Dear Teenager

Dear Teenager,

I see you.  This world got so much harder for you over the last few years.  You’re starting to see how imperfect your parents are but they don’t want to change.  You’re stuck in this world, in this house until you’re an “adult” but it sucks—A LOT.  You have to start behaving like an adult but you can’t make adult choices.  You want to become your own person, but you have to live in your parent’s world.  You moved houses- or your mom moved out- or you had to change schools- or you have to share a room with your younger sibling- or your vacation time is determined by someone else’s wants and needs and limitations.  It was easier being a kid who didn’t see things so clearly—because now you see what is possible but don’t have control.  Your parents lecture you.  They tell you how much YOU need to be fixed.  How about them?  What are they doing to “fix” themselves?

I see you.  You’re not the same as everyone else.  You feel awkward making new friends or you feel like you have to “tow the line” with your friends to keep being liked.  You’re too good at school and people make fun of you for that or you’re struggling too much at school and people shame you for that.  There is so much noise and chaos.  So many social rules and they seem to change all the time.  You don’t have friends and can’t make them or you do have friends and have to be someone else to keep them. 

I see you.  Your parents say you need therapy.  You think I’ll try to fix you just like everyone else does.  You think I’ll try to change you or tell you you’re wrong or tell you that what you’re going through isn’t a big deal.  You think I’ll make you more of what your parents want you to be.  You think I’ll talk to you like you don’t get it, but you do.  You think I won’t take your dreams and fears and anger seriously because “you’ve barely lived life—just wait until you’re an adult”.

But you’re wrong.  Some therapists might do that to you and if they do, they stink as therapists.  Being a teenager is one of the hardest things we do in life and these are very often NOT the best years of your life.  You don’t get to be heard ever by anyone—not really.  Let my office be that space for you.  Come here to complain, come here to be mad, come here to be heard about the little things that matter so much.  Come here to feel safe.  Come here to feel accepted.  Come here to know that you are enough.  There is nothing wrong with you—but there are a lot of things wrong with this world.  Let me help you deal with those things and find your way-- because every story deserves to be witnessed and every person deserves to be accepted and seen. 

So take the risk even if it shows your vulnerability to those who you emotionally protect yourself from every day.  Don’t worry about saving face—take care of yourself and get what you need.  You will be happy you did.

Sincerely,

Your Future Therapis