There's always the light. It's definitely hard to see when you're going through stuff. I thought I was really alone, but now I've heard so many people talking about all the hard things in their lives, and then they discovered the light. So just keep fighting.
It's difficult to estimate the number of kids who grow up in dysfunctional families, but we can say with certainty that the numbers are not small.
So what is life really like for these kids? What does it mean to grow up in a family where alcoholism plays a role in the family dynamic, where parental separation and all the emotional baggage that accompanies the dissolution of a marriage -- especially where kids are involved -- hangs like a cloud over daily life? What does it feel like when the adult members of a family are too preoccupied or self-absorbed to really act as parents?
In each of these situations, and others, it is usually the teen who has to assume an inordinate amount of responsibility. It means he or she has to grow up very quickly while struggling to maintain stability as forces are pushing in the other direction.
Here are the voices of ten teens who have experienced these situations first-hand. But these are not stories of despair. What you will hear are the authentic voices of youth talking about coping and surviving. One story describes how a teen girl found strength through friendships and by reexamining her sibling relationships. One who was abused by an alcoholic father tells how her commitment to art and the sympathy of a teacher gave value to her life.
These are stories that will resonate with young people. This is a chance for those who struggle in their own dysfunctional settings to realize that they are not alone, that there is hope.
An Afterword by a health professional serves as a helpful reference guide for youth who wish to seek professional help and guidance.
Allen Flaming worked in an inner-city settlement house and is now employed in the community mental health sector. Kate Scowen has over ten years' experience working with youth in a variety of programs. Each has a wealth of experience working with people in crisis.
The stories are gritty, funny, sad, and even heroic, and readers will be easily drawn into the stories, which speak frankly about abuse, divorce, homosexuality, illness and addictions.
Very useful as a bibliographic resource for troubled teens ... Teens who are feeling the stress of their own crazy lives and who enjoy real stories will find this book appealing.
Teens in similar situations will find the book especially helpful and comforting; any teen will find it reassuring.
Sensitively compiled... disturbing, but... may also be fascinating springboards for discussion.
This book may provide invaluable support for some young people, simply in acknowledging by example that others have emerged from difficult times, or continue to survive despite ongoing problems.