If you aren’t the victim, then you are the perpetrator.

I hate the holidays.  They always catch me off guard and scare me, much like my boyfriend does when he hides behind the door waiting for me to walk into the room.

I didn’t realize it was two days before Christmas until my mom left me a message on my phone to call her and let her know when I’d be there for Christmas Eve dinner.  This year I’m feeling less festive and cheery than usual, due in part to issues that have arisen between my teenage son and I.  He has been lying, stealing, being destructive, not obeying, and having a general “I don’t care about anyone or anything” attitude.

On an unrelated note, I don’t think tracking collars should only be legal for animals.  More on that another time.

Anyways, I called my mother back to tell her I really hadn’t decided if I was going anywhere for Christmas because it was most likely illegal for mentally unstable people to drive.  She asked if I had gotten my Christmas shopping done.  I told her that I had, but I only bought my son one small gift this year.

Hearing her utter shock through the phone, I let her know that last week I caught my son stealing money from me, and that had basically killed any Christmas spirit left in me for this season.

But if there had been any shred of Christmas spirit left in me after that, my mom destroyed it with her reply:

“Well, you should have put your money where he wouldn’t find it.  Start counting your money, and put a note with it that says you know exactly how much is there and that he had better not take any.”

With that  statement it was clear that I was the guilty one, the victimizer, the perp, the instigator.  He was merely a victim of my careless and reckless behavior.  Shame on me.  I mean, how could I possibly blame him for taking my money, when I clearly hadn’t put it in a safe enough place.

First off, contrary to what my mom apparently thinks, I don’t leave my cash taped to the front door.  What little cash I keep is always in my zipped deposit bag, which is always in my shoulder bag.  Had it been a stranger who dug into my bag and took my cash, it would have been called a robbery.  Yet since it was my own son, it’s somehow different?

Secondly, the fact that I am supposed to leave a note with my money indicates that she expects for him to continue going through my bag on a regular basis, and I need to be ok with that.  This is absolutely mind blowing to me.  Osteoporosis must be setting in, because it appears my mom has lost her spine.  If I had stolen money from her when I was 13, my butt would have spatula imprints on it for a week.  However, that didn’t happen because I had already received spatula imprints earlier on for stealing a toy from a coin machine, and I NEVER stole anything ever again.

This makes me understand in part, where society has gone wrong.  We’ve allowed our children to grow up perceiving themselves as the victim, and the parent as the perpetrator, no matter the circumstance.  This has led to a level of entitlement in the youth that has gotten to the point of being dangerous.  It has caused parents to be arrested for attempting to punish their children.  It has led  young people to protest an election they never even voted in, by burning up a car for having a sticker on it.

Let me repeat that so it sinks in.  Lighting a car on fire and burning it to the ground because it had a sticker on it.  So they are using their freedom of expression to burn a car, but wasn’t the owner of the car just using his freedom of expression by having the sticker on his car?  Yet, the car owner is the perpetrator for having the sticker on his car.

I don’t know how to fix this backwards society, but I do think it will get worse before it gets better.  As for my son, I guess I’ll just have to figure out a way to level the playing field.