As I wrote a few days ago, I substituted for a high school SPED teacher (Mild/Moderate). It seems that she teaches Social Studies. I guess that I didn’t know that you could do that!
Anyway, I was anxious about going to high school. I didn’t enjoy my time at Glenbard North High School in Carol Stream, Illinois. I’m not really sure if was the social aspects, the academics, or being a teenager in general. Most people who knew me then didn’t know that my life at home was filled with arguments. I fought with my parents all the time. It wasn’t that it seemed like it was all the time, it really was daily. And I hated it.
Both of my parents came from very dysfunctional families. It is very apparent to me, as an adult, how much it influenced their parenting. Don’t misunderstand, my parents love me and my brother. But they didn’t know how to parents, they didn’t have any examples of good parenting and I don’t think that they really thought about parenting. It was more of a knee-jerk reaction. As a result, many of their expectations were unreasonable. Unreasonable almost seems like it is too “nice” of a word. Their expectations were insane.
Because of their expectations, and the fact that I couldn’t, no matter how hard I tried, discuss these expectations with them, I was miserable. I couldn’t win. I didn’t fit in and my parents had rules that were so insane that if I told the truth and followed them, I would have never left the house! So, I began lying.
I don’t like lying. My boys know that lying about something gets you double the punishment. First, you get in trouble for the thing that you lied about and then you get in trouble for lying. But I spent almost 4 years lying to my parents. Almost daily. This may shock those of you who knew me back then, because I was such a rule-follower. But I felt that I had no choice, because my parents wouldn’t trust me.
I’m not whining about this now – my parents know how I feel about my teenage years and the role they played in my personal development. I’m explaining all of this because it relates to my anxiety about returning to high school.
While none of us is the same as when we attended high school, I think that walking through the doors of a high school brings back memories. And if those memories are difficult, then there is a feeling of anxiety.
You couldn’t pay me millions of dollars to be a teenager again or to relive my days in high school. I didn’t like the person I was, and I didn’t like my life. However, subbing in high school doesn’t seem so bad, as long as I remember that I am the adult. It has become my mantra today – I am the adult. I am the adult. It is difficult because I look at these kids and I see that they are more self-assured than I was until I was an adult (and owed a home and had kids). Maybe returning to high school wasn’t such a good idea. Nah, they are paying me a lot of money as a substitute, and I’m sitting here writing this blog. And it isn’t the same as returning to high school as a teenager – I am the adult.