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This is the letter from your teenager, that I wish they could write... just for you.
This letter resonates for so many families, perhaps more so now especially during these times of Covid. I hope it resonates with you...
This fight we are in right now. I need it. I need this fight. I can’t tell you this because I don’t have the language for it and it wouldn’t make sense anyway. But I need this fight. Badly. I need to hate you right now and I need you to survive it. I need you to survive my hating you and you hating me. I need this fight even though I hate it too. It doesn’t matter what this fight is even about: curfew, homework, laundry, my messy room, going out, staying in, leaving, not leaving, boyfriend, girlfriend, no friends, bad friends. It doesn’t matter. I need to fight you on it and I need you to fight me back.
I desperately need you to hold the other end of the rope. To hang on tightly while I thrash on the other end—while I find the handholds and footholds in this new world I feel like I am in. I used to know who I was, who you were, who we were. But right now I don’t. Right now I am looking for my edges and I can sometimes only find them when I am pulling on you. When I push everything I used to know to its edge. Then I feel like I exist and for a minute I can breathe. I know you long for the sweeter kid that I was. I know this because I long for that kid too, and some of that longing is what is so painful for me right now.
I need this fight and I need to see that no matter how bad or big my feelings are—they won’t destroy you or me. I need you to love me even at my worst, even when it looks like I don’t love you. I need you to love yourself and me for the both of us right now. I know it sucks to be disliked and labelled the bad guy. I feel the same way on the inside, but I need you to tolerate it and get other grownups to help you. Because I can’t right now. If you want to get all of your grown up friends together and have a ‘surviving-your-teenager-support-group-rage-fest’ that’s fine with me. Or talk about me behind my back--I don’t care. Just don’t give up on me. Don’t give up on this fight. I need it.
This is the fight that will teach me that my shadow is not bigger than my light. This is the fight that will teach me that bad feelings don’t mean the end of a relationship. This is the fight that will teach me how to listen to myself, even when it might disappoint others.
And this particular fight will end. Like any storm, it will blow over. And I will forget and you will forget. And then it will come back. And I will need you to hang on to the rope again. I will need this over and over for years.
I know there is nothing inherently satisfying in this job for you. I know I will likely never thank you for it or even acknowledge your side of it. In fact I will probably criticize you for all this hard work. It will seem like nothing you do will be enough. And yet, I am relying entirely on your ability to stay in this fight. No matter how much I argue. No matter how much I sulk. No matter how silent I get.
Please hang on to the other end of the rope. And know that you are doing the most important job that anyone could possibly be doing for me right now.
Thank you for your wisdom © 2018 Gretchen L. Schmelzer, PhD, original post June 23, 2015
What is Mental Health First Aid in Canada?
One in three Canadians will experience a mental health problem at some point in their life. The earlier a problem is detected and treated, the better the outcome.
Mental Health First Aid Canada training gives people the skills to provide that early help that is so important in recovery.
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the help provided to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Just as physical first aid is administered to an injured person before medical treatment can be obtained, MHFA is given until appropriate treatment is found or until the crisis is resolved.
The MHFA Canada program aims to improve mental health literacy, and provide the skills and knowledge to help people better manage potential or developing mental health problems in themselves, a family member, a friend or a colleague.
Mediation is a confidential and voluntary process that brings people in conflict (‘The Parties’) together and gives them an opportunity to talk about their differences in a
non-judgemental way with the help of a trained mediator.
The mediator does not act as a judge, lawyer or psychologist. Mediators don’t make decisions, offer legal advice or provide counselling. Through communication and understanding, mediators guide parties to an agreement.
I believe that conflict is a healthy part of community. When conflict is resolved effectively it can offer many benefits. IT can improve communication, clear up misunderstandings and, most importantly, help to build strong and lasting relationships with neighbours, friends, family members, co-workers, staff, clients, landlords/tenants, etc.
MEDIATION IS RIGHT FOR YOU IF:
YOU HAVE A NEIGHBOUR, FAMILY (EXCLUDING DIVORCE/CHILD CUSTODY), LANDLORD/TENANT, WORKPLACE CONFLICT
YOU WANT TO RESOLVE THE CONFLICT PEACEFULLY
YOU ARE LOOKING FOR HELP WITHOUT INVOLVING THE POLICE OR THE COURTS
YOU ARE WILLING TO SHARE YOUR SIDE OF THE STORY AND HEAR WHAT THE OTHER PARTY HAS TO SAY