I’ve been asking for the past semester’s grades from my kid who left University and came home to the local community college in January. He has anxiety and is on Lexapro. He has some depression as well after the divorce. Frankly, he’s been a shell of the vivacious kid who always asked, “Why Mommy?” to everything.
I thought that in his moving back home to commute to the local college that he could have the comforts of home while I watched him. There have been suicides in my family tree (none close to me), but I am always worried about that even though he’s not shown signs of it. However, you never know and I can’t have that on my watch. So I’m watchful. I’ll admit, I’m annoying and a nag at times.
He didn’t like his classes, nor the community college. He’s really bright so he thought the teachers, the classes and the work were beneath him. I kept telling him that if it’s so easy, he could get A’s and move on to another college in the fall. At least that was my trajectory. Instead, he lost momentum. I nagged him to go to class and to do his homework. He asked me to stop nagging him and assured me that he would do it. So I stopped pushing since I wanted him to have the freedom to choose to do his work and he kept saying that he wanted to be responsible. He told me that he was responsible and to stop treating him like a kid. So I did. Instead, he chose not to do it.
Sometimes he was too sick to his stomach to go to class. He had anxiety and it manifested in nausea. He would look at me with those sad eyes pleading to let him stay home. Sometimes I did. Sometimes I didn’t. Now I wonder if during those times that he was supposed to go to class, did he? Or did he just leave in his car and go somewhere until class was supposedly over. I may never know.
What I do know for a fact is that he didn’t pass any of the classes he took. Not one. All F’s. For a kid who never got an F before, he’s devastated. As am I. And I want to ask him how he’s surprised when he knew what was expected in each class and how much work he did. The problem is that he’s very smart and never had to study before so that wasn’t the issue – the issue were the papers that he couldn’t be bothered to turn in or to do and the classes that he missed because attendance counted. He wasn’t motivated and he chose not to do it. Whether it was the anxiety or the depression or just plain laziness or stubbornness, the fact remains that he failed all the classes. And I am having a hard time with it.
I’m trying not to lose my cool or have a meltdown. I want to scream though and I want to ask him WHY??? incessantly as he did to me when he was younger. When I did ask WHY? he shook his head and mumbled I don’t know. Then he just hugged me. And what else is a Mom who’s riddled with guilt to do except to hug him back. Because we all make mistakes.
But that’s no excuse. I was raised by strict parents who demanded A’s and would have lost their minds had anything lower arrived on a report card. I remember the first C I received and how all hell broke loose for weeks afterwards so I tried never to do that again. Part of me wants to let out my inner parental voice that sounds just like my own parents and berate the kid for failing. Make him feel so bad that he does better. But he’s not wired that way and I hated it when it happened to me. It had the opposite effect on me than what my parents intended. It made me shut down and feel belligerent although I still got good grades because I didn’t want to be hit again. And I have never hit my kids because I hated when it happened to me.
He sees a therapist weekly and I’ve already informed the therapist of the recent events. He’s a good guy so I’m sure he’ll be in touch sooner rather than later. Thanks for reading and letting me vent here. My ex doesn’t co-parent nor keep in touch with the kids so I’m on my own. I’m embarrassed that my kid failed. I’m sad about it. I’m madder than hell about it. I feel guilty that I had no idea that he was failing because he wouldn’t let me see the grades and colleges don’t allow you to see the grades without the kid’s permission. What the hell is that? I mean, guess who’s footing the bill? ME! And maybe, just maybe we could have gotten him some help instead of me realizing all too late that I just threw my money out the window.
I know, I know. There’s always a bright side to learn from your mistakes. But damn, I’m sobbing here. I’m tired. Overworked, upset, feeling guilty, wanting to lash out because of the situation we are in because his dad left us and all the messy bunch of emotions associated with it. I feel like I failed the kid too. I wasn’t on top of the situation enough. I didn’t monitor him. I wasn’t a good single parent. I can’t take away the anxiety and depression that came after the divorce so I’m guilty of everything. I could go on and on berating myself. But that won’t help in the long run.
I told him that we need to find something that works for him because obviously, this situation didn’t. I don’t know what the answer is but we will find it together. I told him that he’s not alone. And he’s not. Obviously a cry for more help? Help was here and help will stay. I just don’t know what the next step is except to make another appointment with the therapist. And I will. Tomorrow. Wish me luck.
If you have experienced anything similar, please don’t hesitate to comment. But if you want to beat me up for being a bad parent etc., please keep it to yourself. I can do that quite well on my own. I don’t need to feel worse in that area. Thanks.