Let's Get Through It Together - Month Five
My father is constantly keeping his eye on my older brother, while my mother is busy with my 7-year-old sister. They tell me I’m well-behaved, and I’m the kid no one needs to worry about. So no one does. But being a teenager in 1993 isn’t easy. I’m 16 and I need, if not a lot, some support and care. My family is not the type to talk and share feelings, so what should I do?
Your parents obviously
have a lot of trust in you, which gives you a taste of the responsibility
you’ll need when you move out. You probably shouldn’t feel
left out so much as you should feel privileged. But I can see where
you WOULD feel left out. You’re going to have to force your parents
to sit down and listen -- just tell them you need a little more quality
time with them. You might even want to show them this column. If all
else fails, maybe there’s an older relative, friend, teacher or
clergyperson who could give you some of the care and advice you deserve.
deal as I see it: 1. He probably wants to go out with girls, but his
parents are telling him he shouldn’t. 2. You are still pretty
young to be going out with guys. 3. If you still want to, you shouldn’t
wait for this one for four years. Move on, go out with other people,
and see if you even like him once he’s ready to date.
I used to be good friends with this girl until she started changing in a bad way. She told me she was going to run away from home and not to tell anyone, but I told my mom, because I was so worried. My friend found out, and now she hates me. I feel so guilty because I ruined our friendship! Did I do the right thing by telling my mom?
Yes, you did the
right thing. You didn’t ruin your friendship -- it was sort of
doomed when she got into bad things you weren’t involved in.
If I were one of
those boys, I definitely wouldn’t tease you. Guys your age are
pretty immature sometimes -- as I’m sure you’ve figured
out -- mostly because they are feeling pretty insecure themselves. But
no matter why they’re teasing you, you still shouldn’t have
to put up with it. Is there a female authority figure at school (like
a teacher, the principal, even a librarian) you can confide in? Or can
you get some of the other girls to band together and help you stand
up to these guys? Or are you more comfortable trying to ignore it? Whatever
you decide, remember that people aren’t as awful as they get older.
Try not to let their dumb hang-ups affect your self-esteem. Good luck.
It sounds like you have acrophobia, which is a medical name for intense fear of heights. This isn’t a terrible thing, but it does need to be treated by a therapist, so you might want to talk to your parents about it. You can also ask a librarian at your local library to help you do some research on acrophobia and its symptoms. Or you can write to:
for the Treatment of Phobias, Anxiety and Depression
Ask them to send you information on acrophobia, and enclose an SASE. You can also call the center at (202) 363-7792.
Well, this is one of those situations where you just have to stand up for what you believe in and risk being ridiculed. Tell the one group exactly how you feel, and ask them if there’s anything you can do to help them stop teasing the other group. One of two things will happen: Either they’ll respect you and listen, or they’ll give you a really hard time. If the latter is true, at least you have your other friends to hang out with. They sound like nicer people, anyhow.
It would be thoughtful of you to tell the sister how sorry you are and that you’d like to be there for her if she needs someone to talk to. Then keep a close eye on her if she needs some more support. As far as the two guys’ friends, if you are friends with them also, you can offer the same support as you did the sister. If you aren’t close, a simple “are you doing okay?” will show you care.
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