Waking the Walker

A mother's quest to survive her son's "zombie" years – aka his teens.

Tag: Negan

Breaking Bad Habits


With a new year upon us, I have renewed energy and good intentions to change the things I know aren’t working or need tweaking in my household, thus creating a healthier environment for my Son and I. We all have bad habits. We are human after all and therefore not perfect. The issue though is whether we recognize them and realize they need to be broken.

As I have written about in the past, I can trigger rather quickly when frustration sets in and the bulk of my frustration comes from my Son’s lack of action. As the frustration builds so does my temper. With temper comes yelling, and some choice words, both of which I am not proud of.

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I know I can’t change my Son.

All change has to come from within. One has to want to change; otherwise all efforts will be half-hearted and set you up to fail.

So the key here is for me to find a way to prevent frustration from setting in or find a way to redirect my frustration and defuse the temper before it triggers. I know this is easier said than done, because if it were I would have mastered it already.

My Son does not see or understand my frustration. He believes I am a nag.

The dictionary defines nag as: to find fault incessantly; to be a persistent source of annoyance or distraction; and to irritate by constant scolding or urging.

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Considering the fact that my Son sees my questions or suggestions as me finding fault or badgering, not as helpful, by definition, in his mind I fit the bill.

Over the years I have stepped back from checking on my Son too much, particularly about schoolwork. I know he has to learn how to manage his time and workload on his own.

But, when his poor planning or work habits interfere with say our dinnertime, frustration sets in. Or things he used to do without any reminding, like practicing his trombone, or taking the garbage out, become a constant reminder, frustration sets in. Especially when he can still find time to game or watch an endless stream of useless videos on YouTube, which on some occasions is what he’s doing when he shows up late for dinner.

internet-wasteland

Now I’m not begrudging the need for my Son to take a break, but when the break lasts longer than the time spent doing homework, chores or college preparatory projects, frustration sets in. Read the rest of this entry »

GUILT – Motivator or Inhibitor


One morning this lovely month of October the challenge to get my Son up and moving in the morning was amplified when he missed the bus. If you are a regular reader, you know this is a long-standing problem, and one in which I have exhausted every possible idea as to how to change it. I have told my Son he has to find a method that works because when he’s in college I won’t be there to constantly push him to move. Basically he has to be part of the solution not the problem. It’s obvious this has not quite sunk in yet.

On this particular morning though, I was coming off a bad day the previous day and was not feeling well, so I was not a happy camper to begin with when my Son reappeared at the front door after I had warned him his lack of speed could result in missing the bus. This meant I had to hurriedly finish getting myself together and leave 10 – 15 minutes earlier than normal so I could get him to school on time.

Note, I could have taken him late, but he is up for National Honor Society and too many late/tardies will go against him.

Needless to say I had a few choice words, which my Son did not appreciate, even knowing this was the direct result of his lack of action. Trust me, I know yelling is not the answer, but how long is it going to take for my Son to realize his actions or lack there of, effect other people? He’s close to being 17 and even though he can see this in other people, he doesn’t seem to see it himself. At times he has also tried to throw the blame onto others, including me. This infuriates me, but part of maturity is taking responsibility for your actions, which he does more often than he used to, but in this case, he did not and tried to throw it back on me.

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How you might ask? I went to push his hair out his eyes as he was leaving and he paused to look at it in the mirror, wanting to be sure I didn’t mess it up. So, because I made him pause, it was my fault. This took just a matter of seconds. The extra 10 – 15 minutes he lost dragging his butt out of bed certainly had more bearing on his late exit than those seconds. Once those words came out of his mouth he quickly regretted them. My tirade escalated with this and I pointed out that this was all on him.

I was not at all surprised when his next words were “why do you always make me feel guilty?” In this case he most definitely should feel guilty, but by saying this he was indirectly attempting to throw guilt back at me. Again, very much the wrong thing to do in this case.

Guilt is a funny thing. Sometimes it pushes us to go over and above to make up for whatever indiscretion brought that emotion on. While other times, it makes us feel less than whom we are, thus holding us back from fully developing. Or, it pushes us into making excuses for not following through. “I’m not good enough, why bother?” I’ll never add up to anything, so why bother?” A defense mechanism to ease the pain that comes with the guilt.

GUILT is defined as “a bad feeling caused by knowing or thinking that you have done something bad or wrong.”

When we know we’ve done something wrong, whether it be through our words or actions, it can haunt us until we make things right. We need to own up to our actions and accept the consequences. It’s not easy, but it’s the “grown-up” thing to do.

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The thinking part on the other hand can really wreck havoc with our lives. We can play head games with ourselves, over analyzing our words and actions. Believing we did something wrong that directly caused pain for another, when in actuality the other person may not have been phased. Or, we read into something that was said or done and believe the other person was directly blaming us for whatever occurred. When again, the other person has moved on and not given it second thought.

I know for myself I have done this on more than one occasion, particularly since becoming a parent. I have at times beat myself up if I felt I was too hard on my Son or got angry and yelled when staying calm would have been the better tactic. I have most certainly worried that some of my actions may be why my Son may not be achieving all I believe he can.

Classic Parent Guilt I suppose, but you can’t help yourself. You want your kids to be all they can be, so when your kid tells you “you always make me feel guilty” even when you know he’s just trying to throw the blame, you can’t help but step back and wonder if your child might be right. Read the rest of this entry »

The Consequences of a Bad Decision


As a writer (yet-to-be published, produced, or paid) discussing the storyline of a TV show, movie or book is one of my favorite things to do. I love to hear writers, directors, producers, and actors talk about their craft, about bringing characters to life and the path those characters take or could take along the way.

Turns out my son has inherited this gene and although for many years has fought the writing thing, I found out recently that he now considers English not only a favorite subject, but one of his better ones, plus, lists writing as a top skill. You can only imagine what joy this brought to me when I heard those words.

Writer

My son’s imagination is like no other I have come across. His ideas go far and wide and I have always told him to write them down because one day his mind will be cluttered with so much real world crap he may forget these brilliant sparks of creativity. He has yet to do this with all of his ideas, but he has over the years kept a file on game ideas, which all evolve from a storyline, so he’s got that much going for himself.

Needless to say, him and I can get into some serious discussions about story lines and characters, especially when it comes to “The Walking Dead.” Since he has read the graphic novels the show is based on, he often gets very excited when things play out according to the book or when a new character from the book is introduced. I saw a lot this over the past season, especially the closer we got to the season finale.

Whether you have read the books or not, if you are an avid fan of the show, you are aware of the notorious barbwire wrapped bat wielding villain Negan (Jeffrey Dean Moragn) (evil personified) and the anticipation of his arrival on the show was making book readers in particular salivate.

I myself was dreading it because along with his arrival brings the departure of a beloved character in an extremely brutal way. The key question was whether the writers of the show would stay true to the book or deviate, which is often the case. And, how on earth would they show this horrific scene (barbwire covered bat connects to victims head multiple times) on regular TV?

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My son and I had many speculative discussions leading up to the season finale, each with our own ideas about where the writers may take the story. My son believing they will stay true to the books, and me feeling stronger that they would switch things up. Turns out they ended the show on a cliffhanger, so we will have to wait till Season Seven to see who became Negan’s first victim, but, we both feel that the cliffhanger did not detract from the brilliant story telling in this finale. (Note, we are in the minority here.) Read the rest of this entry »

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