Number 3

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The dreaded “my boyfriend or girlfriend is coming.” It’s one of those sayings that once you hear it, there is no coming back. I don’t know about you, but the trouble with 3rd wheeling is that you can be completely happy for the couple but you also want to cut their lips off. Ya ya ya, I get it, you guys kiss. Good for you but save the spit swapping for the bedroom because I don’t want to watch it.

I’m in a bit of a sticky situation. My two best friends are dating (weird I know). So automatically I’m always hanging out with them but the difference is now, that they are official which means “acting coupley.” The thing is, they don’t think they’re coupley in the slightest and if you tell them they are, it’s an automatic passive aggressive response or denial. There’s nothing wrong with being coupley, but do it when you don’t have one other friend their because it makes that friend (me or whoever else) feel awkward as fuck.

I wouldn’t mind it so much if it wasn’t part of this creepy cycle. Let’s give my friends some fake names to protect their identities, the girl is going to be Kat and the boy will be Zach. Here’s an average day with these two. First we’re all hanging out like normal, then Kat makes a point to say that she’s Zach’s girlfriend and how she doesn’t like the sound of it. Then she starts acting like a bitch towards Zach, then Zach gets pissy and either pouts or tries to leave. This causes Kat to get clingy, which secretly all their other friends think is part of Zach’s plan because he wants her to be all over him. Zach ignores her clinginess for a bit, then gives in acting all lovey back. Finally, they kiss and makeup…either making things weird for those around them or they leave to go do “other things.” If they don’t kiss and makeup, it ends in Kat being really mad and then leaving.

It’s a repetitive, dysfunctional cycle that personally I don’t understand. It’s not something any of our friends are willing to come forward and tell them because they’re the type of people to dismiss you if you dare criticize them on a very personal level, plus they aren’t big on talking about issues either. It’s a tough situation to be in because it’s a constant struggle to maintain these friendships. There are boundaries and lines you can’t cross, yet sometimes it seems impossible not to cross them. In other words, the struggle is real.

“Okay”

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A lot of people have very different ideas of what’s “okay.” These ideas greatly depend on how you grow up but I’d say one of the biggest areas where’s issues on what is okay and whats not are in regards to sexuality. I don’t get why, we’re all sexual beings, each of us was created from sex so what’s the big deal?

For instance, I have this one friend whose parents are extremely stringent. It’s as if they forgot they had to have sex to make her. She and I went on this trip to Mexico with our school to build houses. Of course we thought, hey maybe it’d be fun to have sex in a foreign country, so we bought some condoms are a gas station just in case the opportunity arose. We didn’t end up using them with anyone so she took them home. She emptied the actual condoms into a secret box and hid the condom box inside some trash and put it at the bottom of her trash can. Then when her mom took the trash out, she dug through it, found the box and confronted my friend. Honestly when she told me that, I was just in awe. I didn’t know people’s were that damn nosey.

It’s weird for me personally to be in homes or places where sexuality isn’t openly accepted. I grew up in a household were it was always an available topic of discussion. So when I’m at my friends houses where I can’t openly say “fuck” or talk about sex it’s almost shocking because I’m so accustomed to being really open. It makes me wonder how I will be as a parent and if I’ll be as open with my kids as my mom was with me. I can only hope so because during the time when my parents weren’t as open, I went a tad downhill and I wouldn’t wish that upon my kids when I have them.

 

Circumstantial Change

I used to think I had Nazi’s for parents…that they were as bad as it could possibly get. I was clearly very wrong and the main reason I began to notice that was because of two things. One, most of the strictness came from my father and second, I took a look at my friends parents/family lives.

Circumstance changes everything, if the time is right things will happen that may have never occurred in the first place. My parents separation was a huge adjustment for everyone. I chose to live with my mom full time, where as my little brother goes back and forth each week. I feel like that decision may have determined the fate of my dad and I’s relationship but in turn it strengthened my mother and I’s more than ever.

I soon realized that my mothers insescent pushing to get me to communicate with her more was the key to unlocking freedom. I took a big step and finally started to talk. I told her everything about boys, my friends and I even went as far as to discuss drinking and partying. I opened the flood gates and it was probably the best choice I’ve ever made. We talk about almost everything and it’s amazing. I may not take the advice that she gives me initially but her words will stick with me and they truly do help. When my father’s opinion stopped being a concern in regards to my curfew, what I can do in my free time and basically all aspects of my freedom levels, things suddenly became immensely better. My mom trusts me and that’s one of the greatest feelings. We have an open relationship and even though there are speed bumps along the way, and I still sometimes struggle to tell the truth all the time, our relationship is better than it has ever been before.

If I could give one word of advice to anyone, but especially kids/teens, it would be “communicate.” It’s hard, I’m not going to lie, but when the walls come down and there is open communication between kids and parents everything is smoother. The circumstances surrounding my parents divorce were horrendous, but from all that pain came something that will benefit me in the rest of my life.

Communicating with my parents was always hard, especially with my dad. He isn’t mature in the sense that he can’t have a conversation without jumping into screaming and yelling mode and while my parents were together I could see it rubbed off on my mom, even though she tried hard to not be that way. That was one of the main reasons I wouldn’t talk to them about the struggles I endured during my life. There was also the fact that I didn’t want them to judge me. Everyone tells me there’s no way your parents could judge you, but thats wrong. Clearly my father judges me for not wanting to live with him and his way of showing that is by cutting me out of his life, so it’s unfair to say there is no judgement in the arena of parenthood.

I was one of the lucky ones, when I opened up to my mom she reciprocated and supported me. Other’s don’t get that same benefit. One of my best friends could never talk to her parents about anything. Her mother is slowly becoming more open but her father is even worse than mine from the stories she’s told me. He’s called his own daughter certain things that should never be said under any circumstance and by doing so he’s shut down any chance of ever having a relationship with his child. I’ve witnessed first hand my friends strict parents and all the dumb rules that are put into play, like early curfews, car monitors and constant checking in on them. None of those things work, as the famous quote goes, “strict parents create sneaky kids.”

For all the parents out there dealing with similar situations or having issues with their kids, all I can urge you to do, as a teenager myself, is talk to your kids. Give them the ability to believe in you and to trust that they are safe talking to you about even the most uncomfortable topics. It will save you from a world of complications you probably never want to deal with…believe me, I didn’t talk to my parents about my life for a while and it dragged me way down hill and now that I’m able to communicate openly, I’m at such a great place in life.