An open letter to my teenage daughter

 Dear Princess Punk,

I am sitting in my car in the parking lot of my psychiatrist’s office, scrawling this on a piece of scrap paper before it escapes my brain. You, my love, are sitting in the seat behind me.

I don’t want to talk to you right now.

I decided to write this letter to try to explain exactly why I am so angry with you.

You lied to me.

A lot.

Not just once, but many, many times.

Today, after receiving several phone calls from the after-school teacher about you leaving the afterschool homework club and going to the park with your friends, and subsequently (look it up.) doing a little bit of research and meeting briefly with said teacher and you, I discovered that not only did you skip out on what you told me and your Dad you were going to do today, you have been staying afterschool until 4-4:30 every Friday since school started for a Manga class you have not been attending. Since September.


I have no idea what you have been doing for that hour and a half every week. I am assuming you were not at the school because otherwise, your Dad and I would have been notified since you are not allowed to be on campus after hours without an adult present. I’m guessing you went to the park with your friends. Honestly? That’s not what I’m so angry about. True, you messed up and willfully did something you knew was wrong, but the truth is, the thing that pisses me off more than anything else is the fact you have been lying to us. Every Week. Since September. And now of course, it brings into question every other thing you have told us in the past 3 months because you have lost all credibility.

I am not exactly sure what the issue is. Why it is you find it necessary to deceive me and every other person in your life who actually gives a shit about you.

It hurts.

It hurts so bad that I’m breathless. Like my lungs are all squeezed up because my heart has broken into so many pieces there’s no space in my chest left for air.

I love you. I love you so much and I can’t stand it that you feel like lying to me is a easier than telling the truth. I can’t stand it that you lie to me so much that I don’t even have any idea who you are. I can’t understand you as a person. I can’t see the woman you are becoming because you have hidden yourself behind a veil of falsehoods and you refuse to come out.

And when you get caught, you get mad at me.

I don’t really think that’s fair.

And when I deign to question anything you tell me, you get offended and even angry because I don’t believe you.

And that’s not fair either.

I used to lie. A lot. Probably more than you (although it’s hard to say right now since I don’t know the extent of your deception). And I am so utterly sorry and ashamed, even more than a decade later, because now I know how much I hurt Mima. How much it must have killed her not to be able to trust her own daughter. And I don’t trust people now because I lied so much and because people lied to me. Which makes it even worse because I trusted you. I had faith in what you said to me.

And you shattered that.

And now we’re home. And I’m sitting on the couch listening to you scream and bang the wall in your room so hard the house is literally shaking. When we got home, I talked to your Dad and we decided that you were grounded until you raised your grades and you would have to work off the $50 I spent on the class you never attended. Oh, and you are not allowed to stay after school or go to a friend’s house unless one of us actually speaks with an adult to confirm that yes, you will be supervised. And that’s not to be petty, or controlling, it’s because we love you and we’d like to know that you are safe and secure and not having a sezure behind the school with no one to help you because no one knows where you actually are. And when we told you that part of being grounded was turning off the ability to text message on your phone, you lost your freaking mind. You kicked the baby walker. With your sister in it. Twice. And even through that I managed to remain calm, although I have to say, if you ever show any indication of any type of violence toward your sister again, you will be confined to home, school and church until you leave for college.

This is what I am hearing right now, over the loud and insistent banging;

“I hate you. I don’t want you to be my mom. You’re the worst mom ever. I HATE YOU! YOU”RE THE WORST MOM EVER!”

Okay. That hurts, but honestly, you lying to me hurt worse.

And then…

“You just hate me so much you decided to ground me for nothing.”

Which is confusing to me because we explained to you why you were grounded. Maybe after you calm down a bit we can clarify that. Because to me? Lying is pretty much the worst thing you can do short of anything significantly illegal like, say, murder. I would rather you tell me the truth when you screw up instead of lying to me. Because you will get caught eventually. And whatever punishment you might have received for the initial indiscretion (look. it. up.), your punishment for lying about it will be 10 times more severe. Not to mention, every time you lie to me, or Daddy, or Mima, or Biba, or your teachers, you are figuratively spitting on the relationship that we have worked so hard to cultivate with you. Every lie you tell is another scalpel, slicing away at our confidence in your capacity to be responsible, to be a decent person.

And that sucks.

And still, no matter what, no matter how hard you try to push me away, I will always be your mom and I will ALWAYS love you.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mrs D
    Dec 05, 2012 @ 18:47:13

    Sending a few positive vibes your way. Teenagers suck…teenagers with D suck even more. She’ll appreciate everything you do for her in the long run.


  2. coffeepoweredmom
    Dec 05, 2012 @ 19:49:13

    This must be hard for you. I am not looking forward to those days. Stay strong mom!


  3. Trackback: A fine line. « newlifeinvermont

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