Hello all – Mik’s mom here. I am going to completely show my age and quote the classic 1980s teen flick Sixteen Candles. It is in the scene towards the end of the movie, (paraphrased) when all the students were going to the dance. One of the student’s parents forced him to go to the dance – they literally shoved him through the door and closed it. And he responded by beating on the closed door, shouting to his parents, “BUT I WANT TO HANG OUT WITH YOU GUYS”.
At Mik’s Hidden Hearts Alliance, through the countless messages we are receiving, we are learning there is a growing trait among hidden (chronically-ill) teens across the country who are just like the guy at the dance in Sixteen Candles.
What is this common unspoken trait phenomenon sweeping the nation among chronically ill teens? After spending a long time in and out of hospitals / having difficulty going to school on a regular basis, relating to “normie” (healthy) teens starts to become a challenge – you might, like the guy in Sixteen Candles, actually… GASP… prefer the company of your parents, family and adult friends! We have heard this so much that it is literally becoming an unspoken phenomenon and many question “Am I Normal?”.
You hidden teens might find you can identify with “older” people more (the horror!) You might find yourself just unable to relate to some people your own age because of their… ahem… teen drama. Yes, general teen issues for all is important in their world and we should give everyone the grace to understand that we should not play the comparison game with our various inner battles (never want to trivialize that), but as you grow and mature, you realize somethings that you thought were so important prior to your illness (trends, clothes, latest teen gossip, having the latest gadget, where you want to go to Spring Break with your friends, etc) become UNIMPORTANT. Why? Because you begin to wish for the most basic, yet one of the most important, blessings: the gift of health.
Trust me, Mik and I completely understand this phenomenon we are hearing about. And, we both agree identifying with adults and being friends with them is COMPLETELY OKAY and NORMAL! (Even enjoying the company of your very talkative and slightly overprotective mom is completely normal… even though SHE maybe on the far quirky edge of what is deemed “normal”… not that I know of any of them personally…. right, Mik?)
However, we also agree it is important to find teen friends to socialize with that not only accepts you, but UNDERSTANDS you. As much as I wished I could be Mik’s everything: her mom, her caregiver, her champion, her super BFF (she just loves when I speak Teen Slang!) – I realize humbly… I just can not.
I can not fill the gap that true goodhearted friends her age can. Through her illness journey, Mik has met some amazing fellow hidden teen friends. Friends she would not have met if she stayed at home. Friends who make this journey easier because they are here with her. And she wants this kind of support system for all her fellow hidden teens across this country too.
That is why Mik continues to push through and work on her ideas to bring socials and events to Houston area chronically ill teens. And this is why she is working with an amazing team of advisor mentors – all specialists in their given fields – to determine the best way to bring MHHA ideas across the country.
It is Mik’s hope and dream that her fellow chronically ill teens will get to attend socials ACROSS THE COUNTRY that help them to interact with fellow chronically ill teens that are uplifting, positive and just focus on the FUN. (more on this soon… Stay tuned!)
You have question or have ideas on how to reach out to fellow hidden teens in your community? We would love to hear from you! Message Mik at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Houston area – chronically ill teens – RSVP for the Anti-Prom TODAY and share, share, share with other chronically ill teens. MHHA is a very friendly network of chronically-ill teens. Click here for more info.
Hope Kits (Click here to nominate a deserving teen!) – Teen-focused gift kits sent across the country to bring hope and the knowledge they are not hidden.