I have always had a very good relationship with my mom. When I was young we rarely fought with each other and when we did it was over very small things. But, last summer my mom and I got into a fight that lasted for months. It was easily the biggest fight I have ever had with someone and I can still feel the aftermath of it now.
I took Biology at my school in ninth grade and my teacher recommended that I take the Biology Subject SAT. Most of my classmates took the test in June, but I decided to study over the summer and take it in August. My friends got their results back in July and five of them got perfect scores. Of course, I was proud of my friends, but their successes also made me feel pressure to perform as well as they did. To me, trying my best was no longer adequate. I felt an almost unrealistic obligation to get a perfect score.
A few days after my friends’ scores came out my mom commented on how well they did. This reminded me of my new desire to get a perfect score and how overwhelmed I was by this new expectation. I then told my mom how I felt that she was pressuring me to do well on the test, comparing me to my friends, and expecting too much of me. My mom has always considered herself a parent who does not solely focus on academic success, so hearing this was very unexpected for her. I think many students can relate to the adults in their lives pressuring them to do well in school. But, reflecting on the situation, I now realize that much of the pressure I felt was coming from myself and it was wrong of me to put all the blame on my mom.
It took a very long time for my mom to forgive me. She said that “a part of her died” that day. Hearing this and other similar phrases from my mom made me feel immense guilt. By saying these things, my mom hurt me as well. I was afraid that our relationship would never heal.
What saved me in the weeks following this terrible mess was my trip to New York with my grandmother. It was just my grandmother and I, which meant that I was free to weep for hours about how miserable I was. My caring and loving grandmother comforted me during every second of my sobs. She is the reason why I got through everything.
My relationship with my mom is slowly piecing itself back together. My mom will still make occasional statements about over-dramatic I was that day. These comments always hurt and they are the reason why I still cry about what happened. Although I wish my mom and I had not caused each other so much pain, in a way I am glad that the whole incident happened. That day, my mom saw someone in me who she did not know existed. I do not think she realized how much pressure I put on myself to perform well and is now more mindful of how stressed out I can become. I also know that I cannot get through difficult situations alone, so it’s important to find someone who you can reach out to. For me, I know that my grandmother will always be there for me.
YOU ARE NEVER ALONE. IF YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT ANYTHING GOING ON IN YOUR LIFE, ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING, PLEASE CALL TEEN LINE. WE CARE ABOUT YOU AND WE ARE HERE FOR YOU.
By Anusha, age 15