What was your own worst teen angst? Teen:14-18?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Honestly, Jumper is a basket case because she's running for prom queen, everyone tells her she's going to win easily, and she knows that other kids have been told this, but she is highly embarassed at the thought of not winning when she is expected to win. She is cranky (I almost asked her if she had her period, but decided that would not be smart) and threw her boyfriend and prom date out of the house last night. I asked her what the deal was and she cried and said, "I'm scared. No, I'm terrified."

    So why did she run?

    I remember how things happened that I felt were the end of the world when I was a teen. Now that we are older, we know what a real problem is. So I thought we'd maybe have a fun third retro thread and talk about an incident or basic things that we really felt angst over when we were a teen. I have a list and when I say they gave me angst, I mean, they made me cry or had me pacing or biting my nails (nasty habit) or even having a meltdown, depending.

    1/A bad hair day. I wake up and noticed that my hair was a little greasy and had no time to wash it before school. All day I would be thinking that EVERYONE was noticing MY hair and that people were thinking I looked ugly.

    2/If a boy I liked didn't call me, that was one of my major stresses. This was probably my biggest stress: boys. I was rebellious and didn't do school activities or care about my grades (I'd given up on getting good grades way before high school), so it all fell upon if the boy I liked liked me back. It is really pathetic when I think about it, but it causes more meltdowns, parent/kid fights, defiance and tears than anything else in my teens. I look back and think, "Wow, I wasted those years."

    3/Being made fun of was a dealbreaker when I was a teen. Although it no longer happened to me much in school because I had learned to skillfully stick up for myself with my peers, I felt my parents made fun of me and that would cause WWIII. I still look back and don't think my parents knew how to handle a sensitive, Learning Disability (LD) child with mental illnes (who does...lol), but I certainly had this gloom and doom "woe is me, my parents are the worst in the world" attitude which really wasn't true. A lot of what they said was frustration and trying to parent a child who would not listen to the rules.

    Your turn. Hope it's more lighthearted than mine :)
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Odd enough by my teen years............I didn't have any.

    I had plenty of friends. I learned to stick up for myself so no one bullied me anymore. Grades were high and easy to maintain. Wasn't interested in either dating or much in the way of the social scene, nor was big on fitting in either.

    Only thing that stands out to me is once when a girl attempted to accuse me of stealing her Nikes, which at first I found amusing...........until this super popular rich girl decided to spread it all over the school and just not let it go that there could be 2 pairs of shoes that were identical. omg I confronted her smack in the middle of a crowded hallway at school. Told her off, also told her I heard so much as one more word concerning her or shoes I'd take her rear out in a flat minute. (yes, I had the momma look even as a freshman) That did it. But then truthfully no one really liked her much........they were just afraid to stand up to her reputation. ugh My confrontation got applause and she was the one to slink away humiliated. LOL
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    For me? ALL of it.
    Life didn't begin until I was about 25 or so...
    The rest was all survival.
  4. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Sorry, this isn't lighthearted at all, but when I was 13, my brother had his first hospitalization for schizophrenia, and he was my only sibling. It was horrible, because mental illness in the early 70's was still not well understood, there was a frightful stigma, and my angst (selfishly) was that people would know I came from a messed up, crazy family, sorry to say.
  5. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    When I was 16 my parents divorced. Shortly after I got pregnant, dropped out of school and had difficult child at 17. Sigh. Definitely not an easy time in my life.
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I hated being a teenager. I was slightly younger than my classmates (turned 17 in December, graduated that following June) and was blessed with an unusual first name and unspellable last name. Braces and glasses and poodle-curly hair.

    I had a reputation as being easy which confused and upset me, as it was 95% untrue... It would've been 100% except there was this one boy... And I too got pregnant. At 16. (Homecoming was apparently rather popular as at least one other girl did too... She carried to term, though, and has grandkids now.)

    Maybe this isn't a lighthearted thread, but in retrospect, it's a good one - because even those of us who were mostly easy child otherwise made some really stupid choices. It is nice to "have proof" I'm not the only one.
  7. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    From when I was 11 until I was 17.

    1) My parents put me in a girls' school that was a TERRIBLE fit for me. Their structure and teaching style didn't work at all with my Aspie brain, and the uniform was the worst sensory experience I've ever had to this day. Everything -- shirts, socks, tunics, kilts, neckties -- was made of the worst scratchiest fabrics, and I was near tears every day from having to sit through yet another day being rubbed raw like sandpaper. The teachers thought I was rebellious and insubordinate, but what I really was, was confused. My marks were high, so they couldn't kick me out for non-performance, but my behaviour was wildly inappropriate. I was always this close to being suspended for something or other. I ended up completing a compressed high school curriculum (completing a 5-year course load in 4 years), just so I could get out a year early.

    2) When I was 12, my beloved Grannie died. She was my rock, and the one person that stood between me and my parents' worst excesses. Without her to help me, I was truly on my own. I pretty-much raised myself from that point on.

    3) Eating disorders, throughout those years. Initerestingly, my father -- who is a paediatrician -- never noticed, and was stunned when I told him years later.

    4) Major social confusion. During the conformist high-school years, being Tigger (the only one) is not very much fun.

    5) My body aged much more quickly than my emotions. By the time I was 10 I had the body of a 16-yr old, and by the time I was 12, my measurements were 36-24-36, and I looked like I was in my early 20s. I was confused why the weird old men on the subway would say horrible things to me, why older boys paid so much attention to me, and why my mother was convinced I was an s-l-u-t when I'd never even had a date. All that led directly to the eating disorders, I think.

    I left home to go to university at 17. Although I still had issues, being independent was the best thing in the world for me, and the line that kept me from difficult child-dom.
  8. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    14 - 18 were actually better for me than 9 - 13. I was starting to get a voice and a sense of self, and - strangely - I learned that looking my usual bullies in the eye and SNARLING at them yielded MUCH better results than telling an authority figure. My temper was getting itself out.

    9 - 13 was hell. Pure hell.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    These threads are also good in my opinion because they tend to reminds us what it was like when we were teens ourselves..........in addition to some of the stupid mistakes we made along the way.

    I've come to realize as my kids grew up that socially I had some pretty major issues........things just didn't "click" or make sense to me. In grade school I used to get made fun of for my hair. It wasn't until Jr High when a friend flat out explained it to me that it dawned on me it was because I thought brushing once a day was all that was required........I thought other kids had this "magic" hair that stayed in place all day. lol You know how kids at around the 5th / 6th grades will pick on girls for still playing with dolls or barbies? Yeah, that totally went right over my head......clear to high school. phht Flirting I didn't get until I'd been married a few years and a friend literally spelled it out for me. I was like wth really?? lol I totally did not get "peer pressure". In fact, I actually still don't. I know the definition, it just sounds stupid and I don't get it. I could come up with a very long list. Which also explains some of the vicious bullying I got in grade school I guess too.

    I find this really odd since I'm such an observant person and someone who reads body language like an open book.

    But back on topic, knowing my own tendency that when I make a mistake it's usually something major as opposed to something minor.......as well as usually stupid.......I was less apt to over react when my kids did the same during their teens.
  10. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Oh gosh... teen years. Couldn't pay me *enough* to do them over. Awful awful years. And to make it worse, my mom had been homecoming queen/cheerleader/most popular in *her* teen years so she just didn't understand why I was so miserable. She used to always tell me that the teens were the best years of my life - in my head, I'd respond, "Well if this is as good as it gets, I guess I should just end it all now!!"

    Tall, skinny, no chest (which apparently was a *huge* black mark against me, LOL). Socially inept with same-age peers, though got on fabulously with early 20s folks, much to my parents' chagrin. Blind as a bat and too vain to wear glasses, parents wouldn't allow contacts, so I was in my own myopic fog until 10th grade. Utterly clueless when it came to fashion/style/makeup (still am). Acne. Oh my gosh, yes, I would have to say the acne was my biggest definable angst. Even in spite of seeing one of the "best" dermatologists - I was a mess (though probably not as big a mess in reality as I thought I was).

    Finally in 10th grade I just said **** it. I was who I was and I quit trying to fit in. Threw the Candie's [​IMG] in the closet, got my hiking boots, glasses, and holy jeans out, and just did my thing. Was much happier. Never went to a HS dance, never had the urge, don't regret it. Think I had 2 dates in HS, but hung with my older friends most of the time.

    I will say that in hindsight, HS probably was a *really* good experience for me, just because I started to realize that what other folks thought of me didn't matter a bit and that the important thing was to be comfortable in my own skin and be the person I really am.

    And as I tell Diva constantly, the 20s are *so* worth the Hades the teens are. :biggrin:
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    LOL, Sue! I don't know, my 20s weren't all that great. Hit 30 and KABANG, things got better.

    Interestingly... My Mom was the sorority type, a gaggle of friends (who are all still friends to this day :bigsmile:), etc. Grandparents weren't rich but they made do, and she was much loved. REAL love. But I'm sure that part of our problems getting along had to do with the fact that I was a socially inept, geeky bookworm. I wanted to be popular, I just couldn't do it! Dated a couple football players, a couple wrestlers... Found my real happiness (now) with another socially inept, geeky bookworm!
  12. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    Everything was just so acutely embarrassing. I received a lot of attention from all the wrong people which I think ended up saving me 13-16 was the worst. My boyfriend of several years slept with someone I disliked intensely and suddenly I was totally over having a relationship with anyone. Unfortunately it didn't do the same for my sex drive. Sigh. 16-17 was kind of like rehab to get over the painful 13-16. I stayed to myself finished my GED resisted all attempts by my family to get me to conform and healed. 17 I fell in love totally in love. We moved in together till I was 18. He broke up with me, no reason. I met the ex was married at 19.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The 20's were worse for me than the teens, but that was when a lot of the mental illness kicked up a notch. I was miserable, erratic, married to a man who believed in order and I had none and was hospitalized for ten weeks during my pregnancy. I often wonder if 35 has problems because my pregnancy was so stressed. Because of muy many hidden and misunderstood disabilities, although I tried sooooooo hard, I couldn't keep a job and my husband would rage at me that because of me we were going to go bankrupt and I believed him. I kept trying to keep jobs. Over and over...hired/fired. Puzzled bosses saying, "I thought you were so smart when you were interviewed. But you don't seem to be able to do it." This never resolved.

    On the plus side, I had learned not to care what people thought of me, although, I *did* care about certain people, like my family, and none of them ever did like me, especially my mom. I had social problems and was lucky I had one great friend who was an angel or I would have not had any.

    I didn't really start getting better until my mid-thirties when I found new and improved and very proactive ways to take care of my mental illness, I learned I was codependent and worked very hard to stop, and decided that an abusive husband was not a good idea.

    So in my case my teen years were a preview for the years to come and in my opinion it often is if one is mentally ill or a drug user or both. I had always been smart enough to think, "I'm screwed up enough without taking drugs to make me worse." So I never did and I have the rather amusing distinction of having never been drunk in my life too.
  14. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    No matter how bad a person I am , I don't think I'll ever go to hell because I've already been there. That was my teen years.
    I was a country kid, going into town school as a freshman so already I was a little shy. I developed early and all of the kids decided it was funny to make fun of the fact. My nickname was Boobs. On the bus, boys tried to throw stuff down my top if I wore anything other than a turtleneck. It was a constant thing. I"m sure that's why, at age 55 when I finally got some money, I had breast reduction surgery.
    Most people think I"m pretty outspoken and confident but you never get over that kind of stuff.
    I wouldn't go back to being that age for a billion dollars.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    mutt, you reminded me of something with your boobs thing...lol.

    This is when I was about thirteen and I had not developed any boobs at all. I never did, actually, but I did sort of get pretty in high school. Before that, I was so awkward and skinny and could have worn an undershirt. One day I was walking down the hallway and a few of the boys in my class were coming from the other direction. They slammed some foam rubber into my arms and howled as they went off laughing. Haha. I had tears in my eyes and didn't know what to do with the foam rubber so I had to carry it until I found a garbage can, so a lot of people saw me walking with it and they would laugh and point. A few teachers saw too, but just gave me a puzzled look and didn't say anything, but somehow that was even more embarassing and even worse.

    Although I was bullied really badly all through elementary and middle school, this experience was sort of a step above even being bullied...lol. I laugh at it now, but, boy, it was so embarassing at the time!
  16. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    It's funny (strange-funny, not amusing-funny), how breast development -- whether early, late, large or small -- was such a source of angst. I don't think it was the breasts per se, but rather that it was the thing that made us different, unique. And it was easy to spot, easy to regognize. A natural target.

    I started wearing a bra in Gr. 3. I still have a scar across my upper back from where my bra strap and hooks dug into my back every time one of the boys snapped it, which happened multiple times per day. I used to get cornered in the playground -- even in the classroom -- held down and groped by the boys in my class, back in Gr. 4, 5 and 6. (I wonder if that was one of the reasons my parents opted for a girls' school for jr. high?) I remember vividly, the conversation I had with my teacher when I went to complain. She was a lovely Italian lady -- imagine if Sophia Loren had let herself go, and wore elastic-waist polyester trousers. She said, "It is your curse. To have a body like that around boys, they will act like boys. You have to learn to deal with them."

    Although it wasn't ideal, it was a great lesson in learning to stand up for myself. The next boy who touched me got an elbow in the stomach and a bloody nose, and the teacher didn't punish me at all.
  17. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    Friend of mine had a bad (like mom had to custom order bras bad) case of mammary hypertrophy. She's got the kind that women have outrageous implants to recreate, and a skinny little waspy waist too. She finally got to laughing about it - at age 17 she was a 32G (and by the time she was 21 she was a 32 _O_. Yes, that's the 15th letter of the alphabet.

    So she was about 12 or 13, and some skinny kid (obviously "encouraged" by his friends) ran up and grabbed her chest, saying "Come on, everyone knows you stuff your bra!" and she said, "and he backed away in horror, looking at his hands and saying 'OH GOD THEY'RE REAL'."

    Eventually they did stop growing. And she's done some fantasy art modeling, and is quite a good cartoon artist herself.
  18. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Nice teacher.
    In other words... you had to learn to deal with the real world, but so did the boys!
  19. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I had to LOL at the boobs angst.

    I began to develop the summer prior to 5th grade. Mom insisted on me wearing a bra.......we skipped the whole "training" bra deal......... I hated it. No, maybe despised it would be more appropriate. Boys snapping the strap was only a small part of it. It was how utterly uncomfortable the darn thing was that got to me. (I had sensory issues) Felt like I was tied up in a harness.

    I remember telling my mom that the things must've been invented by some man who didn't want anyone looking at his woman's boobs.

    Funny...........all these years later I still despise them, avoid wearing them whenever possible, and believe a man invented them to prevent others from gawking at his wife's boobs. LOL
  20. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Interesting turn here... And yeah, it hit me too. In fact I was always a little self conscious because I was "so small". I was a solid B - that's not really small, it's sleep-on-my-stomach-able.

    And then I got pregnant.

    My Mom went from a B to a C while pregnant with me and never went back. I went from a B to a D. I hate not being able to sleep on my stomach.

    And LOL Lisa - I hate the over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders myself. When Onyxx was 12 I took her bra shopping and was APPALLED at the AA bras with enough padding to make them appear C and underwires! Like to killed me to find wire free nursing bras with removable cups. I honestly DESPISE the wrap-around sports-bra type.

    However I have to sleep in them right now or I leak everywhere...