Dear Ms. Meniscus:

meniscusteen2CaptureI hate going home. My mother is in a complain-loop about her arthritis. It’s pretty serious. I cannot bring friends over because they don’t want to hear about her troubles. She sits around the house all day watching TV and talking to her friends about her pain. She’s on disability and I feel sorry for her, but I have a life, too, and I should be able to bring people over without being embarrassed. I feel like I have arthritis, too.

High School Girl with a Mother Problem

 


 

Dear High School:

You do have a problem and it couldn’t come at a worse time. You need to be able to bring friends over and be proud of your family. Everybody’s family is a little bit (or a lot) crazy, but your situation borders on unbearable. Teens and mothers with arthritis can have a tough time getting along.

Unfortunately the only way out of this is to find a boyfriend or girlfriend and elope. Just joking. You must talk with your mother. I know asking a high school girl to talk with her mother is a dreamer’s request in the best circumstances, and a lost cause for you. But the way out of this is to talk with someone else first. See a shrink as fast as you can. Talk to your high school and see if it has a counseling service or if someone there can refer you to therapist. This is your problem and you have to solve it inside yourself first. A therapist can help do this. Once you understand some of the issues and challenges, you can start to deal with your mother and her problems that are affecting you negatively. Remember you can’t control your mother or her arthritis. You can only control your reaction to it. Apparently, she knows how to push your buttons, but that’s not surprising since she installed them.

Is there a father? You didn’t mention if you have a father or siblings. Let me know so I can factor them into this messy equation. Do you have a close friend whose house you can adopt during this stressful period? Many kids have informally adopted homes where they can go and be at peace. Look into whether you have one that you’re not using. You can take friends there.

Let me know what happens with the shrink. Yes, you have to go. No they’re not just for crazy people. Avoid drugs – from the street or the shrink. If your therapist says you should be popping a few Xanax or Prozac, ask why and seriously discuss the reasons before you mindlessly say yes. They can be very helpful, but they need to be taken with a large dose of talk therapy, too. They are not magic and neither is the solution to your mother problem. It is fixable though.

 

—MM

 

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