Friday, October 20 , 2017, 10:18 am | A Few Clouds 66º

 
 
 
 

Louise Palanker: Anger Issues, Risking Pregnancy with Sex, Parental Overprotection

Question from Jennifer

I had sex for the first time with this guy from work. I am 18. He is 23. We fell asleep and my dad found him in my room, pointed a gun at him, tried to fight him and chased him out of the house. (He was only wearing underwear!) At first he and I laughed about the situation, but then he blocked me on social media.

I was hysterical and felt used. So I keyed his car and slashed his tires. He said he was going to call the cops but I don’t think he did. That night I texted him asked him if It was OK to text him. His reply was a confusion emoji.

The next day he ignored me at work. I was so heartbroken and devastated. Now I’m wondering if I should text him or leave him alone. Does he still want me because I want him? How should I get him back? Or should I even try?

Weezy

It is important that you learn how to de-escalate emotionally charged situations. This may be a challenge. You have a dad who thinks he can solve a problem by pointing a gun at it. So you will need to teach yourself.

Being sexually intimate creates both physical and emotional vulnerability. You are sharing something very personal when you have sex. For this guy, waking up with you to meet both the wrath and the gun of your father was beyond jarring.

I know that you felt hurt when he then blocked you, but you probably should have taken a deep breath, some long walks and then done some thinking and some journaling.

Your thoughts should include your considering how you will begin to forge a love life with some privacy from your parents. This guy would probably have come around if you had been willing to give this awkward situation some space to breathe.

Keying his car was immature and illegal. You ramped the situation from awkward to vandalism really quickly. Life is not a Carrie Underwood song.

Sex makes everything a lot more complicated on so many levels, and so I highly advise you not to become physically intimate until you are already emotionally intimate. That bond will be build layers or trust, communication and safety that will serve to protect both of you.

This guy may like you a whole lot but you do need to let things cool off. Back away for now. Think about how else you can react and respond when you feel hurt or used or scared or without control in a situation. Believe it or not, there is great power in grace. Doing the calm thing requires a lot of restraint but it feels beautiful.

(Kat May video)

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Question from Talia

OK, so I’m like really paranoid. My boyfriend and I had sex in mid-June and the condom broke, I took a Walgreens take-action emergency contraceptive, I got my period like a few days later.

That scared me so we didn’t have sex for a few weeks. We decided to try it again last week, twice in one day and then another time two days later. I’m due for my period, which is two days late and I’m just paranoid that I may be pregnant because it’s not something I can deal with right now. Please help :/

Weezy

The only way to be certain you are not pregnant is to not have sex. Sure, that sounds blunt and prudish but it is absolutely foolproof. The scary truth is that teen pregnancy is common mostly because teens are brand new at both protection and sex.

If you are going to be sexually active, then of course you should be using a condom but you should also be on a second form of birth control. You need to see a gynecologist so that you can learn about your options and put effective measures into place. Click here to learn more about sex and pregnancy from Scarleteen.

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Question from Rebecca

I am very overprotected by my parents and I am getting super depressed. I am home schooled and I have just a few friends who are the same religion as me. I see other kids in my religion doing more normal things, like hanging with friends and flirting. Not me! I can only go somewhere if my mom goes, too! I’m 16!

Sleepovers aren’t allowed. I can’t have social media or date, much less have sex, go to parties or smoke/drink/drugs (not that I want to smoke, etc.) If I politely and respectfully mention more freedom, they absolutely won’t budge.

My mom wants me to live in the house until I’m 25, which no way that is happening. LOL

Now to wardrobe. No miniskirts, cleavage, ripped jeans. Dresses must be at the knee or below. I actually am shocked at how fashionable I can be with these restrictions, though.

Most people who claim to have overprotective parents say they have a super-early curfew. I have no curfew, because I don’t get to do anything! I can’t even take a walk in the neighborhood (I live in a very nice safe neighborhood) or stay home by myself. No cursing. No explicit music. Very few movies and shows.

I basically live on the Internet. Music is the absolute most important thing to me. I listen at night with my earbuds, and this is seriously the best time out of my boring day.

You can say I live a double life to the best of my ability. I curse and things, just not in front of them. My family is in a very prominent place in our religion. It’s not as simple as leaving the house when I’m 18. My family would literally stop talking to me. All to encourage me to return one day.

I am so upset and confused and I don’t know what to do. They are just pushing me away.

Weezy

There is a lot going on here so let’s focus on what you actually need to become a happy, well-adjusted adult. You need connections. You need to socialize. You need to feel that you are a part of a community. You don’t need smoking, drinking, drugs or sex.

You do need friends. Can you find good friends through your church? Can you join activities and clubs that are a part of your church community?

Is there a pastor or a youth minister with whom you can speak who will help you help your parents understand that keeping you in a bubble is not protecting you? It’s actually harming you.

At 16, your parents should be slowly allowing you to explore your world so that you can learn how to make wise choices. This will inspire you to be less likely to run wild with the intoxication of freedom once you turn 18. You need to have experiences that teach you and toughen you so that you can cultivate good instincts that allow you to grow strong and capable and better able to protect yourself.

Raising a child is hard. It requires some risk and some fear. Your parents will need to loosen their grip or they will lose you completely. Of course you want your parents’ love and approval forever, but the world is right outside your front door and once you see more of it and meet new and interesting people you will be drawn to all of that and you will come to know that you can survive and shelter yourself and feed yourself and thrive outside of your parents’ stifling control. You may very well opt to do that.

A grown-up may better be able to explain all of this to your parents. Who in your world can help you make these points to them? Go find that person and know that the older you grow the more wisdom you will gain, which will help you both understand your parents and find your freedom.

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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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