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How casting the rebel as my teenage self HELPED

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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Once upon a time, I was 16, and I cleaned my room. Sounds simple, no?

But then my mu-thur (much as I love her, and much as I'm turning into her)... did something that in retrospect I'm going to simply call stupid. She overcomplimented me, and in essence (to my 16 year old mind) took credit for motivating me to clean my room. I didn't DO it for her! I did it for ME! As the 16 year old, I resented her taking the credit.

I wrote her a long letter, trying to explain this simple thing, seeking to be understood. She got defensive. We had a horrible fight. She was ready to throw me out of the house.

Now, granted, I've learned a bit as the rebel since then. I have learned NOT to assume that those around me will understand me. I have learned in many cases to just shut up and let it slide. But when the rebel gets to the point of "licking my wounds" by eating? That is not healthy. It is a signal that "something is wrong".

By casting my rebel as that teenager, I am able to ask myself what kind of mothering she needed... and in this case it meant to give her some space to resolve it for herself. And she did... eventually the rebel remembered that she was NOT maintaining healthy habits for anyone else: not for those who would say "you're an extreme athlete", or those who would say "you've come so far" or even "you're my hero". Not for those who would shame her ("you never can follow through...")

But for HERSELF, so she can do the things she wants to do in life. So they will be easier.

What turned around my relationship with my mother? Because indeed it was turned around before she passed on. Simple: I grew up. I learned to see that inside my mother was the same complex of child, teen, and adult... a whole human being... not an ideal. Kind of like... me... now.

Making peace with ALL the aspects of the whole is vital to long term success... and especially to "climbing out of the hole" that one digs when (I won't say if) the rebel gets to the point of acting out.

With the rebel "in charge", I can be "the good rebel" that WATERMELLEN gave the nod to in her recent blog...

See, rebels aren't all bad! Americans... just remember Thomas Jefferson was 19 when he penned the Declaration of Independence.

LIFE is good. Spark on! emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    490 days ago
    Brilliant blog. Thanks for sharing. I needed this today, too.
    493 days ago
    So important for me to take others' reponses with a grain of salt - good or bad, and remember that this journey is about me and for me. Not being selfish, just a good steward of what has been generously given.
    1671 days ago
    Great thanks !!
    1675 days ago
    Life is good!
    1676 days ago
    I enjoyed reading your perspective. Not something that we are used to hearing about but really bald to identify with seeing myself in a different light as I grow older and experience so many aspects of life. Thank you.
    1678 days ago
  • FIT4MEIN2013
    1679 days ago
    Why is it that considering what you want and standing firm in that opinion makes you a rebel?
    1680 days ago
    1681 days ago
    1681 days ago
    Thank you for writing about yourself as a rebel. Thank you for seeing the whole person you have become. We all have a little rebel in us to question what has not been questioned before and come up with answers. The best reason for doing anything in life is for yourself. Linda from bean town emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1682 days ago
  • BABARR67
    I always viewed my parents as... well... parents. I found it odd, even at college age, when some of my friends would point out their parents strengths and weaknesses as if they were... people. LOL. Though I still think that sometimes, especially if kids are younger, kids have no business in the business of the adults of the household... they have the right to be kids and not worry about having to make decisions and take the responsibility that goes along with them on just yet, I can see now that it is important to accept our parents and ourselves as people, with flaws and good points. One exercise psychologists often use is to ask yourself, "If my friend were going through what I am right now, what would I say to her?" Why then do we not give ourselves the same consideration we would give to a friend?
    1682 days ago
    Thanks for the perspective. As an adult, it made me look at my adult parents in a new way. And at myself.
    1682 days ago
    How did I miss this blog? Thanks to Tinajane for pointing it out. It's worth reading. Growing up seems to be a never ending process, even as an adult!
    1682 days ago
    Such an interesting thought exercise to consider myself as a child, a teen, and an adult. Thanks for helping me reflect, because I certainly see the complexity when my feelings are hurt, and I want to cry and curl up in a ball (child); when the work stress causes me to spout off in angry frustration (teen); when I am able to look at an issue from all sides and choose the best (if not the easiest) option (adult).
    1682 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1682 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    1682 days ago
    Wow! You managed to put perfectly into words something I'm still trying to learn! Maybe it's time to get to know my rebel a bit better instead of wondering why she's still hanging around when I'm supposed to be a mature adult?

    Awesome blog!
    1682 days ago
    "Speaking one's truth" is always a good thing. I'm not sure that I would dub standing one's ground being "rebellious" but I sure would say it's wonderful fertilizer for one's personal growth! :-)

    1682 days ago
  • KANOE10
    That was a great blog. I am like making peace with all aspects of the whole. Thatis so important. Plus you are doing this for yourself, not others. You are a successful rebel!
    1682 days ago
    I think we have to be a bit of a rebel to accomplish a healthier lifestyle in this day and age. Too much junk around us!

    Junk food commercials, junk food restaurants," junkie" people who don't think we can or don't want us to succeed, lots of junk!

    That inner rebel is doing just fine. Let her out and let her shine! emoticon
    1682 days ago
    You are amazing, I love your story and this blog. Thank you!
    1682 days ago
    1682 days ago
  • DSJB9999
    emoticon for sharing - you rebel!
    1682 days ago
    Thanks for sharing. Your progress is encouraging!
    1683 days ago
    That was super! Thank you for writing. Very insightful.
    1688 days ago
    You write the most interesting and insightful blogs, Barb. As an adult, you want to live a healthy lifestyle for yourself, but sometimes you want to rebel. Remembering your 16 year old self was a great move. She needed some time and space. Hoping you find your time and space and whatever else you need. You are a blessing to so many of us here on SP! Thanks for all your wisdom. -Marsha
    1689 days ago
    Mothers can do a lotta damage-----their upbringing gets into this----You at least made up before you lost her--- emoticon
    1689 days ago
    Great story of you 16 year old self . . . oh those mother/daughter conflicts are among the most difficult!! Wonderful that you resolved it then . . . and that you've come to value all aspects of your personality now.

    That subversive streak of the rebel absolutely is to be celebrated!!
    1690 days ago
    The people that we swear we are never going to be, finally show up and we realize what was and is going on in our lives. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1690 days ago
    1690 days ago
    emoticon Very Insightful, and True for Many of us!!
    1690 days ago
  • DALID414
    1690 days ago
  • MARUKI52
    Now I am in my 7th decade I can tell you that, even at my age, I am still a rebel at heart. Push me too far and I will rebel. Try to control me too much and I will rebel. I still have in me that child, that rebel, that teenager, that young woman, the middle aged woman and also the one who is 70 going on 21!

    I, as my husband will tell you, will always be a rebel. I, as my husband will tell you, can be beyond his comprehension. I, as my husband will tell you, do some daft things. I, as my husband will tell you, have depths that have yet to be plumbed. I, as my husband will tell you, am still full of surprises. I, as I tell my husband, have many facets to this jewel that is me!!


    We all, as you so rightly say, have all our childhood and teenage characteristics inside of us. Some we chose to leave behind, other we choose to change, others we nurture because they are what makes Whatever we have been in the past, we are all unique and should cherish ourselves both now and in the future. As I read so often here on SP, we, all of us, are worth it.

    I'm glad your teenage rebel helped you.
    1690 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/6/2013 10:25:26 AM
    I have always been called a rebel lol.
    1690 days ago
    That made me sit up and take notice. I guess we
    all rebel in our own way, but in the end, we just
    want acceptance. And sometimes, it can't come
    soon enough. Glad you found it. HUGS!
    1690 days ago
    emoticon Very insightful blog. When I'm feeling rebellious, it's usually b/c I want control in some area of my life. Those are the times I have to just let go... and be.
    1690 days ago
  • GABY1948
    You and I are so similar, it's eerie to me, but then, so many of us on Spark ARE similar...going to read WATERMELLEN's blog right now.

    1690 days ago
    OH my, Barb. This is quite a powerful little blog! You know, it makes certain things in my life make a little more sense, too. The bottom line is there are times to let things go. Easy? NOPERS! And it is ALWAYS time to give yourself praise and credit for your accomplishments, no matter what anyone else may say or think. WE are responsible ultimately for our successes (and yes, for our failures as well!)

    Wow, I didn't realize Thomas Jefferson (a true genius!) was 19 when he penned the Declaration of Independence! That is awesome.
    1690 days ago
  • CONCHA77
    Great Blog :)
    1690 days ago
    Ahhh.... now I understand much better what was going on... So happy you and your many selves are shifting around and gettting comfy. I can't help but have an image from my youth of me and my sisters cramming together on the couch under a blanket. We told ourselves that we'd do that because it was cold, but it was really because we wanted to be together and snuggle - but there was no way we'd ever admit that to anyone, least of all ourselves!
    1690 days ago
    "inside my mother was the same complex of child, teen, and adult... a whole human being... not an ideal."

    Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: "Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak and wrong. Sometime in your life, you will have been all of these."

    1690 days ago
  • AUNTB63
    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.....We all wear many hats (or as a teenager no hat), but we need to find that balance that makes us whole. Have a wonderful day. emoticon
    1690 days ago
    I just caught up with all of your rebel blogs. Great reading. I see myself in a lot of what your wrote. I can identify with the mom stuff.

    Thanks for very thought-provoking blogs!

    1690 days ago
    1690 days ago
    It's a great step in our own lives when we finally see our parents as people. Weird concept yes!!! Becoming a parent gave me an understanding of my folks I'd never have gotten any other way. Who knew they had doubt, insecurities & unresolved issues of their own. I'm glad you found Peace with your Mom!
    1690 days ago
    And you're a great rebel!
    1690 days ago
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