Clearly, I do not understand my niece anymore. I used to laugh at people who would say that their teen-age daughter or teen-age relative has grown horns and morphed into a devil’s offspring but now that I am experiencing it, it is no laughing matter.
The trouble started when she joined the school band two years ago. We actually encouraged her to get involved in extracurricular activities as his father wanted to help build her confidence. Things started good. She was happy and was doing good with school although she has always been slow in the academics. Things started to change bad when she started to give priority to her band practice and meetings instead of her academics. She started attending parties without permission, coming home after staying overnight from God knows where. No thanks to her same-attitude bandmate-friends. She became disrespectful, belligerent and totally selfish. Her father gave her much leeway inspite of protests from both me and my mother that his “undisciplining” his child could backfire. His reason, she is a teen-ager and she is allowed to rebel. A stupid reasoning for a parent, I say.
After a few weeks, we were proven right, her attitude worsened. She started to dress up provocatively duplicating her gay-friends, secrets were her expertise and money in the house started disappearing. There were situations at home that made me wish that my father is still alive to help us out.
Now that she is entering college without improvement on her actions, nobody is willing to pay for her tuition fees. Seeing that she likes to buy trivial things without much thought on saving for the future, we took turns telling her to save for her college. Not so. She always had a new blouse or a new bag or a new bling-bling. Constantly, she lied. Always, she disappears to God knows where without telling anybody where she has gone.
Last week, I saw her busy with her new cellphone. In fact, I heard her being reprimanded by her father for finishing up her P20 pesos load in a matter of minutes. I do not want to think where she got the money but the disappointment was just too great. After all the sacrifices we put into her and her sister, it seems that we are in for a big failure. It breaks my heart to see my mother struggling to care for her selfish grandchild. She told me that she has it worse now than when she was taking care of us, her children. She is not losing hope but my fear is that the stress of handling a belligerent teen-ager might take a toll on her. Already, she complains of heaviness on her chest. I have been thinking of going abroad to work, just to be free of the burden but the worry for my mother could not escape me. I pray to God for more patience but on the other hand, the relief will be great if she is not living with us anymore and gets back to her mother. Yesterday is not soon enough.