My parents take a ‘good cop/bad cop’ approach to lecturing me. My mother tells me how lazy I am and how frustrating it is watching me coast along doing nothing and how I’ll get nothing in return. My father tells me that it’s OK and I don’t have to go to university straight away, I can spend a few years in a dead-end job before deciding I want to get somewhere.
In some ways, I suppose it’s less ‘good cop/bad cop’ and more ‘here, have a dose of self-loathing and misery/is this supposed to make me feel better?’
I get these lectures whenever Results Days roll around, and for those of you who don’t keep up with the British education system, today was a Results Day, hence why I just had a lecture.
I have been having these lectures for as long as I have been getting results. What my parents don’t seem to have grasped is that none of these lecture have fucking worked.
All they do is make me feel defensive, and my response to feeling defensive is to curl up in a ball and refuse to cooperate.
The theme for most of the recent ones has been ‘Motivation’. As in: “Why are you so unmotivated?” “What is it going to take to make you work?” “Are you even grasping just how down-the-plughole your life is heading?”
Unfortunately, due to my curl-up-in-a-ball-and-be-silent response technique (I actually do this whenever they start talking to me), I am unable to say that I am horrendously self-aware and I completely understand the implications of what I am doing (or not doing) and that if I knew how to motivate myself, I would have done it years ago.
This is probably the main reason these lectures don’t go particularly well. As a family, we don’t go in for heart-to-heart chats, so as soon as we all sit down to discuss things everyone stops talking and either stares at someone else (what my parents do) or stare at whatever the dog has decided to spit onto your leg to tell you she’d like you to throw it (what I do). We average around three words every five minutes, I normally end up in tears and my parents normally end up with absolutely no clue why I’m not responding.
In case you hadn’t noticed, my results weren’t great. They weren’t great by my standards, which means they were end-of-the-world-catastrophic by the standards of my parents.
My parents aren’t pushy people. They are proponents of the ‘let children figure out what they want by themselves’ school of parenting. However, they are still human, and therefore still have issues when I can’t figure out what I want.
What I want is to be a research scientist.
What I’m likely to get is a job at MacDonald’s.
OK, that’s a bit OTT; I will more likely end up with a job I hate, which won’t lead me to be any more motivated, which is exactly the problem I’m suffering right now.
Typically, my only A’s were in General Studies. What were the questions on? Scientific Research and Music. What does that say about my performance when I’m motivated by what I’m writing?
Most of the time, I just wish my parents would stop haranguing me and instead just sit me down and try to help me. Yes, I’m seventeen years old and probably require some supervision to knuckle down to work. But inside, I don’t feel seventeen. Inside, I still feel like I’m eleven. Eleven was the age when the Panic Disorder started, and my counsellor remarked that, in terms of certain parts of my emotional maturity, I had gone right back to toddler stages. That’s not to say I lay on the floor and screamed a lot. I could still function perfectly well in certain environments. In others, however, I required a lot of support to help me through. Unfortunately, my parents believe in Manning the Fuck Up and basically told me to grow out of it. I don’t blame them; they had never had to deal with this before; they didn’t understand how I could have gone from a happy, independent, normal child to a nervous, clingy wreck in the space of a few short months.
Anyway, I did, and I’ve mostly grown out of it now. I still panic sometimes, I still have times when I feel suffocated by everything, but I’m getting there.
On the other hand, life still scares me. And as the only response to life that I learned throughout my formative years was that curling up and ignoring everything was the only way I could deal with all of the issues my brain threw at me, I’m still stuck in that mindset. And it doesn’t look like I’m going to be able to break out of it any time soon, unless someone helps me out a bit.
If you actually read all of that, well done. I apologise for using this blog as a venting ground for such a whiny and non-humorous post, but sometime’s it’s just got to go somewhere.
In other news, because I still like to help other things, even if I can’t always help myself, I am probably going to be involved in the rescue of five starved Arabian horses on Saturday, and I could potentially get to take one home with me for life!