Parenting a teen is definitely interesting. Parenting a teen with ADHD is downright entertaining in a scary, horrified, “What the hell is she going to do next??” sort of way.
As A- works hard to put the depression, suicidal thoughts and self harm behind her the forgotten parts of her are starting to surface again. Her frequent laughter (which is, in itself a wonder – some sound akin to a deranged dolphin), her mostly off color, yet still hugely funny sense of humor, her weirdness, her constant jabbering, her loudness (yes, that’s the only way I can put it. She is LOUD.), her love of just saying whatever pops into her head to see if I’ll squirm – and her definite scorn for anyone’s personal space or common sensitivities.
Impulsivity runs so strong in A- it’s like a curse disguised in a shrieking wrapper of inappropriateness that’s laughing like an um…deranged dolphin. You want to stare at her in wonder – possibly even object at her behavior, and yet you find yourself laughing so hard for some reason you can’t quite fathom that you can only marvel at her sheer strangeness (she calls it awesomeness but whatever.)
I mean, I have to say it’s pretty darned fantastic to be sitting on the couch watching a movie with your kid to have her call your name and when you look at her, you get flashed. Yep. flashed. Being an extremely modest person, and modest to the point of near paranoia as a child, I cannot, for the life of me, imagine what prompts a girl of nearly fourteen to flash her mother her boobs. I will at least say I’m the only person that gets THAT special treat, but still. Really?? I can just imagine her as an old lady running around flashing her own children. Or better yet, her friends at the nursing home. My heart seriously goes out to her unborn children.
And personal space? Propriety? You can just hang that one up because it’s nonexistent. She is going to be on top of you. In your business. She’s draped on you talking and the next minute she just licks your ear. And while you are sputtering and swiping at the slobber she has left behind, you once again get the dying deranged dolphin hyena laugh. I have serious fears that when her child is placed on her after birth she is going to lick it. I see her out with her own teenagers and there is that moment when they are acting like a brat – and she gets close to their face as if to tell them a thing or two, and instead just licks up their entire face leaving them stuttering in bewilderment and disgust. I see this happening.
And apparently it’s okay to end an argument with a friend or get them to stop talking by licking their eyebrow. I’ve seen her do it. Yesterday in fact. Well, I’ve seen it more than once. There doesn’t have to be a debate going on. Right in the middle of a conversation she may just impulsively lick your eyebrow. For no apparent reason other than her own amusement. I think she has some obsession with her own spit. I’m just not sure. I know I’m grossed out regularly.
Life is crazy. Life is good. Sometimes we still have bad days. Sometimes some kind of trigger will force her into a down, or cause the bad dreams to come back, or the voice to get louder in her head instead of quieter. One day last week something happened and she opened up an old self harm wound. After she did it she regretted it and felt bad, and brought herself to me to show me what she had done and asked me to help her so she could let it get well again because she was NOT going to be that person anymore. She did NOT need to feel pain to know she was alive, and she did NOT need the pain to remind her that she was nothing. I was proud of her for catching her relapse and being adamant about not wanting to start that vicious cycle all over again. She struggles. Daily. And yet, I see her true self shining through more often than not now. I am reminded of who she is, and all the strange and wonderful (if gross) parts of her quirky personality.
She can be foul mouthed and loud (not too foul mouthed, but a little), she can be vastly inappropriate, she can be funny, smart, mature and immature all at once, deep and yet clueless, chaotic, forgetful, disorganized, and she talks incessantly. She falls regularly just trying to get in the car. And I love her for all of it. Sometimes I cannot even absorb all of her personality at once. She’s a punk rock, heavy metal outside with a gushy inside. She’s opinionated and confident and scared and unsure. Very few get to see the “real” her; the one who feels accepted enough to show you her true self. She recently told a friend, “I think you’ve seen all my weirdness now.” And there was a visible sigh of relief from the friend. He replied that he liked her weirdness, he had just been trying to imagine how it could get any more weird.
We dance in the kitchen to heavy metal music while we cook. We laugh at our own shortcomings. We talk about things that might make other people cringe. We laugh at the world around us. We fear for the future of society. We could watch hours of laughing baby videos on YouTube. I get licked, I get raspberries, I get tickled, I get whacked, smacked and stepped on (did I mention she was CLUMSY? And ROUGH?), we cry at movies, we cry at books, we are addicted to the old A-Team t.v. show. We watch it when she’s feeling down and it always makes her feel better.
Our life is a chaotic journey danced to the soundtrack of a deranged, noisy dolphin.