Being a Mom has always been my dream, well that and a country music singer. From a very early age I discovered when I sing people's ears would bleed (or so my eldest brother said). In those days and since I could always picture myself as a mom. I've poured my heart and soul into the job. There have been times I wondered if I would make it through the moments and times I prayed for moments to last.
I can't remember any more challenging of a time than right now. My youngest is in her final days of her senior year. It's been a challenging couple of months. First she had a terrible relationship that ended badly. It has taken months for him to stop harassing her. He has taken her confidence away from her and left her looking over her shoulder and questioning everything. She has been the subject of much gossip. Everything from her being a drug addict, to being pregnant to even worse things (if you can imagine). She has been pushed to the edge of her ability to cope with it all. Just when she thinks it is settling down another round of rumors appear. She has cut herself off from nearly everything and everyone for fear of what will be said next. It's not just kids spreading rumors either. Some one turned in that she is using drugs so she had to be tested (someone must not have knows all of my kids have always been on a random drug pool kind of thing), questioned and watched, her teachers were told as a result and have treated her differently. No one bothered to tell them not only did she pass but she has also passed the weekly one administered at home (at $45 a pop). Friends of mine that haven't bothered to say two words to me in years all of a sudden send me screen shots of conversations about her (nothing noted where they stood up for her of course). She is struggling to hold it all together. Now should be an exciting time for her. She has worked very very hard and these last few days of school should be exciting, instead she gets anxiety at the thought of going to school and being treated differently or hearing more crap. She doesn't want to make plans and hang with friends because of what will be said next.
I've tried coaching her to ignore the gossip and to live her life to prove people wrong. I've tried proving the rumors wrong by tests and things. I've tried being an asshole. I've been angry at my daughter because clearly this crap must have something to do with who she is hanging out with or something she has done. I've tried medications, doctors appointments, apps on her phone, everything I can think of. The end result.... A 17 year old girl who wakes up a bundle of nerves, afraid to go to school and work who couldn't care less if she walks across the graduation stage with her classmates or not, or if she ever steps foot in work or goes to another event with friends again.
So what does a mother do? I've tried all I can think of and it just keeps going on and on. I alternate between wanting to take a few vacation days and hold her hand at school so she can get through the remaining days, to saying to hell with it don't go if you don't want to, to packing what I own the car and relocating. I'm at an actual loss. I don't want this time to set the stage for her future because we all know life doesn't really begin until after highschool.
Everyone I've spoken to has an idea. Some say tough love it and force her to go to school and deal with it head on. Which I've done and depending on the rumor of the day she may get through she may end up in the nurses office in a panic attack. Some say find the source and take action, which I have an idea but have been unable to prove.
The saddest thing about the last six months or so is to see the change my daughter. She has gone from being confident and sure to insecure and sad. I would give just about anything for the smile to be back in her eyes.