15 Year Old Female: Depression/Drugs/Divorce
Listen as this teen shares the painful experience of being separated from her dad and being forced to live with her mom despite their toxic relationship.
In this episode, Dr. RJ interviewed a 15-year-old high school sophomore, Billy. They discuss her childhood as she dealt with a custody battle between her parents.
Early on in Billy’s life, her parents separated. Billy lived with her mom and mom’s boyfriend in, what turned out to be, an abusive situation. Billy recalls a time at an early age when she cried to her stepmom, telling her she did not want to go back to her mom. She did not feel like she was loved or accepted by her mom. With her mom, Billy says she wasn’t treated like a person. Her mom’s boyfriend was abusive and her mom would regularly trust him over Billy. Billy felt trapped through all of middle school. At age 13, Billy was able to make the decision through the court system to live with her Dad. Over the last year, she stopped seeing her mom altogether. Billy states that her mom could not keep treating her the way she did and expect to keep her around.
Billy says that being treated like a human and an individual is the best thing that a parent can do for their child. As a parent, you should give the child a voice, explain your decisions, and seek to understand them. Her dad and stepmom sat down with her together to create the household rules. This made her feel valued and respected. Since moving to Texas with her dad, Billy has been in an environment where she can make friends and expand her support system. She also has been attending therapy. Billy has realized the benefits of therapy and encourages everyone to seek out unbiased help. Through therapy, she has been able to spend more time with her thoughts and grow from them.
Billy shares about a friend who struggles with depression and drug use. Billy and her stepmom worked together to help her friend, but the friend continually chose people who aided her drug use. Eventually, they had to let her go her own way. While Billy is hopeful that this friend will change, she is not sure she is ready for the disappointment she might face if she reached out to her again.
Having a support system is key for Billy as she works through all of the difficulties she has faced. Billy encourages teens to reach out to people, and there are also hotlines and services you can reach out to as well. Dr. RJ concludes by talking through his 3 step process for seeking reconciliation between a parent and a teen. He encourages parents to work on themselves first and then pursue reconciliation.
If you are interested in learning how to coach your teen, visit coachyourteen.com