Pimping Deadlines

QUESTION:

I am so fed up with dating.  I broke up with an abusive boyfriend of 5 years last year.  And I have been on a rampage.  I haven’t really been looking for anything in particular, but all I have is bad luck.  All I seem to find is guys who could care 2 sh&ts about me.  I had never experienced such deep passion and intimacy as I did with my previous boyfriend.  So, the only goal I really had was to prove to myself that I could experience that with someone else and that abusive boyfriend was not the ‘one’ for me.  I met guys everywhere–the mall, nightclubs, bars, through friends, Facebook, etc. through most of the year.  And none of it was intimate like it was with him.  I finally met one where it was full of intimacy and passion, but that one night we slept together was about all we had.  After that, he was a complete jerk and lead me on for the next couple months.  I was so jaded by the whole situation, I scrubbed my entire phone of guys I had met.  I scrubbed 30 numbers.  I had no idea I had talked and dated so many guys.  I vowed to myself that I was done with that lifestyle.  I cut everything off with every single guy I was dating then.  And I took myself off the market.  I needed a lot of reflection time, I’m a sweet, innocent girl, I didn’t want what any of those guys had to offer.  All I had wanted was just to have fun and it wasn’t fun anymore.  So, for a few weeks, I just kept it low key.  Then, we went out to the club one night and my BFF’s twin who had moved back was with us.  I had never met him before, he was working in Hawaii, so we never had a chance to meet.  He was shy, had a cute smile, was really intelligent based on our conversation, and we had a spark when we started dancing.  We gave me his number and I decided to message him.  He just messaged me and messaged me right after another.  He would write 4 screens worth of messages.  He didn’t hold anything back.  A couple days after the club, he asked me if I wanted to go to the mall.  We went there and ate, had a great team.  When it was time for me to get out of the car, he leaned in and kissed me a few times.  I was mesmerized, but that night after some thought, I realized I was still jaded.  I didn’t want to date.  I’m thinking about cutting things off before they start so I’m true to my ‘reflection’ time.  Am I making a mistake?  If you felt that instant connection with someone, should you go after it?

SLICK RICK:

This is quite a predicament you are in.  On one hand, I completely understand why you feel jaded and completely against wanting to date or engage in a relationship with someone new.  After countless times of heartache and disappointment, you probably have the thought that he would just be ‘another typical guy’. I know this is quite confusing and pretty frustrating, but never fear, Slick Rick is here!

I have been in your shoes before when it comes to being completely against going out with someone new.  In your experience, you had an abusive jerk that treated you like garbage and probably didn’t deserve a second of your time anyway. I do have a question for you. Just for clarification, the guy that was abusive to you…was he also the one that you shared the deep passion and intimacy with?  I just wanted to get a better understanding for myself as well as any others that may read this. If this is the case, the reason why your experiences with him were so intimate is because you spent the most amount of time with him. You became dependent upon him and his ways, even though you recognize that he was abusive to you. I do not know that you mean by abusive, but regardless of whether it was physical, mental, or emotional; any type of abuse is WRONG.

Before I really get in depth, I want you to understand that I am not a psychologist or doctor of any kind, but simply a man with advice. If he has physically abused you, I suggest you report it to the police.  Ok, now back to your first situation. After spending nearly five years with a person, it is natural to compare anyone new to how your ex treated you physically, mentally, affectionately, ect.  If this guy had you thinking that his ‘stuff’ was the best there is out there because of his abuse, it can take serious time to recover from such a devastating experience.  Now I have no idea how your intimate lifestyle was with the guy or any of that, but if you say it was ‘the best’ then I will take your word for it.  I do want to ask what made him the best? If a person could treat you so wrongly, how is it that he is anything but a jackass?

I want to make it clear to you as well as any other reader; having these feelings towards the new men you meet is not your fault. It sounds like you tried to get back in the game after breaking up with your ex, and unfortunately, you have found out that many guys are jerks. It can be difficult meeting new guys whether it be on Facebook, through friends, going out to bars/clubs, ect.  You said that once you realized that you were not happy, you ended up deleting 30 names/numbers.  I think this is good that you took a step back and analyzed the lifestyle you were leading and did not like the person you were or were becoming.  If you are not truly happy with who you are, it will be impossible to find happiness with anyone or to even try to engage in a relationship. Taking time away from others to have personal reflection is very important to gaining your sanity, especially from a bad relationship and then from other terrible dating situations.

I personally think it is good that you have met your BFF’s twin and the two of you had a good time meeting one another.  You had a chance to see him multiple times and he even made you have that special feeling that you have been longing to have by treating you the way you deserve to be treated.  This is where things are going to get a little difficult and only you can answer these questions.

Have you fully recovered from your abusive relationship enough to trust another man to not treat you that way? You are the only one who knows when you have truly recovered from that traumatic experience. If you haven’t recovered, then I suggest you take it easy before you get too far involved with this guy. So far it sounds like you really enjoy his company and him being around though.

How comfortable do you feel around him? Do you feel like you can be open with him or do you feel reserved?  The reason I ask these questions is because I once met a girl that had just got out of a physically abusive relationship.  The girl would literally jump back when I would try to hug her or show any affection and it scared me half to death because I thought it was something I was doing.  I confronted her about this because if it was me, I wanted to know what I was doing wrong.  She then explained to me she had a previous boyfriend hit her often and verbally abused her, so she was afraid of men.  After hearing this, I felt it was my duty as a man (especially one that liked her), to show her that not all men are that way.  I didn’t pressure her to talk to me, but when she did open up, it made her feel much more at ease about being around me and understanding that not all me were like her ex-boyfriend.  So my advice with this is if you do feel like you are at a comfortable enough stage in your reflection time period, you may want to just talk with him about your previous experience with your ex-boyfriend and some other men you have dated.  If you explain to him that you are very cautious right now about dating because of some terrible experiences you have had, he will more than likely be understanding of why you are timid rather than assuming that it is something he is doing. This will at least give him a chance to show if he has what it takes to be with you!

I would definitely say that if you had an instant connection with him, especially if you know his twin very well, that it is at least worth a chance.  I must give you a word of caution though, and this is something you will have to consider.  If you date your friend’s twin, will it change the dynamic of you and your BFF’s friendship if anything should happen to you and him if you do decide to date?  I would discuss this with your friend as well as with the guy because you wouldn’t want to ruin two relationships if something goes sour.  Aside from that, I say give it a shot…it could be the best thing that happens to you.  As always, I hope Slick Rick has been helpful! 🙂

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Baby Daddy or Husband

Most couples like to enjoy themselves every now and then with physical intimacy.  It is the highest expression of your desire for another person.  But what happens when the unplanned happens and you have to face the consequences after?  Read on.

QUESTION:

I’ve been dating this guy for 4 months and I feel really strongly about him, more than any other guy before him.  He’s a real gentleman, always makes me feel safe, and truly cares for me.  He does things for me that I never imagined in a dateable guy.  He encourages me, inspires me, and is always humbly leading us, taking care of everything.  We’ve had a wonderful time dating this entire time and started being intimate last month.  Well, now we’re dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.  I already have a 3 yr old from another baby daddy, and I am embarassed as hell that I will have another baby daddy.  I truly care for him and I think he’s planning to propose next month during Christmas vacation when I visit my parents.  It’s just my gut feel.  I thought I could marry him, but then I’m scared of a ton of marriage issues.  What if he cheats on me?  Will we be financially okay?  How will he treat my 3 yr old?  How will my 3 yr old react?  He’s in the Army, so what happens when he deploys?  Will he agree with my ways of parenting?  Will I be able to run a domestic household?  I really love and care for him, but I’m scared to take that jump to marriage.  The baby daddy of my last child was horrible and did nothing for us, I was left to be mother, provider, working mom, and dad all in one.  He tells me ,he will ‘do right by me’ ,and be my side, but how do I know for sure.  Part of me just doesn’t want to get married because I’m so scared.  But, I know he’s husband material.  I’m not sure whether I want him as a baby daddy or a husband?  How do I know?  Is this natural to be this scared?  If I’m so afraid of the consequences, should I have be physically intimate with him?  What’s the best thing to do?

SLICK RICK:

To start this off, all I can say is WOW!!!  For once in my life, I have encountered an issue that required me to put a hand over my mouth, shake my head, take a deep breath and say holy crap!  Not to worry though, Slick Rick at your service.

There is a lot of emotions and scenarios involved in your situation. It has only been four months since you and your boyfriend have been together, so while it may “seem like you have known each other forever”, it is still a short amount of time. I do have some questions for you though. First, does he know about your 3 year old and the whole “other baby daddy” situation? I know it can be difficult introducing your child to a new man, especially if it doesn’t seem to be working out with him (although from the way it sounds you two are working out wonderfully). Having to continuously introduce a child to different men can become confusing and create unstability within the household; so if you haven’t introduced the two, then I completely understand your logic behind it. Second, does your boyfriend know that you are pregnant yet?  If he does, then at least he is briefed on the fact that he is about to become a father and it won’t be a total shock.  If he does not know, it would be in your best interest to inform him IMMEDIATELY.  As a man, we don’t like for bombs to be dropped in our laps at the last minute. The sooner he knows your are pregnant, the better for both of you and for numerous issues such as stress, anxiety, fear, etc…Third, why does your gut tell you he is going to propose? Has marriage even come up in discussions? I’m not knocking your ‘gut feelings’ because I get those too.  I’m just trying to understand your logic and where that idea is coming from. Four, have you met his parents, particularly his father? Not all the time, but a fair amount of the time you can gather an idea about how your guy is going to be as a husband/father based on his parents and how he is raised. Remember, this is not with EVERYONE.  Also, I hear this quite often from many women I come in contact with, (especially my girlfriend) that they only see themselves marrying someone that reminds them of THEIR OWN father. Now I’m not sure how your father is, but if he is a great man, then perhaps you could use him as a guide to judging your own man. Five, what is your living situation? Do you live together? Do you have a job as well? Do you guys both help each other pay the bills or is it ‘every man/woman for themselves’?

I know these questions may seemall over the map and random, but they each have significance in your situation. You said that he is a great guy, always encouraging you, taking care of everything, etc.  It sounds like he is a heck of a guy right off the bat.  Being in the military also helps weed out the “asshole” portion of him a lot, because the military tries to grooms assholes into intelligent, hard-working men (although that’s not always the case). It doesn’t work for all, but for many, it seems to do the trick. You also have to keep in mind, it is a good idea to remember that your last “baby daddy” was too immature to be a father, but you can’t judge your current man based on another man’s mistakes. You are with this guy for a reason, so be sure not to punish him based off of a former relationship.

Okay, I think questions 1 and 2 are pretty self explanatory as to why you should discuss these with your boyfriend. If you feel comfortable around him and that he is an earnest, hard-working, compassionate guy.  And he also treats you with the utmost dignity and respect, you should do the same for him and enlighten him about your 3 year old. If you are pregnant with his baby now, you should DEFINITELY tell him about that as well.

On to question 3, your gut tells you he is going to propose.  Let’s take it easy here.  You never want to assume anything, especially when your man is going to propose.  If you have been discussing it, then that’s one thing to get excited about it.  If it hasn’t come up in conversation at all, it is best to probably leave it be. It is best to conquer the mountain one situation at a time.  And the current situation is your unplanned pregnancy. Now remember, this is only my advice (if any others reading this have advice here feel free to jump in).  But once you break the news to him about being pregnant, that’s when you begin to ask about how it is going to work out.  You definitely don’t want to just assume that he is going to propose.  Because if he doesn’t, then you are setting yourself up for a HUGE let-down.

For most responsible men, once you tell them that you are pregnant, a sense of manhood and ownership takes control over us.  It triggers our brains to get ready to become the provider that we are meant to be. It may take him a few days or even a week to get his brain together.  But be there with him, as he will be there for you, and talk to him about everything you are thinking as far as theabout your future together. If you are worried about the money and all that keep this in mind, the military always looks out for family!  They will help with medical for you and the baby, housing, etc.  Also, if you do decide to work together on this and the military does help you guys out.  They will also do this in the event he gets deployed, as long as you are living together and have proof that he is the father (paternity test). My advice for living together is to discuss moving in to basic housing, which is provided by the military, to make your living arrangements easier for the both of you.

With question four, it’s only my interpretation and not always true. Typically when you see your significant other’s family, you get a good feel for how he is raised and what values/morals he has. Word of caution though, we all do not turn out as our parents do. Everyone is their own person, so you have to just feel him out and see how he is.  If he is as caring and compassionate as you say, then it doesn’t sound like he is going to go rogue and change based on your unplanned pregnancy.  You said that he is always around and encouraging you.  To me it doesn’t sound like he is going to ‘up and cheat’ on you just because you are pregnant.

As for question five, the reason I asked all this info is because if you are already living together, then both of you splitting the bills should be a natural thing.  When I moved in with my girlfriend (after a month of dating) we immediately sat down together as we began discussing what the bills were (rent, electric, water, etc). We divided them up and both contributed.  She currently makes more money than I do, but with all my checks, I contribute as much as I can and we work it out together.  Obviously if you do not live together, this could be problematic. My suggestion is after you inform him you are pregnant, it would be wise to give him a few days to let everything sink in.  After he has time to get a grasp on being a father, I would sit down with him and present the idea of living together, especially if you have plans of wanting to marry him.  There is no better way of telling if things are going to work out with another individual than living together.  By doing this, you find out everything you need to about a person: likes/dislikes, cleanliness, how well you are in each other’s space, etc.

As far as your parenting skills, all I can say is that you already have your own ways with your 3 year old.  You won’t know how he acts as a parent until you introduce him to your current child.  Basically, tread lightly with this. What I mean is to explain to him your methods and ask if he has any suggestions. Your child is already acclimated to your ways and might rebel against him, if he isn’t consistent with your forms of discipline. Talk to him about what you do with your child and give it a trial run.  The worst thing is not to give him a chance to show that he can take care of business in that department. If it doesn’t work out with him being a disciplinarian, then I suggest you handle your 3 year old and start fresh with the new baby.

Being scared is a natural part of all of this stuff. I mean I’m sitting here writing this and thinking to myself, this poor girl must be petrified. Just remember, take it one day at a time.  Be open, honest, and give him a fair shot to be the man he claims he is. Don’t judge him based off of your previous ‘baby daddy’ because he will grow distant from you.  It will create resentment if he is consistently compared to a former man. Be just as supportive of him as he is of you.  Keep this in mind as well: he is probably just as scared as you are, if not more (as men we will never admit this to our woman).  I hope this helps you with your ‘baby daddy’ issue :).  Congratulations on your pregnancy (even if it was unplanned) and good luck!!

*Slick Rick now needs a vacation haha*

Posted using Tinydesk Writer iPhone app

Raped Overseas

QUESTION:

I am an American who is living overseas for a new experience. A guy friend came over last night and basically raped me. I know it sounds horrible and I feel horrible. I was in the police station all night here. He pushed me down on my stomach and jumped on top of me holding me down. I felt him barely touch my private area. I had all my clothes on and he pulled down my pants as I fought to free myself. I am really sore in my back and will have police take me to the hospital soon to make a report. My 3 yr old daughter is fine, she heard nothing because she was sleeping. I only slept an hour last night. This is the first time any guy has done something like this to me. While he was holding me down I was saying ‘no’ and ‘stop’. I was trying to free myself because he was not wearing a condom. I just met him recently. I told him at the beginning of the date we were not having sex, and I only wanted something friendly. I don’t normally have sex unless I am in a relationship and usually wait. He ejaculated on my butt and I pray to God none went down to me. They will do all the sexual tests tomorrow morning. He was arrested tonight, shortly after I visited the police station. Thankfully, they take sexual violence very seriously here in this country. The police said he needed to be treated worse than a wild animal. They were so helpful, giving me water, Kleenexes and tea. He has to stay in the jail overnight. He also has to get a lawyer to go to court tomorrow. I also have evidence because I have my underwear in which he got his sperm on, while he was trying to put it inside me with my underwear on. My friend who is a police officer gave me good advice about what to do here. He said this guy who committed sexual violence will be scared if he has to go to the police station and I need not be afarid. I also decided that I will not have any more male friends to my apartment. Tonight, I badly wanted a helpful, gentleman boyfriend that I could rely on. I just want one man. The guy I’ve been talking to has very supportive. I decided I will not call guys, go on dates, invite any men to my house, have sex, or kiss any man for 3 months. What else do you recommend I do?

ARIANA

I am proud of you that you stood up enough to go to the police. Only about ~18% date rapes are reported. Even if your case doesn’t go anywhere, he is in the system now. And should he attack another woman, he will be viewed more highly as a rapist. My biggest recommendation, although I don’t know how things are done in that country, is that you seek out a rape crisis center for therapy and possibly a psychiatrist. Or if they don’t have any, then search for information online or checkout RAINN. RAINN is an organization that has (straight from their mission statement on their website) hotlines’ free, confidential services; educates the public about sexual violence; and leads national efforts to prevent sexual violence, improve services to victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice. I’m so sorry he did that to you. You in NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM deserved that. I know many rape survivors. It is a very defining moment of a survivor’s life when they are raped and usually changes who their life forever. Many victims were never the same after they are raped and that date will always be significant to rape survivors. I suggest you pick a new theme for that day. And reclaim that day, not as mourning your former self, but of celebrating the new you. Be warned, that I’ve seen survivors who are still traumatized 9 yrs later. It has a very lasting impact on your psychologically well being. He used your own body as a weapon against you to hurt you. NO ONE deserves that. It’s not the physical damage that hurts the most, it’s the psychological damage it will and has done to you. I also recommend not to lean on a man who is unemotionally stable. It is NOT healthy and he cannot give you what you need to fight this battle. If he was a long term faithful boyfriend or husband, he at least has made the commitment to be there. It is tough for men to even play that role when you’re important to them. You will have to learn to stand on your own 2 feet after this and be strong. You will have to be able to tell yourself you are strong despite all that happens after this. YOU are really the only one who can help yourself inside and in your mind to get past and through this. No man, woman, or child can fight this fight for you. If you hear anything, please know that! You are strong. Be strong for yourself. Your view on men will most likely change. I also suggest having some friend (female) staying the night the next few days as I’m sure you’re still in shock. It will take some time to recover from this. Please know we here at STD are rooting for you and hoping you find the resources to get through this trauma. It’s a long hard fight, but you can do it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. And be patient with yourself.

Bipolar Love

QUESTION:

First off, I am an individual who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I was misdiagnosed for a long time and had a toxic relationship I was part of the entire time until I got diagnosed correctly. Then I was able to get on the right meds and I was then well enough to see what a terrible person he was to be in a relationship with. And he was an even worse choice for someone like me with bipolar disorder to be with. So, I have stayed out of relationships for a while. But I finally met a wonderful guy at church. He had just moved here from Chicago and was new at our church. We hit off and got very close quickly. My friends said we seemed as if we had been together for years, but we had only been together for a couple months. We had a lot of the same values, were both very much family people, had great conversations and also had a very strong physical attraction. One night, we had a disagreement about where our relationship was headed. I wanted to be more than just ‘talking’ but he wanted to take things slow. And then 2 weeks later after things were good for a while, he abruptly broke things off. We went back and forth for a week. Then one day I just snapped and had an episode. I said some of the deepest thoughts I had never ever revealed to anyone about the deep pain I had. I am a very open person so for me to hold something that deep meant it was very significant. He was so afraid for me and upset that I could be so negative about myself. The next morning we were talking again and I revealed to him that I was bipolar. I explained the night before was just an episode that was triggered by lack of sleep and stress from work that was built up over the last 6 months. He’s not sure what to do and wants to be there. He just never wants to see me in so much pain because of anything related to him. How do I have a normal relationship? What can we do to make this better? Do we have hope?

ARIANA:

First of all, I know I’m no expert on the matter of mental illness. I, well as the rest of the STD team, are supporters in active education on and effective treatment of mental illness. Your local hospital should be able to direct you to a unit where you can get more help. That said, there are some things we do know and that is that people with mood disorders need love just as much as those without. It just takes more work on both parties to make a relationship work when one person suffers from a mood disorder. You did the right thing by letting the guy know. If you are thinking about and discussing with someone the possibility of a relationship, you should be up front to let him know what he is stepping into. Then he can decide for himself if it’s something he can handle. And I know it’s hard but you have to try and not take it offensively or personally. Most people are not equipped with the patience and understanding is required. That’s nobody’s fault, that’s just the way it is. With that said, there is hope. You may have found a man who will be patient and understanding, supporting you through this. He can only support, you will have to do the leg work. I truly believe in the power of love, so if it is truly meant to be you two can work through this. It will take a lot of work on both parties, but it will be worth it if your relationship is strong enough to overcome this. You have to be honest with him and yourself when your stressors are building up. If he truly cares for you then he no doubt doesn’t want to witness another episode. And at worse, watch you land yourself in the psych unit of the hospital. I have know people who have gone in several times into the psych unit and although the person may love you, it takes its toll. The only thing you can is take care of yourself in regard to nutrition, exercise, sleep, good coping skills, being on the right meds and working with your therapist. I sincerely wish you the best, you are not in an easy task and have a difficult road. But, in this world, there are people strong enough to fight against opposing forces. And if you’re blessed, which time will only tell, you will have a man who can support you fight the fight. Don’t be mistaken or misguided that he’ll fight it for you, all the hard work lies in your hands. Own your life, it will help you reap the fruit of an excellent life full of love, happiness, and joy.

911

QUESTION: My girlfriend and I and our daughter just came back from NYC and it was a nightmare. I’m exhausted because I had to spend the last 3 days trying to get her get out of the psych ER there, not to mention it was worse since it fell around Sept 11th. I’ve been dealing with her depression for the last 2 years since we met at an AA meeting. I don’t know if I can do it anymore. It’s like she’s not getting better. It’s especially worse now cause we have our daughter and my girlfriend is diagnose with postpartum depression. Before she got pregnant, we were always partying together, drinking, and doing drugs. She got pregnant and she stopped. She was fine til the end and the ob/gyn told us that she needed to be on anti-depressants. We worried about her being on it while she was pregnant but the doctor mentioned it may be worse should she hurt herself. She never got on it, but now I see why she needs it. How do I help her? Should I leave? This is too much drain on me and what about our daughter?

ANSWER: You are in a very tough spot there. It’s not your responsibility to handle her mental health, but you can be there to support her. And if you’re worn out now, you may want to leave now. It will take a toll on her emotions, but if you’re not in it for the long run, then you might as well quit now. She will have this mental health issue the rest of her life and right now, it’s apparent that she’s still got an uphill climb. You can’t force her to fight her mental health problems, but you can encourage her in every way. That is where you’re going to have to be strong and consistent. I know you want her better, especially since you guys have a child, but you can’t force her. You can encourage her to get on meds, research and better understand her illness so you can be supportive and recognize the symptoms along with her behavior. You’re in it for the long haul should you go forward and you should decide now for the benefit of your all of you in your family. But if you leave her, don’t leave behind your daughter, she will need you, as well as her mom, more than ever. You’re in a tough spot but if you’re up for it, go for it. If not, bow out, she deserves to have someone there to support her fully, you don’t want your relationship to add to the difficulties. Good luck and don’t forget it happens to a lot of us, you just don’t know. But with the right meds, support and therapy, she can be back on top possibly stronger than ever! 911 for 911. You gotta up your care for the tough things in life. Nobody ever said life was easy!

She was raped

Q: Five months ago, I received one of the most disturbing and intense calls from a girl I had dated for 6 months. From the sound of her voice, I knew something was up. She was generally a happy person and to hear her nervous and in disarray was concerning. I was worried about her, even though she had cut things off, I still cared about her. I probed her and probed until she finally told me. She had gone out with some co-workers the previous night and was date raped by one of the guys. I didn’t force her to go into details, I just wanted to be there for her. She was a beautiful, confident, smart girl. I didn’t know what was going to happen after this, from what I could tell already her world was turned upside down. Then she asked me something that I said yes to without really thinking through the possible implications. She asked me to go to the hospital with her so she could report the rape and do the rape kit. The ‘rape kit’ term was a little disturbing, like this was something as common as having a ‘first aid kit’ or a starter kit for a new business. I was nervous about the whole thing, but she was trusting and confiding in me. She was new to town, so the few friends she had and her brother were all out together bowling. She didn’t want to alarm everyone or be asked questions, so she had chosen to call me. I picked her up and we headed to the hospital together. I sat there watching her go through this rape kit and all I wanted to do was help her and be there for her. I didn’t want her to think no man would ever want her again. I stayed with her most of the night and brought her home. She was afraid to be alone and didn’t want me to leave her, I assured her I’d be back the next few days since I was off. Plus, her brother would be home soon and she wouldn’t be alone. The next few days were amazing, we bonded in a way we never did when we were dating. I felt like I was her protector, a feeling I had never felt with her before because she was so independent. I knew she was vulnerable after what had just happened, but there was still that part of me that made me want to make her feel like she was still wanted. So, when the moment came where we were so passionate, it was intense. It was nothing like any of the times before. I wavered and we had sex. She seemed happy and was very passionate, more than I had ever seen her. That’s how it’s been this whole time up until last week. Last week, she was rushed to the hospital to get her stomach pumped from drinking too much while she was on her antidepressants. The doctors were concerned for her well-being, but I reassured them it was just an accident, not typical of her. Then 2 days later, she overdosed on some codeine pills she had from her surgery earlier that month. This time, they kept her and admitted her into the psych ER. I had never had anything like this happen to me, I lived a pretty easy life without any traumatic events, so I had no idea what was going on. I visited her in the ER, and she smiled a little smile. We talked for a few minutes and then she told me she couldn’t see anymore and didn’t think it was a good idea to continue dating. She told me she had a lot of healing and issues to deal with on her own and didn’t want to drag me in nor had the energy to give me anything. I was crushed, I really loved her and wanted to stay with her regardless of all the things that happened. She made me feel needed and wanted, more than I had ever felt in my life. And now, I sit here while she’s still in the psych ER and I don’t know what to do. Do I let her go? Do I stay? What should I do? She means a lot to me.

A: I am so sorry to hear this. Unfortunately, these date rapes occur more often than people think. http://www.rainn.org/statistics You are dating a very brave guy for her to come out about the rape and report it, get tested and the whole nine yards. And I admire you for also being brave enough to go through it with her. BUT, the situation is becoming something bigger than you can handle. She is right that it is a fight she has to have on her own, only she can have the mental strength to fight the damage that the rape has done. Most people think the worst part of the rape is the physical act but in all reality it’s the psychological damage done by having their body used as a weapon against themselves (for date rapes, that is, different story for rapes committed by a stranger). I encourage you to learn more about rape and how to handle the situation, RAINN is a national organization rape awareness group. It’s a good place to start: http://www.rainn.org/get-help/help-a-loved-one Unfortunately, I have to say although you love this girl, you have to respect her issues to separate. The one thing that is lost for a victim of rape is the sense of control, someone had used their body for their own intentions and took control of it, subjecting it to the sexual act they wanted. If you deny her request to separate, you send off the message that what she says isn’t important and take away her attempt to control her life. You can be her friend, I’m pretty sure she’ll want to have you around as her friend as she has had you around since day 1. But, the swiftness of how quickly you guys got sexually involved is concerning. She was pretty vulnerable at that point and like alcohol or a drug, the sex probably soothed her pain. She can’t depend on you like that, she also made it obvious that she was a lot of pain she’s trying to mask (or heal in her eyes) by overdosing on codeine. She needs help and right now, and the help she needs is from a therapist, psychiatrist, etc. She needs professionals who are trained in this and take care of it on a frequent basis. What she needs from you is support. Be by her side to listen, to encourage, and to be trusted. You can do all these things without being intimate with her if you love her like you say you do. In this situation, love isn’t about building a relationship, it’s loving her through the situation, empowering her and giving her what she needs to heal. Both of you have a long road ahead of you, it behooves you to educate yourself on the subject and understand her and what you can do. I truly am sorry to hear this, no one should ever be forced to give up control of their body for something they don’t want. I’ve seen a lot of women forever changed negatively by rape. If you can support her and she can stand on her own 2 feet to fight to take back the control of her life she lost, life may be forever changed. But she can learn to make a new life and overcome this terrible experience. Good luck to both of you, you’ve been handed one of the most traumatic experiences, an experience that no one wants to talk about. Don’t give up on her, if she’s as strong as you say she is, then she can heal. But know that it takes time, and you should be prepared for the long haul as a friend.

Imploding firework

Q: I have been with this guy for 5 years now and would do anything for him. I’ve even taken him back after he cheated twice. But now that I’ve told him I’ve had enough of his neglect and lack of love that I’m leaving him to move back to California where my family is, he has berated me frequently. This has been going on for the last year. I keep putting off the move because I think I won’t find anyone like him. I used to be a confident young lady, I was Miss California, graduated with high honors from a prestigious university and came from a good, healthy, strong family. But now, I live seeking approval from my boyfriend, waiting for a compliment, affection, or choose to spend time with me over his friends (he hangs out with them every other day). Instead of getting told I’m pretty when I dress up, he asks me why my hair looks like that, or why am I wearing that outfit, or just calls me a tomboy. He constantly criticizes my food when I cook, knowing full well I’m new to cooking all the time. The other day we stayed on the phone for 20 minutes where I didn’t say one word and he insulted my work decisions, my decisions to want to move, called me selfish, told me I was a bad person, and emphasized how his cousins that he had just met for the first time on a trip he took recently were better people than I was. He told me it was all my fault for the fallout of my friendship with one of our friends. He’s also told me it’s my fault the relationship isn’t working, that I’m always stubborn, and that nobody can talk to me. And whenever he insults me, he always tells me it’s just ‘feedback’. I haven’t heard a compliment in a long time and when I look in the mirror, I don’t see the beautiful, smart young woman I used to be. I see someone lacking in every physical aspect. I want his love and approval, but recently a good friend of mine told me I can’t change my boyfriend and that I shouldn’t let him take away my power by his insults and criticism. He tears me down and doesn’t build me up. Am I that horrible of a person?

A: Honey, you and ANY other human being deserve better than that. You put yourself vulnerable in the hands of someone you love and he has stomped on that. NO ONE deserves to be berated or put down, it is NOT healthy, regardless of how he spins it. ‘It’s just feedback’. No, it’s not, feedback doesn’t try to destroy your ego and tear you apart time after time. Everyone, man or woman, deserves to hear the great things about themselves, and at a frequency MORE OFTEN than criticism, which in your case is actually verbal abuse. Most people don’t know how to recognize verbal abuse or understand its effects. It’s when the person committing the verbal abuse has such low self-esteem that they choose to insult you to the point where they break you down to feel as low as they do. I have seen many strong, confident women broken down because of it. Although there are no physical signs of abuse with verbal abuse, it takes its mental toll on its victims. It damages them emotionally and behaviorally causing possible lifelong scars and pain. I encourage you to seek therapy and walk away from this relationship, no one is worth losing your self-worth for, no matter how long you’ve been with them. Most likely, this behavior will continue and your self-worth will spiral down with it. This article mentions some resources you can go to: http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4910363_effects-verbal-abuse.html I wish you the best and hope for the best uphill climb back to building back up your self-esteem and confidence. It’s not easy, but you can do it. We are all capable of rising above our bad circumstances. Take back control and know inside you are that same strong, smart woman, she’s just been buried by an avalanche of hurt. You DESERVE the best, you really do.

Taking the life out of me

Q: I have been with my boyfriend for 7 years now and we are now, unexpectedly 6 months pregnant. Last week, the most unbelievable and heart wrenching thing happened. I’m so embarassed and ashamed to say this. I’m a very accomplished pediatrician and have always considered myself to be smart, but a few nights ago, my boyfriend came home from a night out with friends. He was telling me about his brother who had gone to jail for some unpaid tickets and how we should get him out. But, I argued with him (he was drunk) and said I wouldn’t pay again for a 3rd time for either of them to get out of jail. He started raging, I gently touched his face and he turned into a monster. As I touched his face, he threw me on the side of the bed and grasped for my throat, and started choking me. It felt like a dream and I had a chance to get up and I ran, I ran in circles around the house as he chased me and he finally cornered me in the kitchen. And with one last grab at my throat, he choked me so hard and long I started to feel the life fade from me, and before I was about to lose consciousness, he let go and fell to the floor. Once he fell to the floor he started asking us to pray. I told him he was effing crazy and retreated to the bedroom. I stayed up all night and skipped work the next day. I didn’t think alcohol would do this and I knew he was with one of his childhood friends notorious for being a druggie. I thought maybe his friend had slipped something in his drink. And as I sat down at my computer to start to write an email, I saw his email open. And that’s when I found it, an email talking about meeting to get some meth from a dealer. I dug through his email box and saw that the emails had been going on for the last year and a half. I remember I had a friend telling me that meth made people delusional and paranoid, sometimes violent. We’re going to have a child together and he’s told me he wants to marry me and for all of us to be a family. He was so apologetic after everything happened with flowers, cards, and gifts (he didn’t know I knew about the meth). I’m so scared to raise our child alone, but I know what he did wasn’t right. What should I do?

A: Wow, darling, you need to seek some help from a counselor or domestic violence shelter. Here is a link for understanding domestic violence: http://www.thehotline.org/get-educated/what-is-domestic-violence/ I noticed you only called it ‘choking’ and a ‘thing’ that happened. You should not be afraid to admit what you went through was domestic violence. From your message, I’m guessing it’s the first time this has happened, but one time is one time too many. You are a doctor, you understand the ethics of helping people and not injuring another. There is psychological and emotional damage for what happened to you. On top of that, he’s hurting you while you’re carrying HIS child. You almost died, and along with your possible death would have been your child’s. I would look into a restraining order, if he’s been on meth that long, there’s no telling when he’ll come around again and possibly commit a violent act against you again. I know you naturally love the guy, you’ve been together for a while and you’re carrying his child, but love doesn’t do what he did. He has a drug problem and he needs help, above all else. Before he can even begin to take care of himself or his child, he needs to own up to his problem. And honey, you can’t be the one to tell him he has a problem, he has to admit it himself. This guy has lied to you for the last year and a half while he’s been on this addictive drug. Love is based on trust, not deceit or lies. You need to run, not walk, away from this guy. He’s got serious issues and those issues will take down all of you, truthfully it almost took you and your child down physically. Make a break while you can, the sooner, the better. Good luck.

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