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Getting Deep #24: Not A Skank, Handicapped Brother, Cheating BFF

Q&A with Dr. Dorothy: Your tough questions answered

dorothy ratusny
Dorothy Ratusny is a Certified Psychotherapist specializing in Cognitive Therapy.

At school, I’m considered the girl who is “easy.” I’ve had a lot of boyfriends and I’ve been sexually active since I was 14. This summer my cousin stayed with us and he’s really religious. I’ve decided to turn my life around and I have a whole new set of values. How can I prove to people I’m not the “skank” they think I am?

religious girl praying skank

First, good for you for making the decision to live with new values! The easiest way to prove to others who you now are is by proving it to yourself first. Begin living the new values that you have adopted. As you feel more confident about the new choices you’ve made, others will start to take notice. Let people see you being the different person that you are and the rest will fall into place. And please remember to be patient. It may take a bit of time for people to come around and accept the new you.

I just moved to a new city. I love my new friends already. The thing is my little brother is severely handicapped, and even though I know it’s awful to admit, I’m so embarrassed when he’s around. I thought about never letting anyone come over to my place so they’d never know about him. I realize I can’t really live like this, but I don’t know how to get over it. Any advice?

Imagine for a moment that the roles are reversed. What if it was you that was severely handicapped and your brother was strong and healthy? How would you want him to treat you? How would you feel if he acted embarrassed when you’re around? Let your answers to the above questions guide your behaviour. Isn’t it possible that your friends will be accepting of your brother?

handicapped brother boy tank

I caught my best friend cheating on her boyfriend. I know him really well now and I think he’s a great guy. I feel really bad for him. My friend said she would never speak to me again if I ever told anyone. I think he should know but I don’t want to lose my friend. What should I do?

Unfortunately divorce can be very difficult for kids. Your friend likely doesn’t realize the impact her moodiness and anger is having on you. Do your best to find fun things to do together to keep the mood light. It’s certainly okay if you need to spend more time alone or with other friends and less time with her right now. Speak your truth by “explaining” rather than “venting” to your friend that her anger is creating tension in your relationship. If you explain to her that you’ll choose not to be around her when if she is taking out her anger on you, then you have now created an “out” for yourself. Your friend may do well to talk to a school counsellor or a psychotherapist, and to work off her anger by taking up a physical activity or sport.

I don’t consider myself overly demanding, but whenever I ask my mom for something I need (my dad left when I was seven), she says she doesn’t have the money. She buys me the bare minimum. I don’t have any of the stuff that my friends have like a cell phone or iPhone and I don’t own brand name clothes. But I see her buying herself new stuff all the time. She won’t let me get a job. I don’t want to sound like a brat but I don’t think it’s fair! Am I wrong?

You’re not wrong to think it’s unfair. The question is what to do about it. Consider having a heart-to-heart conversation with your Mom, gently bringing up what you have noticed. There may be an underlying reason to explain why your Mom is buying herself new things. It may not change what she buys (or doesn’t buy) you, but at least you’ll (hopefully) have a better understanding of why there is a spending difference. Until you are allowed to get a job, maybe she can spare a bit of money to pay you for doing chores or helping her in some way.

Mom Daughter
via huffington post


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