3.13.2006

R.E.S.P.E.C.T., find out what it means to me!


I have chest pain and my temples are thumping. It's been another wonderful afternoon with my one and only son. What is it about that boy? When he was tiny I just adored him, but for the last several years to say that our relationship is strained would be putting it very mildly. To try and express the guilt that I feel over this would be futile....I could never paint a clear picture of how guilty I feel as a mother about this. Mothers are supposed to ADORE their children. Well I do love Darren very much, but adore??? No. Sorry, no way. Tolerate because I have to is more like it. And that brings the waves and waves of guilt. He has had to go to counseling for various reasons and the counselor actually had to pull me aside several times to talk to me about my "inappropriate guilt." His words were,

"I know I'm not going to offend you by saying this because it's nothing you don't already know. But I have never seen, in all my years of counseling, a child more difficult than this. He is abrasive, rude and defiant. If your girls were the same way I'd blame it on you as a mother...but they aren't. And from what I've seen you've gone above and beyond what you could possibly be expected to do....you've just got to release yourself from this inappropriate guilt.....IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT."

That helped for about two seconds before the guilt came back. lol Since then it comes and goes and today is a particularly bad day. It's one of those "I wish he was 18 and I could just wash my hands of it" days. GUILT! God knows I love him, but oh man! So all afternoon I've been praying about this...and it boils down to this.....

If he were a coworker, friend, husband of a friend or even simply a person on the street....anyone besides my SON....would I tolerate or accept that kind of behavior?
Well the answer is, of course, HELL NO! To be honest he's not the kind of person I would even think of being friends with. He would be the kind of guy that people warn me about...."oh you definitely wouldn't like him!" I have to, at this point in time, take care of him, nurture him and attempt to teach him right from wrong. Beyond that, my relationship with Darren is going to be equivalent to earning my Ph.D. in boundaries setting. In my "40 days of purpose campaign" it talked of how EVERYTHING in this life is a test. The way we react to everything...even the weather. It mentioned things like opening doors for others, picking up pieces of trash, how you treat your waiters and waitresses. I'm reading it and thinking, "well crap...that's all easy stuff!!" Let me tellllllll you!!! This boy probably will be the biggest test of my entire life!!! It all boils down to respect. I've tried my best to teach him right from wrong. How to treat other people. Why is none of it sticking? He's like teflon for respect!

What is it that some people just don't understand about respect? What is it that makes people think that they can speak to another person however they feel like. If you're mad, frustrated, unhappy.....you can say whatever you want right? Afterall, you have a right to your opinions and your feelings don't you??? Well, yes you have a right to feel however you're feeling, but......

NO!!! YOU ABSOLUTELY DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY WHATEVER YOU FEEL LIKE SAYING OR ACT HOW YOU FEEL LIKE ACTING!!!

And this DOESN'T just refer to Darren either! This is to ALL of the people out there who just don't get it! Oh how many people have I witnessed treating myself or others with total lack of respect just because they have no clue that they are not allowed to act that way! Or they just don't care that they're acting wrong! So this is for all of the people young and old....and frankly I'm more worried about the young ones who still have a chance...maybe they've just never heard it said before.

*If you are speaking to your parent, especially if you are still young: you MUST show respect at all times...no matter how you are feeling! It is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS what they do, how they do it, or whom they do it with! You ARE NOT their peer...you are their CHILD! *No matter who you are talking to always remember one of the basic rules you SHOULD have learned as a child.... IF YOU DON'T HAVE SOMETHING NICE TO SAY, DON'T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL!!! No insults, verbal blows below the belt or snide remarks. *If someone says to leave them alone....do just that!!! You ARE NOT ALLOWED to harrass someone with phone calls, texts, emails, sarcastic remarks,etc, etc, etc just because you're frustrated!!! Say it with me people.....BOUNDARIES!!! Look it up!

Ok, so what about that "b" word? BOUNDARIES. A word with alot of play that most people don't actually understand. If they did understand it, we wouldn't have the epidemic of rudeness in the world right now! Simply put, boundaries is when you decide what you will and will not put up with from other people. It's drawing a line in the sand. When someone violates your b0undaries you don't have to respond aggresively...it's more that you just refuse to participate in that garbage. You will walk away. They are not allowed in your life or to participate in conversation with you, etc if they continue to act in a certain way. Boy that's tough to be consistent with....but oh so important. If not you continually allow other people's crazy and disrespectful behavior to suck the very life right out of you! I have to admit I have trouble not participating in the game (to a small degree anyways). It's either with certain people (like Darren) or with certain issues (when I see someone being verbally abused, etc. I feel protective and tend to want to "spring into action"). Other than that I've become quite good at enforcing my boundaries. You don't want to respect me? Then buh-bye. I'm not listening to it or putting up with it. Save the drama for yo mama!

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