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Mommy's Lessons Learned - Teenage Heartbreak
Mommy's Lessons Learned - Teenage Heartache
One of the toughest things to attempt to fix a child’s broken heart especially
when that child is your own. What a heavy feeling I get each time my girls are
crushed by the curve balls they've been thrown in their young lives. We have
arrived at the tricky and tender ages of 11 & 15. Whether it's the discovery
of boys and their wicked ways or betrayal by girls they once thought of as
friends, it's always a difficult job trying to get them to truly believe it's
not the end of the world and this too shall pass.
Already my eldest daughter has had her hopes crushed on two occasions. Its hard enough being a teen in 2011, with peer scrutiny as high as ever, but in this world of social networking the stakes are raised even higher, when at a moments notice your heartbreak is out there for all your "friends" to see, gossip and text about in a frenzied whirlwind. Her first blow happened in that very manner. She thought everything was fine and dandy with her first crush....when suddenly she sees her "status" go from "in a relationship with so & so" to "single" when he changed it on his end, without any warning whatsoever. Immediately she was hit with an text and instant message assault of epic proportions from everyone wanting to know what happened when she didn't even have a clue. He never said a word, and just left her hanging wondering what went wrong. It was so painful seeing her so dejected, hurt and crying for hours. Months later he had the nerve to ask her out again. Thankfully she had the self-respect to decline, which I must say I was very proud of. The sting from that experience still lingers.
Her second experience was even more mind boggling, the young man was very sweet, attentive, respectful and well mannered. He took the time to talk with me, meet me and even introduced his father to us. He called every night and they spoke for hours for weeks, everything yet again appeared peachy keen. Yet again, without any forewarning he gave her the old-as-time "your too good for me, its not you it's me, I don't want to hurt you" speech. This one, amazingly so, totally took me by surprise, since I too was taken by his charms.....so how was I supposed to make her feel better about it?
Somehow at some point in every moms life she always ends up being thought of as clueless, as if we never had a childhood and were born "old". I get "you have no idea what it feels like mom", "you don't understand" and the perennial exasperated "Never-mind!" The only way to break this false image of cluelessness was to drag out and dust off my own past personal experiences with heartbreak and share it with my daughters. Surprisingly it was still tough reliving those times knowing all to well the growing pains of a teen-aged girl.
My earliest memory of boys being unfeeling, thoughtless jerks was my first "boyfriend", the one who I gave my first kiss to. I was in 7th grade and finally someone noticed me. I was elated. He was cute, smart and seemingly nice. We talked, he asked me to be his girl and I happily accepted only to be crushed after that first peck on the lips, when I found out I was only part of a bet between him and his friends. Talk about a huge blow to my self-esteem. I was so hurt and embarrassed about being taken for a fool. It took me a long time to trust another boy again. After hearing what I had experienced my daughter looked at me with a quizzical look followed by one of sympathy and understanding. I went on to explain what a difficult process it was learning to take into account that everyone was different and couldn't be blamed for the actions of one.
Luckily, I did learn that lesson and over the years no matter how many times after that I was hurt, I gave each individual a clean slate and the benefit of the doubt and still continue to do so. I’m not advising anyone, especially my girls to act as a doormat in any way, but to be open and receptive to what each person brings to the table and not judge them by the bad actions of the others before them.
Of all the lessons that can be taken from heartbreak, that is the one I'd like to pass along to my children. Everyone deserves a chance and shouldn't be burdened with the weight of the baggage left before them. It is the only way to give and receive true love when it finally finds you.