My 4th of July Fireworks Began Days Ago

sad child

My Mother is coming…

This is so typical.  Because of my depression and PTSD, I often experience unexplained physical pain.  This runs the gamut from your average nagging headache to the most incredible migraines as well as Fibromyalgia.  That’s always fun because I never know where it’s going to hit me or what part of my body might become incapacitated for hours or even days.  And most times it comes out of left field, or at least I thought it did.  It is likely my fight or flight response, which has a mind of its own and reacts to perceived threats of which my higher order brain isn’t even aware.  And that definitely happened this week.

We’ve been planning for months now our families annual 4th of July party for this Saturday the 2nd.  The party moves around and this year I’m hosting.  It’s a lot for me to take on..20 or so adults and about 18 kids.  I must feed and entertain them all Saturday and in the meantime I can barely make dinner during the week.  But I’m pushing through because that is what we do!  On Tuesday though, I started feeling it.  I couldn’t turn my head from neck pain and I started having a headache that right up until this moment feels like it is blinding me in my left eye.  I couldn’t keep dinner down two of the last few nights and just wanted sleep more than anything else.  I couldn’t understand why though.  My husband is doing a ton to help and this year we are making everyone bring a dish of food or desert.  So I have some work to do but it’s certainly not overwhelming.

Given all this, I went to my Doctor to discuss it and of course she worked it out.  She just looked at me knowingly and said, “But…your Mother is coming, isn’t she?”  Oh Dear God, Yes, my Mother is coming.  She’s coming today in fact.  She’s coming a day early to “HELP” me.  She’s helping me so much I can’t get out of bed.

My Mother is a/the trigger for my PTSD.  She is only “a” trigger because there are others.  She is “the” trigger because she and my Dad were the original triggers (he is gone now).  And because she will not accept this fact or change her behavior at all, she continues to be that trigger.  I cannot be in her presence for very long before she says something that, maybe to the outsider might sound innocuous, but to the child in my head is defeating, dismissive…even soul-crushing.  My mantra is “Your mother cannot love you, but it isn’t your fault.”  That helps.  I tried visualizing with my therapist what my Mother might say today or tomorrow that could make me fall apart.  We visualized the words just bouncing off me or running right through me with no effect.  It was great for a bit…and then I saw this look on Mother’s face in my mind’s eye.  It was a look she uses often to express her utter contempt.  A look of disgust and total disappointment.  It blew through all my imagined protections and immediately withered my spirit.  My therapist said it was the shame I carry because my Mother couldn’t love me.  I’m still blaming myself.  That is truth.  That is the ugly truth.

But it’s worse that that.  I broke into tears because I know I have used that same look with my children.  I didn’t even realize it until that moment in my Doctor’s.  All these years of therapy and all these years of swearing I’d never be like my Mother.  All these years of doing everything I possibly could to NOT be my Mother and I knew it in an instant.  I use that same look to shame my kids.  And the self-loathing was so overwhelming for a few moments that I couldn’t breathe.  I was literally swallowed by such guilt and shame I could not breathe.

My Doctor said that in the course of 3 minutes we went from what my Mother does that makes me feel depressed to beating myself up again and that I cannot keep doing that.  Easy for her to say.  I said I had to immediately start watching my every word and now my every gesture with the children…they deserve better.  The Doc said, first you have to get past this weekend with your mother.  One step at a time.  Maybe her train will break down and she won’t make it??? I couldn’t be so lucky.  Nope, I’m going to have to deal with her.  I can’t cut her off…the rest of my family would be horrified.  They don’t know, nor could I ever explain how awful she can be.  She manipulates everyone who didn’t live in our house when I was growing up.  So to keep relationships with them, I have to keep her too.  But God knows I could live a much longer, much more peaceful life if I didn’t have to deal with this.  Sick for three days before and probably a week after.  I have to get away and meditate or pray or something while she’s here.  That or they’ll be way too many cocktails in my immediate future.  If you’re read this and you pray…say one for me.   Or just send me some good thoughts.  I need all I can get.

My 4th of July Fireworks Began Days Ago

I’ve Ruined a Rite of Passage for My Beautiful Daughter

frustrated girl

Parenting with Depression and Anxiety

I’ve decided this will be a running theme for my page.  How can you be a good parent (or “good-enough” as my therapist keeps insisting as I forever beat myself up), when you are too depressed to be a good anything?  Maybe laying it down here for others to read will make it easier to heed the inner voice telling me not to say and do the crap to my kids that I am constantly hating myself afterwards for doing.   Just this week it happened again.  And lately it seems that it happens despite lengthy conversations with myself about how to handle a given situation properly because I do know how to do what’s right.  I’ve had enough therapy to know that much.  I go in with a plan and I manage to blow it up anyway.

Put simply I ruined my daughter’s “graduation” ceremony from Middle to High-School. She was sooooo excited the whole day and I’m afraid her “rational” exhuberance makes me edgy, to say the least.  It’s hard to be miserable in the face of such unabashed joyfulness.   It bugs me.  I KNOW…I’M AWFUL (apologies to my therapist, but this is some well-deserved self-flagellation).  The truth is, mostly thanks to her Dad, my daughter can be presumptive to say it nicely.  My parents would have called it demanding and self-centered and they were wrong to do so, my broken spirit as a child being the result.  My daughter is expecting that all her needs will be met on most days.  She’s 14!  I think all 14-year old girls are kind of like that, no?  But on the day of her 8th grade graduation, she was feeling particularly like the center of the universe.  And I, as usual, was feeling tired and grouchy and wanting to be left to wallow in my own dark mood.

When she started texting me at 2pm from school if we could go out to dinner for her special day I got annoyed because she wouldn’t take no for an answer.  It was a school night and by the time the ceremony was over it would be 8 or 8:30, I explained.  That was simply way to0 late to be going out for her younger brother and for Dad who has to get up at 5:30 am for work.  I was particularly annoyed because she just broke her iPhone for the 2nd time in three months and she was texting me and arguing with me about it from her friend’s phone.  So now, not only am I mean Mom but it’s all documented on her friend’s cell phone!  This is when I had the self-talk.  I knew she’d be a bit out of control this day and that she didn’t mean to embarrass me and that it was her special day.  I was going to remain cool.  Right. Great plan.

She comes in an hour or so later and starts for the 20th time that month to complain about what is for dinner.  No matter what I say or how much effort it’s taken, she asks if we can have pizza instead.  (Sometimes it’s even worse, that is, when the dreaded macaroni and cheese request is made).  Of course I know she doesn’t mean to hurt me by being dismissive, even though cooking when I’m depressed feels like the equivalent of having a tooth pulled. Then before 10 minutes has passed, she’s berating her brother and sister for not coming to the ceremony.  As if all these 2 young ones want to do is sit in the high school gym for 2 hours and listen to the teachers congratulate themselves and give enlightened speeches to a bunch of rowdy 8th graders who aren’t listening.  Then, moments later, she stopped speaking to her sister for taking the piece of bread that  she  wanted.  I said what I planned on saying earlier…”That’s enough now.  I know you’re excited, but you need to take it easy.”  The cliche “in one ear and out the other,” would certainly apply here.  But then the final straw came.

Twenty minutes before we were to leave I went to change.  I was told I needed to dress up. Had I known I’d have to sit in the bleachers (oh my God they are uncomfortable) I would have refused.  But I went along.  I was steaming from the ears a bit at that point and then she gets me good…she needs her outfit ironed.  Ok, I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal.  It isn’t.  What kind of mother, good, good-enough, not that great even, would complain about ironing her daughter’s outfit for a graduation ceremony.  It just came on the back of 10 other annoyances that hit me when I was in that mood.  And I lost it.  I remembered my self-chat, and I said screw that…it’s all about ME now.  I told her she needs to think about other people once in awhile and not ask me just as I’m about to get dressed to iron (God I hate ironing).  I told her if she asks me for pizza one more time instead of the of dinner I planned I will never buy pizza again.  I told her if she was rude to her younger brother and sister one more time that week, she’d be staying in all weekend.  And I got a million, “Okay’s” in repsonse.  She looked taken aback.  As if I was just completely insane to be mean to her on this day.  She looked hurt.  She, after all, was graduating from 8th grade.  A very huge deal to her and it should have been to me also.  She looked at me like I should have known all this and what the hell was wrong with Mom now….and she was 100% right.

Why is it so damned hard to do what’s right when you know what’s right?  Why does this depression have to make me be my mother?  Why, when you know these things does the illness get the better of you most of the time?  Why can’t I beat it?  If not for me, then for them?   All I can do now is apologize and try again.  I’m forever trying again.  Maybe when she’s my age grading my progress, I’ll get partial credit for effort.  It’s all I can hope for because if she feels about me when she’s my age as I do about my mother…I don’t think I’ll want to exist.  God help me.

 

 

I’ve Ruined a Rite of Passage for My Beautiful Daughter

Maybe Denial is the Way to Go

Parenting with Depression and Anxiety

sleepless and depressed

I know it’s yet another sad posting and I want to write more about the positives of living with this illness.  But I am currently circling the proverbial drain here.  My depression is getting so bad I’m not sleeping and I’m becoming increasingly worse.  Sleeplessness is the thief of my peace and of my hope that tomorrow (damn it…TODAY) will be easier.  And it turns me into a snarling monster with the kids when they are acting up, which guess what?  It’s what kids do.  All kids.  I wish to hell I knew why some nights, no matter what meds I take, the sleep refuses to come.  I imagine it laughing at me.  It is the most stubborn opponent and my most vicious enemy in this illness.  I hate this feeling now…knowing it’s 4am, I have only a few hours of quiet and then my kids will be up and the day will begin and I will be dragging my sorry self through it.   And then just around time for me to make dinner and take them to their activities, I’ll be passing out on the couch.  So I’ll have to take more medecine to get up again.   What kind of special torture is this?

I wish I could say Memorial Day was a good break for this family but my mood infected the entire weekend.  The kids were especially troublesome and I can’t forget that it could be me and not them who is triggering the whole God-awful cycle. I find myself shouting and I hear my mother’s voice, her exact words even, coming from somewhere inside me…trying (G0d help me) to make my kids feel as bad as my mother made me feel.  What the hell is wrong with me?!?  I know better.  I understand my illness…yet I cannot stop myself and before I know it I’m weeping and apologizing to these young people who deserve so much more than me.  God, why is this happening?

I  used to (still) hate my mother (especially her even though my father was depressed too) for not getting help with her illness.  She was the primary care giver and she was a weepy doormat to my father most of the time. Other times she was bitchy and verbally abusive to him.  Emasculating him in every way she could.  But to us she was consistently horrible.  Nasty and yelling all the time.  Taking to her bed just to get away from us.  When she had to go back to work after a few years, she was even worse because she blamed us all for having to actually go out in the world and try to make a living.  I despise her to this day for not getting help.  Because she could have made it better.  She could have BEEN better.  She could have gotten well and treated us with kindess and a little compassion.  But no…she was in denial.  There was nothing wrong with her!  She’d never see a therapist or God forbid go on medication.  Screw us.  She was suffering, so by God, so would we all.

Now, decades later, here I sit at 4am, slamming coffee because all my meds and all my damned years of therapy ARE NOT HELPING.  All these damned doctors and opinions and weight gain and hair falling out from drugs…I am so freaking sick of it.  I want to break something! How could I be anything but sour and nasty?  All the things I said I would never do to my beautiful children, I’m doing.  I am not kind and compassionate to my kids all the time. Sometimes yes…but not enough.  And  so now the self-loathing kicks in.  The tears are coming faster and I don’t know how I’m going to drag my shit through another day like this.  I pray.  I meditate.  I beg my God to please make it stop. Let me just be normal.  The guilt is perpetuating this never-ending anxiety which leads to more depression and around and around we go.

Is it because I know what’s wrong and I’m doing something about it that I’m even angrier and more resentful that I cannot get well?  Maybe denial is the better path?  Maybe then I could continue on in some hazy ignorance that there was nothing wrong with me… and I could convince myself it is everyone else who’s screwed up.  Maybe I could just write it off to having rotten kids like my mother did.  Maybe her simple solution, and why I hate her so much, is why she’s survived this long (77 years) without changing a damned thing about herself.  Could this be true?  Could I have been so stupid for so long?  Maybe.  But I don’t think so.  Because then my kids, and especially my daughters, would have no chance of escaping this Hell.  I’d be dumping it on them same as it was dumped on me.  And I simply could not live with that.  I would end it first.  End myself first.  So I’ll keep trying.  But I am really starting to lose hope.  Days like the one I know today will be just really kill the spirit.

Maybe Denial is the Way to Go

The Middle-Aged Under-Mothered Child

 

depression in the mirror

For the last three years I have been on an endless quest to “fix” myself so I do not hurt my children with my Depression and Anxiety.  I research, I write, I often judge myself harshly  and then I study some more and find something else to beat myself up about.  But hopefully through this process, what I absorb is changing my parenting for the better. I still see my behavior toward my children through the lens of my depression but more importantly, I see it also by the light of what I’ve learned.  And while it may be difficult in the moment, I can course adjust as needed so we’re not headed completely off the rails as a family.

Through my research, I have learned a great deal about Attachment Theory and its relationship to Depression and Anxiety in children.  First analyzed by John Bowlby decades ago, it has since been studied by many psychologists and written about by countless experts in the field of child development.  In the case of secure attachment, the primary caregiver (in our culture this is most often mom), provides a secure base from which the child can explore the world and safely return as needed.  A securely attached child feels loved and protected from the earliest stages of life by their primary caregiver.  An insecurely attached child, which sometimes results from the mother’s emotional unavailability, can have a great many resulting difficulties including a deep sense of rejection and a lack of self-worth. Often the worst outcomes include children later diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety (Ahhh, my life in non-fiction).  Many times insecure attachment results from the child having a depressed or anxious mother.  After learning about this from my own doctors, I read a book entitled the “Emotionally Absent Mother,” by Jasmin Lee Cori, during which I simultaneously saw my own childhood unfold on her pages as well as what might happen to my own children if I didn’t change my behavior.

One of my favorite authors, who wrote a great deal about such topics, was John Bradshaw who recently passed away.  He had a traumatic early life and understood intimately the damage that could be done by ill and/or withholding parents.  He wrote:

“We need to know from the beginning that we can trust the world…If we had a primary caregiver who was mostly predictable, and who touched us and mirrored all our behaviors, we developed a sense of basic trust. When security and trust are present, we begin to develop an interpersonal bond, which forms a bridge of empathetic mutuality. Such a bridge is crucial for the development of self-worth. The only way a child can develop a sense of self-worth is through a relationship with another…In our earliest stages of life we can only know ourselves in the mirroring-eyes of our primary caregivers (Bradshaw, 2005).”

I need to be that predictable and mirroring caregiver.  But it is so hard when it was never modeled for you.  It is not innate for me like it is for some Mom’s I watch.  I despise living my life like a science experiment, but I am an observer of parenting now…always searching out the correct behaviors because I never learned them in my first family.  W0rst of all, I cannot be around my own mother for any length of time anymore because it causes me to regress.  I’m no longer the striving good mother when I’m in her presence.  I am the rejected child.  I become the middle-aged,  “under-mothered” child to borrow Jasmin Cori’s phrase and I forget how to act.  I simply react to her endless selfish behaviors.  I become angry and lash out or I withdraw completely.  I am 16 again and hate the world and everyone in it.

No matter how old you get, maternal rejection has the ability to crush your spirit and devalue your accomplishments in a manner unlike almost anything else…if you let it.  Some people stronger than I may be able to blow it off…ignore the crazy old lady.  I am so jealous of such people.  I cannot do this.  Somewhere inside me, there is still a screaming child who just wants her mommy to love her.  And the only way to calm the child is to remove my mother from the picture and re-mother that child myself.  This used to make me even more upset and resentful.  But I’ve learned…So what?  So what if I have to re-mother myself.  It’s good practice for the ones who matter most…my own kids.

 

The Middle-Aged Under-Mothered Child

The Vulnerability of Depression

854a6d74a5d6ea80c378a50df85a142e

I cannot believe it’s been a month since I’ve posted.  But depression can make you lose track of days and weeks in a blur of mindless activity between the blissful periods of unconscious sleep.  I try so hard to walk the walk with my kids and enjoy every minute I can with them but sometimes it’s just beyond my capabilities.  And of anyone out there whom I though understood, I thought my husband did…but he really doesn’t.   Not totally.

Last month we had an awful fight.  The kind that erodes a small bit of your relationship.  If you have too many of these kinds of fights I suppose that’s how you end up divorced.  Luckily (and I hope it stays this way), we don’t ever fight like this.  He said things that night out of frustration that I know he now wishes had never escaped the filters he normally uses with me.  I understand that my moods make him “crazy” sometimes, but he has to shield me because I’m so vulnerable.  I have no natural protection from hurtful words.  PTSD does that to me.  But this time he couldn’t help it.  And now I feel just a little bit differently about us.  He was my biggest protector and my best friend and he used my trigger points against me.  I’m still somewhat shocked even a month later.

It started as simply as this:  He’s working insane hours lately.  And when he’s not at work he is going to my daughter’s softball games.  Every weekend, non-stop.  I go sometimes…when I’m up for it and when the other two kids want to go.  But not all the time.  Otherwise the whole family would be living at the softball field.  But one night, I was really down and feeling so lonely that I told him I feared he was spending so much time with her to avoid being with me.  He went nuts.  Not only did he accuse me of being a poor mom for not participating in my kids’ activities enough, he said I was just like my mother!  Isolating myself and hiding away so I could wallow in my depression.  He said I was also being like my father by refusing to foster friendships with new people…softball moms especially.  I couldn’t believe it.  If there were a list of “the worst things you can say to hurt me,” these were the top 3.

I cried for the next several days despite his apologies and claims I misunderstood.  He even took two weeks off from work to spend time with me.  But it took about that long for me to be around him again without getting upset.  His words kept bouncing around my head so badly that they were drowning out everything else.  I’m just now, a month or so later, coming out of the fog this fight caused.  Mother’s Day was nice despite him being with my daughter at a softball tournament all weekend.  Her team won the tournament so I just decided to be happy about that.  But something is different now.  I’m a little more broken than before.  Something has changed in the way I see my husband and I’m not sure it will ever go back to the way it was.  I am praying not for forgiveness…I have forgiven him.  I am praying I will forget the words.  I wish there was a way to erase that memory forever.  I want my best friend back.  And I’m the one keeping him out.

The Vulnerability of Depression

What to Do About My Perfectionist Child?

sadgirl

 

“Parents should never want to teach us life; for they teach us their life.”

~Rainer Maria Rilke

I haven’t been able to write in weeks  My anxiety has been through the roof and my husband has been working insane hours so I was quite alone amidst the chaos of raising 3 middle schoolers.  I could barely keep a thought straight long enough to get them all to their respective activities on time and still had to look at my calendar three, four, five times a day even to keep it all straight.  But finally a lull has taken hold and the anxiety has abated significantly.  It is like the tide but on a completely random schedule.  It rises and rises and then ebbs.   Unfortunately, there is no timetable by which to plan my days.  I have to keep going regardless of how I feel.  It is simply exhausting sometimes.

Despite the ever -changing disposition of my moods over the last year or so, I have noticed a consistent change in my 12-year-old daughter’s personality.  She is becoming more of a perfectionist the older she gets.  Two years ago, we had a discussion about this because she melted down about getting a B on a test and to her it manifested as a failure.  I explained to her that neither her Dad nor I expected her to be perfect at anything.  She refused to us then and it’s only getting worse.

In some ways, I know how she feels.  I was the same way with my grades in school but mostly because it was the only way to get any kind of affection out of my parents.  I performed to get my needs met.  But my husband and I absolutely do not parent this way.  Even if I unconsciously had a tendency to go there, my conscious mind would not allow it.  I recognize all too well the damage it does..that withholding affection is destructive no matter what the case.  It is also a sign of parental insecurity, not of any failing on the child’s part.  And most of all, I refuse to repeat my own history.

So what is happening?  Is perfectionism an inherited trait?  Is there really such a thing as middle-child syndrome? How do I get through to her?  It is getting to the point that we cannot even reprimand her about not doing her chores because she throws a fit and will sulk in her room all evening.  She absolutely cannot tolerate criticism.  She is also becoming completely risk averse which, I have learned from several education experts, is quite typical of the perfectionist child.  They refuse to do anything at which they are not sure they will excel because they may fail and that is injurious to the ego.  But how do I help her?

For now, my own doctor has suggested I share with her some concerns I have about my own shortcomings in regards to a volunteer opportunity I’m attempting.  I’m in training to advocate for children in foster care and make sure they are being fairly and well represented in all aspects of their cases.  I am scared I won’t live up to the task and I will somehow fail to do enough for a needy child.  But I am doing it anyway.  I want to do it and will try and hopefully rise above my own fear of failing.  My doctor thinks sharing this story with my daughter will help her to understand the importance of stretching beyond her fears, so I’ll try to discuss it with her.  But she’s a “tween” and not so interested in my stories right now.  I pray she hears me.   I do not want her to end up like me…in a spiral of anxiety and of never feeling “good enough.”  There needs to be an end to this generational pain.

 

 

Image

Kids and Tech: My Newest Reason to Be Up All Night Worrying

girl on phone

It has been my goal each morning for the last 3 or so years to do all I can to protect my kids, especially my two teenaged daughters.  To protect them from me!  From my Depression and constant Anxiety.  Psychological studies have shown that girls are twice as likely to develop Depression than boys and gender is the strongest predictor of depressive symptoms that scientists have found so far. The second strongest predictor is having a Mother with depression.  So, basically, my illness is the biggest risk to them over which I have any control.  So I do all I can to keep it under control.  We don’t hide it from them though.  After much research into the the benefits of honesty in a case like this, my husband and I decided to be forthcoming about what’s wrong with Mom so that we could do all we could to convince them to come us the very second they felt overly sad or worried about anything at all.  My greatest hope is they stay just as happy and bubbly as they are, but the second greatest is they will come talk to me if they’re feeling bad.  I never had anyone to discuss it with.  And it could have made all the difference.

In my continued effort to protect my girls who are now fully engaged in the on-line world with cellphones and Instagram accounts, I am making it a priority to learn all I can about social media and what the kids are getting up to on their phones.  See, it’s pretty easy to monitor the desktop computer.  No problem.  I have that baby locked down tight.  But the phones…that’s another story.  I had no idea how hard it is to monitor a cell phone even with very expensive monitoring software.  Especially the iPhone.  I’ve been behind Apple in their public spat with the government over security.  But now that their product security is in MY way, I’m thinking of switching my kids’ phones to Android or basically any other phone… which are all much easier to lock down that the iPhone.  Given how easy it is for these kids to hide apps and inappropriate material on the phones, it is a must to have some kind of remote monitoring.  For instance, there is an app out there called “Poof” that just makes other apps on their phone (like SnapChat or YikYak, where much of the worst behavior between our kids is happening) just disappear off of the UI with one push of a button.

I made the “good parental” decision to get a recently published book on teenagers and social medial.  It is a must read if you don’t already have this all under control.  Here is a link: American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers.  But what was a good decision for a parent was a very bad decision for an inveterate worrier.  The author interviews girls from all over the country, anywhere from middle school age up to the later teens years.  And many were from a town not too far from where we live.  And it is horrifying to hear to what what these girls are exposed and how peer pressure causes them to react.  According to the author, a full 60% of 13 year old girls in America have been exposed to pornography, much of it depicting graphic violence toward women.  Further, the girls expect that boys will request inappropriate photos or texts from them, and if they aren’t propositioned, many feel girls bad about it.  Sexting is a real thing in MIDDLE SCHOOL.  And most of the girls interviewed ride a fine line between being socially rejected for reacting badly to these offenses (as defined by being angry or upset by them) or for participating, aka reacting like a “slut.”  Apparently “Slut Shaming” is also a thing with girls as young as Middle School.  As if the world weren’t scary enough.  Now these girls are expecting to be sexually objectified by boys and worry about their popularity if they aren’t!

I spoke to my 13 year old about it this weekend.  Simultaneous to my reading this book and becoming ever more concerned, she asked me to buy her a Middle School Formal dress this weekend.  If you had seen her first choices, Holy Inappropriate Batman!  The models on the website she liked (promgirl.com) were not going to any middle school formal, or even prom for that matter.  They all looked 25+ and like they might make it in the porn industry no problem.  And they almost all had DD size fake breasts.  This is the style my daughter wants to emulate for her 8th grade dance!  So I asked her point blank if she’d ever been asked for inappropriate pictures or texts from a boy.  She said no, and that to her knowledge none of her friends had either.  I asked her what she would do, and she said without hesitation she would reject it.  I believed her.  Maybe I’m naive but it was something in her tone.  I said I was proud of her, and I wanted her to come talk to me if it happened and she agreed.

My last words to her on the subject were these:  She has a very high standard by which to judge what is appropriate behavior from boys.  The bar is her Dad.  I said, “Any boy you might get “involved” with should live up to Daddy’s standards…he’s honest, respectful and kind.  To everyone.  And he thinks the sun rises and sets over your head.  If you are with a boy who doesn’t treat you the way Daddy would, LOSE HIM.”  She agreed…for now anyway.  But I’m still watching.  And I’m still losing sleep over that phone.  I will get it locked down even if it costs me a fortune to switch it out.  It’ll be a very small price to pay for their safety and my anxiety.

Kids and Tech: My Newest Reason to Be Up All Night Worrying