BVB Army writes: It’s been nearly a year now since I’ve sent an email, and right now I don’t know what else to do. Basically this year has been absolute crap. I don’t know where to start. In September it was OK, me and my friends were close, we went to each others houses nearly every week, we talked about anything and everything. I loved it but my mom obviously didn’t, she hates my friends and I don’t even know why; they’re the nicest people on earth! Because one of my friends has family issues, she thinks she’s a bad influence (because she does what she wants). And when I came home from school and my mom asked me if I hung out with my friends and I obviously said yes, she got really mad at me. And then her main goal was trying to stop me hanging out with my friends, so she stopped letting me go to their houses or letting them come over. I literally begged and she wouldn’t budge and that’s when my year started getting bad. I felt trapped in my house like a prisoner and I felt like I was constantly being watched in school because every time I came home my mom somehow knew who I had been with and what we were doing. It was scary and I cried so much back then. I couldn’t take it so I started sneaking out in the middle of the night to get away. It was great and they still haven’t found out about it. Then there was a 5sos concert coming up and that was the band me and my friends had in common, so my friend booked the tickets and told us the next day and it was soo awesome, but when I asked my mom if I could go, she said no and blamed my friends because she they booked the tickets and that’s not true because I’ve always wanted to got a concert but only had the guts to ask this year. Also this year I took your advice and tried talking to my mom a bit more but it always ends in tears because either I say something about something and she gives me a lecture and I get annoyed at her, or I start saying my opinions and she hates them and then we don’t talk. I hate that she brings religion up because she’s not that religious, but always brings up beliefs and stuff. I can’t stand listening to them because I’m Atheist (she doesn’t know that though; if she did I’d probably be disowned!). And the fights were regular and it was annoying. I hated fighting but I also hated backing down. Before I was quiet, but now that I actually want to be heard, no one is listening to me. She blamed my friends for the fights so I stopped hanging out with them; I just gave in to her because I couldn’t deal with it anymore. I felt like crying nearly everyday and music was my only outlet, but that got taken away from me as well, and I couldn’t talk to my friends or my mom would know, but then I stopped caring and started talking again to my friends. But they changed –especially my best friend. She’s angrier and she never talks to me anymore and it hurts because I helped her through bad times when we were in year 7 and 8, listening to her problems and supporting her, but now she doesn’t really say much and hangs out with her other friends, which I don’t mind but it hurts really badly. At one point it was all too much and I overdosed on some pills, but I told my friend and she looked online to help me and it did help. But I’ve been regretting actually staying alive because I feel like I cause problems in my home. I’ve been contemplating it again because no one cares anymore – even I don’t! In school I have not cared about anything and I’ve probably failed all of my tests and I have no motivation to go further. My mom’s always busy with her work. I hate her job – it’s stupid and it annoys me because she doesn’t even look after my two-year-old brother properly and I have to do it and I hate it (but I love my baby brother). My mom doesn’t even take interest in my work or the stuff I like; she looks down upon it. I like creative things like drawing or writing, but they’ve never seen them (except my dad who accidently read a poem I wrote, but he called it a stupid rhyme, which hurt me a lot because I pour my heart and soul in to my poems and songs, and I write them whenever I want to cut, but they’ve become darker and more insane-sounding. I don’t know what to do because I can’t feel anything and my life at home is a lie. I have to fake everything because, if I don’t, bad things will happen. I need some advice!
Oh BVB Army!
I’m very glad you wrote me, more than I can say. But at the same time, I might make you feel bad about it because I have to tell you, my heart HURTS from reading this! It’s like someone stuck a couple of knives into it. This letter is so sad, and so frustrating, and so frightening.
So why am I telling you this? Because my dear friend, you are stuck in a place where you aren’t able to realize how much you matter to others. Your parents might be doing a rotten job of parenting right now, but I’ll bet they care more about you than even they realize. And that friend who saved you when you took those pills? That friend LOVES you. And so do those other ones you sneak out to see. You matter a LOT to them. You’re in their hearts, just as your letter got you into mine.
And so I am sitting up and BEGGING you, BVB Army, to never ever ever try something like that overdosing again. You have no idea how many people you have who would be devastated by it. I mean, truly, it would be the worst experience they’ve ever known. And they’d never get over it.
Now I’m not saying that to make you feel guilty. I just want you to realize how, even when your parents are being complete boneheads, you matter. In fact, their behavior only tells me about them, and not about you at all.
So I know you’ve taken my advice before about trying to speak to them, get conversations going, and you say that simply didn’t work (it even made things worse). Okay, then I want you to do something else. I want you to get a calendar (either online or a paper one), and go through it and figure out how much longer you will be living with your mom and dad.
What’s your plan for after high school? Are you thinking of attending a college or university, or jumping into a trade? Would you leave town, or stay there? Would you move into a different home?
Whatever your answers are, figure out when you’d be able to move on from all this, and write down the actual number of days till then. And then, each day, cross that one off, so you can see how you’re progressing.
You’re getting treated with shame and uncaring, too much of the time. The best thing you can have is a future to focus on. So find that number, and start counting down.
And you can do more than that too – you can FANTASIZE! When I’m trapped in a cage, like at the veterinarian’s office, I like to go to sleep and dream I’m chasing squirrels and getting in fights with wolves. But you can fantasize with plans! What will your life be like when you get out? What will you do that you couldn’t before? Who will you hang out with that you couldn’t before?
The great danger so many teens face, BVB Army, is that they don’t have a great sense of time, and so don’t realize how soon the future will be here. That’s why I want you to have that actual number. So it’ll be right there in front of you, every day.
And whenever you look at it, please also remember that I’m here, cheering you on. Just as I did, you will get out of that cage. And when you do, life is going to become SO MUCH BETTER!
I promise. I truly do.
Stay strong. It’s worth it.