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I guess it's time to start growing up
Second of two parts.
By CECILIA A. TUCKER
Published October 6, 2003
I realize now what the problem is. It is that I think the world needs to give me everything I want or need, when I want or need it. It is that I whine when I don't get my way. It is that I don't want anyone to put demands on me, but it is okay for me to freely make demands of others.
Entitlement is best described as the way children act when they are 2 or 3 years old, but then don't grow out of that behavior as they get older. I don't like what I am watching myself write, but I know it is true. Here is my fear: Will I ever be willing to grow up and take responsibility for the good and the bad I do? Is there a way you can help me? I even get tired of myself at times.
I remember a funny song that isn't so funny any more, "I don't want to grow up, I'm a Toys "R' Us kid." I remember singing this song every time I heard the commercial. Now I am living it out, and it is painful.
I watch my siblings get disgusted with me and turn their backs on me. I act as if their opinions of me don't matter, but they do. I want them to like me and want to be my friend, but they act as if they wish they could make me disappear, especially when I act out.
I have seen other people in my family make excuses for me, and I am glad for that until someone calls them on it. There seems to always be one family member who tells it like it is, and the telling is usually something negative about me.
It seems I get the most obnoxious when no one is paying attention to me. I need so much attention and yet I push people away when they try to befriend me. It seems I can't be satisfied with the attention I get or the attention I think I deserve. If I keep this up, I won't have any friends.
I have already mentioned some things I can do, but as I have continued to examine my problem, I realize how blind I am to my own immaturity and insecurity. I am immature, and I am so afraid of rejection that I try to make everyone feel as though they "owe" me something, just because. No one owes me anything and no one may ever like me enough to accept me just the way I am because I am so self-centered.
Do you know how hard it is for me to admit to you and, more important, to myself the kind of person I really am? I am not an easy person to be with. I make it hard for people to like me; then I push people into a corner, forcing them to pay attention to me.
I am not a loser, but a loner trying to impress the world with my charisma. I struggle with the ways I treat people. I don't like myself when I try to act better than everyone else. I make myself sick when I name-drop and try to influence people by acting important.
I need help.
I need someone to give me a good swift kick in the rear and remind me that I am not the center of the universe. I know how I act when you get in my face, but at least you love me enough not to let me get away with acting so childish. Don't ever stop telling me the truth; maybe if I hear it enough, I will let my wall down enough to let you genuinely love me, and that's really all I want out of life anyway.
That's the way you can help me with "my" problem. Thanks for your help.
- IT! Private thoughts of the Indomitable Teen is written by Cecilia Tucker under the editorial guidance of a panel of teenagers (in exchange for pizza and volunteer hours). Tucker is a licensed marriage and family therapist at the Counseling Center for New Direction in Seminole. Comments are welcome. You may write c/o: IT!, Xpress, the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731, or e-mail Floridian@sptimes.com If you are interested in being on the teen editorial panel, please contact Cecilia Tucker at firstname.lastname@example.org