Editor’s note: This cross post from Grounded Parents was written by Jay. Click through the link at the bottom to read the full post and make comments.
They say that being a teenager sucks. If so, then it certainly sucks even more around Valentine’s Day. Romance is hard enough at any age, but when your teenage hormones are raging and you have hardly any experience controlling the emotions you are feeling, it becomes a cruel, harsh slave master.
How Valentine’s Day came to be connected to romantic love is kind of murky, but it is generally thought that it was Geoffrey Chaucer who introduced the idea in his “ Parlement of Foules”. It had something to do with the mating of birds around St. Valentine’s Day, the actual date of which is confusing due to the precession of equinoxes and the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1582. (1)
It gained greater popularity in the 19th century and today it is a major retail holiday when huge amounts of greeting cards, candy, and flowers are sold. Given the money to be made, businesses hype the every loving hell out of it. This, in turn, embeds it into the popular consciousness which then causes teenage angst across the country.
My stepson, NK, has been having more than his share of problems with romance. Two years ago he become fixated on a girl in one of his classes. He drew her pictures. They were pictures of her as anime characters. He’s a wonderful artist and they were lovely, innocent drawings. Unfortunately, she wasn’t interested in him and the pictures made her uncomfortable and she politely returned them to him and told him she wasn’t comfortable with him giving them to her.
You should know that NK has ASD. He’s smart and kind, but also terrible with social cues and, like many kids with ASD, he obsesses about things. In this case he started to obsess about this girl. I can’t go into details about what happened between then and now out of respect for NK’s privacy, but he’s been in and out of the psychiatric hospital several times because of either inappropriate social behavior or suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
He’s been seeing a therapist, on medication, and transfered to an alternative school away from the girl. He’s had his ups and downs, but has been doing much better, until Valentine’s Day reared its ugly head…