Written by Mariam Issac – 16 years old
Do you ever feel like you are unappreciated? Do you feel like a lost marionette that needs someone to support and hug or cry with? Teenagers just need someone to understand their problems and appreciate them without hearing long lectures or life lessons.
They say you are just a teenager. How can you know about life or even feel miserable? If you go to your parents and say “Mom and dad I have depression”, all that you will get is laughter. “How can you be depressed? You are just a teenager.”
Being a teenager doesn’t mean I don’t have experiences and feelings. We lose friends, discover life, make mistakes, reality hits us hard and shatters our expectations and sometimes it can be so hard that we just need to be hugged. Hugs are not just physical contact; we need hugs while crying to feel that you embrace and validate our feelings and to show us that they matter.
We need a good listener and a hand to lift us up. As we start to have responsibilities and try to be independent, sometimes we lose hope, cry, and are forced to say goodbye to people we consider friends and family. We are then blamed for being miserable, not talking, or sleeping too much. But no one asks about the reason why. No one cares how we feel inside.
Some parents pressure their children into living a certain lifestyle and don’t give us no chance to decide for ourselves. They just pick up a pen and write down their children’s future; they plan where you are going to study, if you are going be a doctor, if you are going to work with your father, or get married at 23.
They might disagree with your dreams if you want to be an actress or a singer. Their daughter and son have to be doctors. They will cut off your wings and prevent you from flying. They are proud of your achievements, but not all of them.
We need to choose and decide, even if we choose wrong. We will learn and become stronger. We need someone to appreciate our choices and respect them. I used to listen to my parents telling me about them being obedient, never rude, never going to parties, never dressing like this or that, refusing to money from their parents, always back home at 10 pm, etc.
But we are a different generation with different characters in different bodies with different life experiences. I don’t have to do what you did when you were a teenager. I don’t have to be you. I only have to be myself. I don’t want to be lost or to forget who I am. I don’t want to forget my dreams.
Sometimes I feel like my parents don’t know me; they have no idea what life taught me, they don’t know my personality, opinions, way of speaking, what hurts me most, what makes me cry at night, where I like to go, my hobbies, or even my dreams. If they spend more time with me, sure they will know me a little bit better.
I just wanted you all over here to know that teenagers have their own feelings, careers, characters, and dreams. We don’t just need our parents to feed us and help us grow up in good communities; we need them by our sides, to be our favorite listeners and supporters, to find love and home in their eyes so we don’t have to look for them in someone else’s.
Further reading: Rahet Bally Teens: We Are Sick of Going Unheard