I’m so frustrated. This whole year has been completely wack, and the only thing really making me somewhat happy is video games and friends. My parents finally decided after a 2 year long break from my phone, that they would give it back to me on Christmas. After a long time of waiting, I finally got what I was hoping for. I’m a 17 year old girl, and by now you’d think considering my step brother left to move with his dads and I have to look after a bunch of crazy animals and a non verbal sister who can barely take care of herself that they would give me a break if I occasionally mess up? I was so excited to have my things back, but it seems like as soon as they give me back the privilege every time I mess up they blame the phone. I snuck out of the house to go see a friend a few days ago, and this is the first time this has happened but, it was when my mother went to go see her mom and brother who just got out of Juvie. I didn’t lock up my bird, so that a crucial mistake considering my dog could have ate him. And also my sister who can’t take care of herself.. and I forgot to lock the door. So yeah.. all because I wanted to go hang out with my friend. There were many mistakes that I made, and that I need to stop doing. I’m always critical of myself, and I know what I did wrong. I just want to have fun before and if I pass away, you don’t know when life will take you anymore. It just happens. Maybe I’m a little too carefree? Now they won’t give me my things back, and they’re saying atleast 2 months? Is this fair? I know consequences are well deserved here, but 2 months? after taking my electronics away for over 2 years? It drives me insane. And I’m not a bad kid at all. Not at all.
- First, and most importantly thank you for writing in to TeenCentral. It sounds like a lot is going on right now and your responsibilities are overwhelming.
- You mentioned feeling ambivalent about whether or not you pass away. Are you talking about dying? Sometimes when things are frustrating and stress is overwhelming, we can start to think about getting out of the situation. When someone is being hard on themselves, and they start talking about dying, we feel concerned. This is a good time to talk with someone about how you feel. We’d like to suggest talking with your parents, but if you don’t feel you can talk with them, what about another trusted family member, friend’s parents, teacher, guidance counselor? THIS IS IMPORTANT.
- If you don’t feel like you can talk to someone in your life right now, please know there are always people available to talk. You can call 1-800-273-8255 anytime 24/7 or text HELLO to 741741. Someone is always there!
- You mentioned you just earned your phone back after two years (that’s a long time!) of losing this privilege. Any now here you have lost the privilege again. Have you considered how your choices are bringing these consequences? We know you feel critical of yourself, but we ask you to consider that this isn’t a problem about who you are, but rather the way you’re making choices to get what you want. Sometimes we need help figuring out how to make good choices (or at least ones that won’t get us in trouble). We have a tool that could help you weigh the pros and cons before you do something – check out Making Hard Decisions.
- Have you attempted to talk to your parents about your consequences and what they are trying to teach you about how you use your phone? You clearly have their trust and they believe in your ability to take care of your sister and your animals, but maybe you’re missing the point of why you keep losing your phone. Consider what it would be like to talk with them, not to bargain to make the consequence go away, but really hear what they want you to learn so you can earn (and keep!) your phone.
- If you feel as though you can’t talk to them about this directly, you could always try to write it down and pass it back and forth like a notebook. It may sound silly but it does work. People can get out how they are feeling without the fear of “saying the wrong thing” or feeling stuck under the pressure of someone looking at them when they’re trying to find their words. Check out Journaling as a Coping Skill for Stress. Writing may not only help you communicate, but also may help you just feel better.
- Being very critical of yourself, while still making impulsive decisions that get you in trouble, may be a sign of anxiety that’s clouding your judgement. Anxiety can sometimes be really hard to identify and it can get confusing. We have some great resources in our LEARN TAB under ANXIETY. This might give a little insight into one part of what you may have been dealing with for a while.
- Again, talking to someone about how you are feeling can be the greatest asset that you could adopt at this time. Talking to someone that is pretty “neutral” in the situation may help you see things from their side too. Understanding why your parents responded the way that they did could improve your relationship and help them not only understand you but understand where they are coming from as well. This is a great opportunity for everyone to get out how they are feeling and build from the ground up.