Tuesday, November 7


My 14-year-old daughter calls me a psychopath.

I'm hurt. I'm insulted. I'm wondering, "What if it's true?"

Her definition of a psychopath is one who yells when [other one] has "done nothing". Well, that's exactly the point, isn't it? She does nothing. No homework, no room tidying, no dishes, no respect. But lots of complaining, tv watching, computer messaging, music downloading and of course hair washing.

Apparently her life would be perfect if I just did what I was told -- served up the food, handed out the money -- and didn't yell at her.

The truth is that I do tend to fly off the handle at relatively petty infractions, or even suspicions of infractions. She's reached an age where I rarely take anything she says at face value, since everything that comes out of her mouth appears to be crafted to elicit a reaction that would be pleasing to her.

And by "pleasing to her" I mean giving her money.

So there's always this sort of edgy, cagey, circling and sniffing in order to find the way to the truth of any matter. Perhaps this does make me just a teeny bit psychopathic.

We looked up psychopathic at answers.com (her suggestion) and got: A person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse.

Well, that's not me! I may be somewhat antisocial and even aggressive, but I'm definitely not perverted, criminal or amoral [ok, no one's a saint, right? there's a continuum, and I doubt I could be judged as sitting too far past the middle of it]; and I'm relatively empathetic [I cry at movies!]; and remorse? hell, I'm loaded with it. But 15 years ago in this country, "childfree" was absolutely not an option. :P

It also said "`psychopath' was once widely used but has now been superseded by `sociopath,'" so we looked that up too: Someone whose social behavior is extremely abnormal. Sociopaths are interested only in their personal needs and desires, without concern for the effects of their behavior on others.

Even my daughter admitted that that described her almost perfectly.

Still, to be fair, if typical teenage behavior tends toward the sociopathic, perhaps it can no longer by definition be considered "abnormal".

And I submit that it follows, therefore, that mommies who are driven to psychopathic behavior by their sociopathic teenagers are also, by virtue of residing in this category, "normal".

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.


At 8/11/06 06:15, Blogger BagelUndertheCouch said...

on behalf of the hormone-filled 14 yr olds of the world, i formally apologize.

At 8/11/06 06:15, Blogger BagelUndertheCouch said...

*former 14 yr olds.

At 8/11/06 08:13, Blogger Savtadotty said...

On behalf of the mommies of former 14 yr olds, I sympathize and empathize. The honeymoon is over.

At 10/11/06 10:17, Blogger squarepeg said...

thank you, both.
unfortunately, savtaD, I think I blinked and missed the honeymoon (good think I took advantage of photo ops)... but I'm still optimistic about the future!


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