I hated high school. I hated the people- the kids, the teachers, my family, I hated everything in my life at that time, and I couldn’t wait to get as far away from “those people” as I could, and never look back.
I anticipated my emancipation, like a racehorse trapped in a broken starting gate, I was crazed to get out. The gates opened on my eighteenth birthday.
I have a distinct memory of a time when my children were little, three beautiful children under under five years old, before my divorce. Norman Rockwell might have captured the tableau of my little family as we sat around a corner booth in a restaurant eating a breakfast of scrambled eggs with cheese, toast with strawberry jam, milk and coffee.
There was a loud mouthed man in his early forties sitting in the booth behind me. He said to his table mates in his grating voice: “Your parents ruin the first twenty years of your life, and your kids ruin the next twenty.”
That man was a perfect example of the misery in a human being who enjoys playing life’s victim, always blaming others for his unhappiness. I promised myself that I would never be that.
I started out in a good position to be just that. The teen who hated. I’ve come full circle from that miserable teenager I was who couldn’t wait to move out and get away from “those people”. Now I am “those people” with teenagers in my house who are helping me relive those years. I try to determine how much of this teen angst is the result of hormone poisoning, how much is the natural process of separation, and how much is the result of family issues. It must be all of the above.
My teenagers are not as miserable as I was at their ages. James Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause” wasn’t as miserable as I was. The starting gates for my children are not broken, just cluttered with shoes and such.