Back Then, And Now …

In 2012, my only wish was to see The Teenager through High School.

Forward six years and we made it – it wasn’t easy, far from it. At times, it was soul-destroying and took us both to the edge of what we could reasonably cope with.

Yet no child can go through this hideous process without scars, and The Teenager has them in abundance. The support he could have received was patchy at best, mostly non-existent.

He wasn’t a ‘Child Carer’, at risk or falling behind at school, yet I could see the difference in him, and we navigated our way through the years bit by bit.

He is now at University, but struggling in his own way.

It would be great if you guys could send him messages of encouragement through this difficult time.

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28 thoughts on “Back Then, And Now …

  1. Suzy says:

    To the teenager/no longer a teenager: Be brave, be strong but most of all be compassionate, sympathetic and empathetic. Or all your Mum’s mates (real, imaginary and virtual) will come and give you a good talking to xx

  2. Michael says:

    I’m not very good with word but remembered a quote from Bruce Lee. I am petrified of public speaking and had an interview which included a presentation.

    “Empty your mind.
    Be formless, shapeless like water.
    You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup.
    You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle.
    You put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
    Water can flow.
    Be like water, my friend”

    It helped me to get over my nerves, through a presentation and got promotion.
    I realise it’s a completely different situation, but just think what what your mum and Bruce Lee would do.
    Hope this helps The Teenager because he’s awesome.

  3. Veronica Craven-Romain says:

    To the teenage who’s finding things a bit tough out there. How far have you come? How much have you coped with already? This is not beyond you, but remember that university is not for everyone at 18. You need to look after yourself, say nothing to yourself that you wouldn’t say to your best friend. If you’re feeling different from everyone else, then allow yourself to be different. If you’re feeling lonely, then reach out to others students, they’re probably feeling lonely too. Love yourself, Vicky.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I love that, ‘say nothing to yourself that you wouldn’t say to your best friend’. Such important advice! We’re so often really hard on ourselves. X

  4. Christina says:

    I have 3 children 24/28/29
    Alll struggled every time I list it due to been in my chair in hospital numb from next down etc etc etc hurt them a lot and there day but 30 years down the road we have screamed cried struggled But we survived all struggled I felt so gutted for them.
    But we survived
    Hold head up high and ask for help talk a lot don’t let it eat you up
    29 teacher
    28 Fine art grad Bar owner
    24 Some fancy Engineering building stuff in sellafield !!!!!
    We survived
    Hard going but so worth it

  5. Jenny Hardy says:

    Difficult times make you stronger in the long run. Keep going and don’t give up on yourself – you are awesome.

  6. Sue says:

    My daughter really struggled when she went away to Uni. The first few weeks were ok but then she got really low. I think she was surprised she felt this way as she couldn’t wait to go. It is a big change and I think a lot of students feel like this. Would it be an option to come home a bit more often? My daughter came home at weekends not all the time cos it was quite a bit of travel and expensive. I would say please taklk to someone about how you are feeling if you can. Obviously your mum and any friends or someone at the university. they must have some sort of support there. Please don’t bottle things up. Even do a blog on here? We would all listen and give any advice if we can. Wishing you the best of luck and remember you are not alone.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I’d love it if he wrote a blog πŸ™‚ Luckily, he’s not too far away and comes home now and again. I think just knowing he’s a short journey away helps. X

  7. Spud says:

    Hi teenager. Times get rough, then things go smoother, then rough, then smooth. Like surfing – climb up the tricky parts, glide with the smooth exhilaration. Each wave is different. Enjoy the ride. Take photos. Mementos of what you did. Running out of metaphor now. Stay strong.

  8. Keith says:

    I was a teenager once and like you my Mum is called Barbara and she loves me beyond words and beyond her own enormous health problems that dwarf mine ( she has lung cancer that has cost her one lung and a few ribs and at 83 she still dances better than me and I just have PPMS ).

    So from one son of Barbara to another , I hope you can appreciate what you have and still have BIG dreams of your future.

    After University my son is working for Jaguar Land Rover. I cannot drive as far away as he lives so he is meeting me part way and driving me to the home he shares with his lovely girlfriend.

    One day you may be able to do the same.

  9. Archie says:

    Each and every one of us goes through life and suffer it’s physical or verbal slings and arrows. most of the people we meet are thoughtful, decent and beautiful. The others should be distanced from as they offer nothing. They drain our goodness and kindness until we have nothing left of ourselves. Hang on tightly to your beautiful friends and even more tightly to your mum. Mine passed away a few years ago but I still talk to her.

    Time really does slip past too quickly. You can’t alter the past by you can change the future. Pain dissipates eventually.

  10. Sandy says:

    My son had a lot of help from Student Services and the campus GP. The universities are well equipped to offer support so make sure you ask.

  11. Jo says:

    I have a teenager too, and she has also struggled.

    I just want to send love to your son – adjusting to Uni and everything associated with it is not easy. There is help available – I know asking for it isn’t something that comes naturally to a young person, but everyone needs a lift up sometimes.

    Hang in there and most importantly, be kind to yourself.

  12. Catherine says:

    Hi Barbara & The Teenager. Sending you both a big Welsh “Cwtch”. You’ll get through this xx

  13. To The Adult, “Never Give Up!”

  14. colinjohn says:

    Well young man, all I can say is that you’ve achieved so much to get where you are now and that’s something to be proud of in light of recent years. Stay strong and you’ll get there and in years to come you’ll be wondering what all the fuss was about. You’ve achieved more than I ever did so stick with it. Loads of love to you too πŸ˜‰ x

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Such a lovely comment, Colin, thank you! We must all meet up again when he’s back from University over Christmas πŸ™‚ X

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