stunning he is???  How do I get him to see past his hang ups and see what I see???

How do I get my kids to see the light???  My parents were so lucky, I never gave them any problems or reason for concern.

Please help.

This was his reply:

Good afternoon,

I am completely bewildered as to where your children might have picked these things up from.  Have you ever thought about seeking regular therapy?  I'm setting aside some time Mon, Wed, and Fridays, just for you.  I hope we can get to the bottom of all your children's problems. 


Head Doctor of Psychiatry (by the way, that pun was so original...)

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