Saturday, July 21 , 2018, 1:06 pm | A Few Clouds 72º

 
 
 
 
Teenagers

Louise Palanker: Abortion Decision, Feeling Stuck in Community College, Knowing When to Have Sex

Question from Emily

I’m 16, and I just had sex for the first time two weeks ago. The guy I did it with is 18 and he is a drug dealer. Well, I just took a pregnancy test. It was positive!!! We’ve been together for almost a month. I don’t want a kid right now.

I know what I did was irresponsible, but I really need help. I don’t want my kid to be raised around drugs. I’m an A/B student and a sophomore in high school. I’m NOT getting an abortion; that’s not even an option. What about my parents? They’ll probably make me abort it or send my boyfriend to jail!!!

I don’t know what to do, any advice?

Weezy

I am so sorry that you are facing this challenge. What is most important is that you tell an adult immediately. I know that this is terrifying so I recommend that you click here to reach Teenline. This helpline will allow you to first talk to a teenager who is trained to handle exactly your situation. They will provide you with guidance and resources. This will help you make your next step, which will be telling your parents.

When it comes to teens and pregnancy, most adults and most websites have an opinion and an agenda. The dilemma and the controversy present themselves because we humans do not know exactly when life begins. Does it begin at conception? Three months into a pregnancy? When the baby can sustain life outside the womb? We just don’t know. We believe, and beliefs are powerful.

Additionally, the adults in your life may be too close to you to be impartial, and they may have dreams about your future that do not include your becoming a mother right now. Know that you do have rights and you can not be forced to have an abortion.

So, you now must think about the baby. Pre-natal care is essential. You are currently in crisis mode, and it is important that you talk this through with the adults in your life so that the shock has a chance to wear off and you give yourself an opportunity to make the best decision possible. You will live with that decision for the rest of your life.

From what you are describing about your feelings it sounds like adoption may be a good option for you. The father may not be a responsible person but he does have rights. He needs to be told.

I know it all sounds very overwhelming and complicated. So, start with a phone call to Teenline. They are VERY neutral on all of the philosophical and religious questions that are raised by pregnancy. They will provide you with an opportunity to speak with someone who will calmly explain your obligations and your options.

I wish you the very best. Remember that you are still you and you will have a most excellent life.

Here are some teen mom confessions that may help you feel less alone:

(BuzzFeedYellow​ video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Hannah

Is it crazy that I don’t feel like learning because of the college I go to? The students don’t take their education seriously there. I live at home and take the bus to school. I don’t have many friends. Most of the kids who go to this school are ghetto and loud. And I’m not like that.

I’m not saying that I’m the only one who’s not ghetto. There are some but I just don’t feel happy. My sister keeps telling me to stay and put up with it so I don’t have to be in debt because I don’t have to pay for school and I’m not there in school to make friends ... but I feel lonely and unhappy.

I don’t feel encouraged to study. I don’t know if I should just stay and see if it gets better or start doing research to find another college, or am I just being silly?

Weezy

Your feelings are never crazy or silly. But before I begin to answer your question, I need to tell you that describing people as “ghetto” is an insult. If certain individuals are not taking their education seriously or if they have a louder style than yours, that is fine. You can point that out. But the term you used is offensive.

Higher education is not always fun. Especially at a commuter school it can be a means to an end. It will be harder for you to find your people when you’re not living on a campus and becoming a part of that community with your classmates.

The up side is that, yes, you may be able to finish school with little or no debt and you are bettering yourself and preparing yourself for a more happy and productive life.

Still, you can make more of your situation. Join clubs and get involved in your school and find like-minded people. OR, you can put effort into finding a school that is a better fit for you.

What will make you feel better is taking actions that can and will positively effect your future. Become a part of the solution.

Proudly own your community college decision with help from The Financial Diet:

(The Financial Diet video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Amanda

Hey, Weezy, so me and my boyfriend have been together for almost two years and we haven’t had sex yet. He wants to and I want to but I’m so scared ... not about the pain but I’m scared I will let God down ... and I’m scared I will disappoint family members.

I am 19 years old and my boyfriend is 22. And he does seem upset. He says he wants to experience this with me now because he is a virgin and I am as well. And I don’t know what to do ... I don’t want to let either side down ... and I don’t want people to frown upon me, especially my mom and God.

Weezy

Once you reach adulthood, your sexual life is your own personal and private business. How and when you engage in new experiences is up to you, and you are not obligated to share this part of your life with anyone in your family.

As for your relationship with God, it is up to you to establish the terms. I believe that God wants us to make wise decisions that ensure our emotional and physical safety while protecting and honoring others. But those are my beliefs. Yours are up to you.

We are all sexual beings. Nobody is more perfect than you, and nobody gets to judge you. This is between you and your boyfriend. Continue talking to each other. Together, you will decide what feels right and best. Speak from your heart.

If it is important to you that you wait until marriage before having sex, then do that. Tell your boyfriend that this is your intention. Make sure that his intentions match yours. If they do not, the tension around this topic will continue. Do not have sex to preserve a relationship. That will make you feel used and you will experience regret and resentment.

Sex is a big issue for two adults in a romantic relationship. It may ultimately be best for you to date someone whose religious views regarding sex better match your own. Be clear. You deserve and need a partner who wants what you want.

                                                                 •        •        •

Got a question for Weezy? Email her at [email protected] and it may be answered in a subsequent column.

Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Journals Network, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. She also teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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