I have a journal that goes back decades. One day, when my son was about 11 years old after our older son moved to college, I wrote, "We seem to have stopped being able to communicate as a family. No one talks anymore. They seem so far away and not willing to make any effort to talk with me. I feel alone. It is a heartache. I don't know what is going wrong. Maybe it is just getting through the 'teen years' " From both of them (DH and DS) I got, "Yup. Nope. OK." And that is about it FOR YEARS!!! I remember my son was always in to his computer until all hours of the night. I would tell him sternly that he MUST get off the computer to be able to get the sleep he needed for school in the morning. He would defy me and I would tell him again and again that it was time to go to bed. He said he had trouble sleeping. I told him the games on the computer were probably giving him graphic visions that were keeping him awake. He said he needed the games. I didn't understand at all. I thought he was rebelling and being obstinate. I was frustrated because I was getting up early in the morning for a stressful corporate job and I needed sleep but couldn't sleep believing that I needed to be his watchdog so he didn't stay up all night playing video games. I could see there was a problem, but had no idea what it was because he would not communicate. I thought it was "bad habits". I believed they both needed a kick in the pants (as I was taught) to "get going". I am stopping blaming myself for their lack of communication with me. But I feel very lonely. They must feel lonely too. I am trying to figure out how to respond better to their unresponsiveness. And how to fill the void I feel in my need to be connected. I grieve the years that I did not understand. I grieve the lack of understanding and love that I could have given them in a better way had I known a little more of what was going on.
Submitted by jennalemon on 10/21/2012.