The Blues

I have a bad case of the blues. I have those tears right behind my eyes? The ones that threaten to spill at the slightest provocation, even laughter, which seems to be bordering on hysteria lately. Part of this is a response to trauma. At the counseling session we attended after the recent death of a sailor on the water, I learned that our bodies have a chemical reaction to trauma as well as an emotional one. I am not sleeping; I am very anxious—all normal we were told. I also have a sixteen-year old son, and am going through trauma of another sort.

For all of you who are nodding knowingly, please tell me how you did it. How did you get through watching your beloved boy turn into a surly, rude young man? And most importantly, how did you not take these changes personally?

I am certain he behaves this way only (mostly) inside the walls of our home, and am grateful (I guess) for that. But I cannot remember the last pleasant conversation we had, the last time we talked without me either biting my tongue or walking away (stomping, perhaps) in a snit or he slamming around and storming off. He is so angry—but about what? Everything it seems, especially when I am involved.

I remember when the first of my friends’ sons were teenagers, they told hair-raising stories of behavior previously unseen and unheard of. One that has stayed with me was of a son walking through his living room, unwrapping a candy bar, and dropping the wrapper on the floor. All these years later, I can finally relate! Rules that have been in place for years are now ignored, or worse: Mocked!

I feel so wounded, so needy. And I HATE feeling that way. I’ve not taken to my bed or anything, but really, I am exhausted. If this were the 18th century, I would have a serious case of the vapors. I would be putting cold compresses on my forehead, while sighing deep confused sighs.

It’s not the 18th century. No corsets to loosen; no blood to let (mine OR his). I am comforted knowing that we will both survive, and perhaps one of us will be stronger. Please please please let it be me.

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