79: My Teenage Pen Pal

 The words spoken to my husband during breakfast…
“I haven’t received a mean “comment” in a long time.”

The words spoken to my husband on the phone at lunch…
“Well, I spoke too soon.”

“coming from a friend of m’s all the people who read this **** just like gossip and **** like that… i hope you realize your son will never be able to forgive this. i would never speak to my mom if she wrote every little “secret” in my life and family problems for everyone to read. i hope you realize you ARE ruining m’s life. my parents along with many other parents are not allowing your son to “hang out” with us. your son now knows this and how do you think that makes him feel. things are not looking good, no matter how you see it.”

By Anonymous on 73: Permission to Write at 1:25 PM

To My Anonymous Teenage Reader:

Number 1: Right now, I’m not worried about him “forgiving” me. But I hope that someday he understands that I’m doing this out of love.
Number 2: Secrets? He has not hidden his behavior from anyone – his behavior is on full display.
Number 3:  I know M probably thinks that I am “ruining” his life, but a few years of teenage risk-taking could ruin, not only his life, but others.
Number 4: All parents have to make tough decisions. If your parents have made the decision to forbid you from hanging out with M, then that’s a decision I have to respect. And I hope that at some point, he can regain their confidence.

Sincerely,
M’s mom

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9 thoughts on “79: My Teenage Pen Pal

  1. Well, this is an odd situation. I was talking to my mother this morning and realized that some of these posts from J have seemed a little over the top. I had only pecked at random and since she had added me as a friend well into the ordeal of the blog, I haven't had time to go back from the beginning and read them all. My mother put it into perspective for me when compared to my brother. My brother was like this. Worse than this. Not even sure that my younger brother wasn't like this and he didn't hide things from me.

    Back to the point though, I hope your parents don't let you hang out with M. I may have done my “fair share” of bad things in HS and in college, but NEVER was it so open with my parents where I would leave things out and able to be found. I never gave my parents a reason to snoop either though. I got good grades, I didn't skip class, I didn't really party. Actually I was never invited to them and I thank God and my high paying job for that everyday. I have an unlimited future, and after my first job and moving 6 states away, the name, RHS, doesn't do anything for you. Unless you run into an alum at the job you are looking at they don't care. You got a HS education. Wow. Congrats. So did everyone else here. Not to downplay the importance of the education I received, but it's not as important as some think to have that name associated to your resume.

    I really do feel for this situation as I've watched my mom struggle with it for years. It took long stints of going to prison for my brother to really wise up and get straight. I do believe there is the same age difference between M and K as there is between my brother and me. This large age gap will give K time to see the repercussions of M's actions and hopefully allow him to act accordingly.

    The other end of the spectrum. The pot heads I knew in high school are still doing that today. A few have found jobs, but it took 7 years longer than everyone else to get into a “career” type field. then there are the alcoholics, the guys who party every night for no reason but to drink. They would get wasted after the football game, they would start fights. Want to know where they are today? Yea me too. A few found jobs, a wife, play golf and not surprisingly, have those same drunk friends from high school. Am I jealous? Not at all. Why would I be jealous of someone who has a life that isn't worth living? Poor job, poor living, doesn't get to enjoy anything and has to drink to cope with their life. The worst case I know of and I haven't seen him in a few years, became a train hopper. He didn't shower, never had a job other than pizza delivery, and just didn't care about anything. It's always odd to run into the guys from high school. They ask me how I'm doing, I get to say great. Then it goes to them. Usually its oh, I'm doing ok, working for my parents, which btw kids usually means no job. If its not that it's no job. But if they have a job, they don't like it and they're still looking. Really could go on here forever, but I think I'm done with this for now.

    J I know that a lot has probably happened since this post but I felt like it needed to be said.

  2. Not fair or necessary to group the young men that attend RHS or SME or BVN as “spoiled little brats”……maybe you need to get out in the community and interact with some of these amazing young people. All schools in this area have issues with drubs and alchohol – private and public. Let's not paint with a wide brush and open our eyes to the real problems instead of pointing a finger.

  3. Dear Young Man (“Anonymous”),
    I have a few thoughts for your consideration.

    1. You are indeed correct about “Just”'s comment. It was harsh and sweeping in its judgement. Personally, I winced when I read it. Your response was powerful and proud. It's your pride in yourself and your school that has made “Just” so angry. Please remember that your pride in your school and academic success could be misconstrued as a sinful pride. Sometimes, in order to get your idea across to a hostile audience, one needs to put on a cloak of humility. Remember the pharisees approaching Jesus with a woman caught in the act of adultery? What was our Lord's response? A quiet one…he started writing in the dirt and the accusers ended up leaving quietly. He could have really given that woman a verbal beating, but instead, he was gracious and kind.

    2. You and your friends fight for what is wrong: you fight for injustices. Good. Your love and loyalty to your dear brother-in-arms is inspiring. I am sure your words and actions have been a source of comfort for M. But, in your youthful enthusiasm for one of your own, you have overlooked one thing required of you: morals. Morals are always the same, regardless of the situation. You want the best for M. M's parents want the best for him. Your strength is inspiring, but misplaced.
    2a. M's behavior is illegal and against school rules. What a burden for you to know that he could have been placed in juvenile hall or expelled from school if he was discovered. You shared that burden with his parents.
    2b. M's behavior was destroying his health. His mother mentions that his appearance has greatly improved. He probably feels better as well. Perhaps you were unaware as to how much M was addicted to his vices…more that you could have imagined.
    2c. I don't believe you are an incompetent little boy…but a young man who should start thinking before he leaps. This issue IS your issue. Be well informed. Do your research. Discuss these facts and thoughts with your friends, your teachers, and your parents. You are in an excellent school where you are being taught how to think…so now apply it to this real life-or-death situation. Yes, it IS life or death.
    2d. You leaped because you love M. Make sure that your audience continues to listen to you because you have the facts and can clearly state them. Your love and loyalty are powerful, but underline and strengthen them with the facts. Love does not mean that you accept someone's sin. It means that you love that person while hating their sin.

    3. Finally, when much is given, much is required. It's a fact of life that because of the high academic and moral standing of your school, that fairly or unfairly, adults will expect you to behave and think in a certain way. Most of the time, when we see young folks in such a privileged position in life, we forget that you are still young men just trying to grow up. Did you know that your frontal lobe, which is responsible for regulating your decision making, problem solving, control of purposeful behaviors, consciousness, and emotions is not fully developed? It does not fully develop until you are about 23 to 25 years old. Some ideas and thoughts will not be fully developed or understood fully until it is complete. Jesus Himself did not begin his earthly ministry until he was about 31 years old. Why was that?

    Young man, I commend you for strength of mind and for your loyalty to M. It's okay to change your mind about things…that's a part of life and growing up. Those who are immature stick to their guns and ideals without thought to reality and facts. You can still love and be loyal to M and yet disapprove of his behavior. You want the best for him. We can all see it. Read your Bible for wisdom…Proverbs is a good place. Pray about this matter and your part in it. Seek wise counsel. May God bless you as you seek to serve Him more.

  4. To the person titled, “Just do the right thing”: I'd like to state again, what you just said.. “…are you entitled to act like a spoiled brat just because you attend some private school located on state line road… Your little heads can't comprehend this… Go put your head in a book and do something productive.”

    While reading this a mixture of rage and disbelief came to my head. My initial response was to go ahead and insult you, or take a stab at you, like you just did, to not only me, but to the entire community of friends of M's that attend Rockhurst High School. I don't know your morals or beliefs, or even what you do every day, but to sit there on your high horse and tell me and my friends that “our little heads can't comprehend this” is unreal to me. Rockhurst high school may be full of 1000 roudy boys that don't always do the best things. But I'm here to say that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. In fact, you made a clear contradiction in your previous statements. You clearly said “Go put your head in a book and do something productive” Well guess what, I'm doing something productive. Rockhurst teaches a lot. The men of character at Rockhurst like me and some of my less-reserved friends will not stand for injustice. At rockhurst, WE FIGHT FOR THE THINGS THAT WE FEEL ARE WRONG.. So who are you to tell me that I'm some incompentent little boy. Newsflash, with the memories and knowledge I have gained here at Rockhurst I'll see more success in 10 years from now then you will in your life. Now, although that statement does not seem rational, It comes with clear proof.. You are against the fact that we, as M's friends are standing up for the injustice that we see. You say we may “not understand” but I can tell you I Most certainly do understand. I may go to a school that costs more than other schools around it, but the ideals that I have learned here are priceless. People like YOU are the reason there is injustice in the world. You are ARROGANT. You think that because of our age we do not know things that you do. YOU ARE WRONG. With people like you in the world, people who think that we, as the youth, should stay away from “adult issues” like this one.. I can't even fathom your rationale. I, as a student of one of the best learning facilities in our area, have learned that without us, the youth, fighting for justice, and fighting for the things we care about, nothing in this world will change. So I ask you a question that probably sounds familiar to you “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?” And to answer that question that you posed to me and my friends, I think I am a strong young man who sees another friend of mine suffering, and I will fight, and continue to fight, until I see justice.. Until WE ALL see justice.
    May God bless your soul..

  5. again you have given me insight. My husband and I are changing the locks on the house so the “grown up Army” sons cannot come in. they take gross advantage and have no respect, so as hubby puts it “time for some more tough love” I wish more parents had back bones and make the hard decisions and follow through.

    I found you on Dr. Laura and have been following you since.

    Blessings to you and your family
    L

  6. “REFUSE TO ENGAGE”

    That is how I treated teenagers that were on a rampage trying to engage me in their banter of “being all that AND a bag of potato chips”!

    I just lay down rules … period. As long as I am the legal guardian, I will lay down the rules.

    You GO Major Momma!!!

  7. M's Friend,

    Why don't you go ahead and explain to your mom what you guys all do when you hang out? You might be in military school too.

    Drugs are not cool.

  8. I can't understand the amount of disrespect that is flowing out of M's friends. When I was 16, I can't imagine challenging a friend's parent's decision. I can't fathom helping a friend sneak out of their parents house or doing anything so blatant to “beat the system.” Do kids not care about the role that parents play anymore?

    TO M's friends reading this: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? ARE YOU ENTITLED TO ACT LIKE A SPOILED BRAT JUST BECAUSE YOU ATTEND AN EXPENSIVE PRIVATE SCHOOL SITUATED ON STATE LINE ROAD? GET OVER YOURSELVES, THIS IS A REAL PROBLEM AND THIS IS THE REAL WORLD. YOUR LITTLE HEADS CAN'T COMPREHEND THE PAIN THAT THIS SITUATION IS INFLICTING ON FAMILY AND FRIENDS. Go put your head in a book and do something productive.

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