I at first felt great guilt at yelling at her for smoking. I smoked also, so how could I tell her not to? She is a child, this is why. I am an adult. I know the sentence that could lie ahead for me with smoking, she does not.
She was always the one child who feared nothing in life. Holly dared anything she could get by with. Strong personality, aggressive in thoughts. The first child that learned to talk back at such an early age.
She excelled in school. Each teacher she encountered always made the same remarks about Holly. She was very smart and caught on to her school work quickly. Was she too smart? Was she gifted? Should I consider advancing her in grade levels. Does she need to be challenged more?
When it was her and I at home, she was defiant. It was like she had Edward Scissorhands; daggers for me. Anything I asked she fought. If I talked nice to her, she mocked me. I was beginning to think she was the child from hell.
How could she fool everyone else but me? Teachers adored her. Classmates played well with her. It was only me, a single parent left to raise three kids alone. I had to work, I had to put food on the table and pay the bills.
I felt too much guilt for not being there when ever she needed me. I was so sure that I had done something wrong in my rearing of her, that I bent over backwards to give her all that I could.
Her siblings would tend to cause problems for me as it seemed like I treasured Holly more than them. This was not the case though. I was trying to get through each of my days in peace.
I had Holly tested in many areas with different specialists. Nothing positive ever came out of it. She always tested normal. I asked family, friends and even other children’s parents if they had children like this.
There responses were a laughing no. If they had children like that, they would provide them with a tough love. What was tough love? I had never heard of this? I researched it on the internet.
- The use of strict disciplinary measures and limitations on freedoms or privileges, as by a parent or guardian, as a means of fostering responsibility and expressing care or concern.
- Wow, I was doing it back words. I was carrying the guilt for not being there. I was letting her manipulate me. I needed to change and change right now. I decided the next day would start the new me.
- I saw her after school smoking. She saw me coming near and the look she gave me was I dare you to do anything. I took her at her idol threat. I could not stand it any longer.
- I pulled my car up along the curb and put it in park. I got out and went over to her and said, “Let’s go. Put the cigarette out and please get in the car”. She stood her ground and took a big hit off of her cancer stick. She replied with a catty voice, ” I will go when I am ready. I can walk home. I don’t need a ride”.
- I took the cigarette out of her mouth and threw it on the ground. I stomped on it until the red glow was completely out. I took her by the hand and I pulled her to the car with her screaming at me. I didn’t give a shit who was watching me. This child was going home with me!
- I got her in the car and buckled her up and went to my side and got in. I locked the doors and started the engine. Off we went for home. We were both silent, which was fine with me. I was thinking, what am I going to do with this child once I get her home. Talk to her? Scold her? Ground her?
- When we walked into the front door of our home she began to rant. She was calling me names and stomping her feet. A very big tantrum for a child her age. I stood there quietly as she continued her performance and then I took her by the hand and sat her down at the kitchen table.
- I said to her, ” I am your mother. I am tired of letting you control my emotions. You are destroying my days. I don’t know why you act this way with only me, but it is over. I will not tolerate any more actions from you. The smoking is over. If I catch you doing the smoking thing one more time, I will have to send you to boot camp for bad kids”.
- She laughed and said, ” You wouldn’t dare. I will report you for child abuse. I will tell the police that you abuse me. I will run a way from home”. I looked at her with an emotionless face.
- The two of us became very quiet, as we digested what the other had said. After a few minutes had gone by she asked, “Why do you hate me so mother? Why do you treat me worse than the other two? What did I do to make you hate me so much”?
- I looked at her and my mouth opened to speak. Be careful what you say. I know you want to lash out at her. You want to tell her how miserable she has made you but don’t. You love her, you just don’t like the way she is acting.
- I spoke saying, ” I love you very much Holly. You get treated the way you do because mom feels guilty. Guilty for not being here for you. Guilty for the divorce and you growing up with only one parent”.
- “But the other two, you must feel guilty about them too right? I mean, they are living with one parent also, right”?
- “Yes, this is true, but you are the one who brings about more challenges for me. You have tested me more than your siblings. I lose my patience with you Holly. You are always testing me”.
- ” I just want to know that you love me mommy”. Holly said crying.