By Adaline Griffiths
I haven’t exactly had the life of what you would call a “normal” teenager. When I was about 10 years old, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness: Juvenile Fibromyalgia.
When you are thinking about your tween/teen years, being sick is not something you plan. But it quickly became my reality. Because I missed a lot of school, and since I was always sick, I didn’t have much time—or the energy—for friends. As a result, a few “true blue” friends stuck by me, but my other relationships with my peers slowly faded.
My Relationship with My Parents
So, while many of my distant friends became even more distant in my life, my relationship with my parents became that much more important.
When people go through a challenging trial in life together, it is natural to draw closer to each other, and that is what happened with me and my parents. We were able to communicate and support each other because that is what we needed to survive the entire ordeal.
I certainly didn’t want to waste any of my precious energy arguing with them day and night. Besides, my parents have gone through so much for me and with me over the years that I didn’t want to add that unneeded burden.
I’m not saying my parents and I have a perfect relationship—that doesn’t exist. But as I am approaching adulthood, I have looked back on my tween/teen years and I am proud of our relationship.
Good and Bad Times
Certainly, there have been times when we have exasperated each other. There have been times when my parents have had to convince me not to lock away my feelings, and then have held me as I cried over everything going wrong in my life. But there have also been many times when we have laughed and joked together, and just enjoyed life together. I am glad for each of these moments, both good and bad, because they have helped define our relationship—and they have helped shape me as a person.
I don’t expect my relationship to stay the same as I grow older and become more independent. But I am happy to know that my parents will always be there for me, and they will always support me. If our relationship had been different the past couple years, I don’t know if I would have had that confidence. But I did—and I am proud of it. I am so grateful to my mom and dad for all they have done for me, and for all the effort they made.
Adaline Griffiths is a high school junior living in a small town in Michigan. While she primarily writes fantasy and historical fiction, she has recently expanded into writing nonfiction as well. Her dream is to be a published author by the time she is 20.