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Friday, March 22 , 2019, 6:52 pm | Fair 59º

 
 
 
 
Relationships

Louise Palanker: Creepy Uncle’s Unwanted Advances, Caught in a Hookup, Eating Disorder

Question from Zoe

So I am being really careful about where I go. We are staying at my uncle’s and he is getting way too close and touchy-feely. At first I just brushed it off my shoulders and let it go, but then he was taking it too far.

When I was changing my shoes, he came in my room and he started to get on top of me and tickle me (note that I am 14). I’m not ticklish but I just laughed it off. My glasses fell off so, before he bent down to get them, he did a little pat on my butt.

Sometimes he walks past me and touches my butt. So the first time, again, I just brushed it off like maybe it was an accident. But then he did it every time he passed me and no one was looking.

By this point I was getting pretty cautious. Then, last night, I was watching TV with my 4-year-old cousin and he came and sat right next to me and put my legs on top of his. He started to rub my legs, then put his arm around me and he put his face way too close to mine.

Now I was just waiting for someone to come upstairs so he would stop. Then he started touching me as in putting my shirt to the side and touching my bra strap. He put his hand under my shirt, and I asked him what he was doing and he played it off by saying he was just seeing something.

Then the random topic of my boyfriend came up he asked me if we had sex. Of course I said no because I wouldn’t waste my future because of that. Then he asked if we kissed. I said no again.

Then he proceeds to tell me not to have sex. (Note that I am not AT ALL close to him as in a family bonding way. Also note there is a 4 year old sitting right next to me.)

I feel that it was not his place to ask or say anything about that. Also I’m SUPER scared to go to sleep because we are still in his house. I feel like he might come in my room and try something. What to do? What to do?

Weezy

If there were a fire, you would naturally scream, “Fire!" but when this happens to a kid, the child feels too overwhelmed by overlapping emotions to scream out. Unfortunately, pedophiles count on this.

You feel scared, insecure, confused, embarrassed, shy, protective of your family unit, and worried that your mom or your dad will be upset with you and/or with your uncle. You think, “I don’t want to make a scene. Can’t I just handle this myself?” The answer is, no, you can’t.

It’s interesting that children are very often not adverse to making a scene. They make all kinds of scenes for all sorts of reasons, but not when it comes to their personal sexuality.

That is way too private a matter and so even when they are being violated, they do not have enough ownership of self to grasp that the correct response to your uncle’s behavior is for you to push him off and yell, “GET AWAY FROM ME!”

And you are correct. Your love life is NONE OF HIS BUSINESS. He is behaving exactly like a pedophile, and it is not safe for you to be sleeping in the same house with him.

I would suggest that you start by telling the parent who is not related to him. If that parent is not available, then tell the other parent or any adult who is present. Show her or him the letter that you wrote to me. That spells it all out.

This man is dangerous. He should be kept AWAY from children. Start yelling. I am so sorry this is happening to you.

In Gavin de Becker’s book, Protecting The Gift, he explains that we really need to trust our instincts. Women and girls are especially uncomfortable saying or doing anything that may be considered rude.

Your uncle has already gone well beyond “rude.” He’s about to become criminal. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS.

Watch this clip of de Becker with Oprah Winfrey and learn that manners do not apply when it comes to protecting yourself:

(OWN video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Sabrina

OK, I have VERY strong feelings for my older brother’s best friend, Robbie.

Recently I spent the week at a cottage with my brother, Robbie; my best friend, Natalie; and lastly ... Robbie’s girlfriend, Courtney. Everyone had been drinking and Courtney had gone to bed.

Robbie kept rubbing my leg/grabbing my butt, and flirting with me and we ended up hooking up. It felt so different than hooking up with “just anyone.” When he first kissed me, It felt like nothing else in the world mattered except for that moment.

The next day he told me I couldn’t say anything because he has a girlfriend. We continued to hook up throughout the week. He told me he would figure everything out with Courtney and promised me that we would always have something special.

I now dream of him constantly and I hate being without him. It’s indescribable how beautiful he can make me feel just by looking at me. I asked him if it felt wrong to him while we were hooking up, and he told me absolutely not. It felt so right. What if he doesn’t break up with Courtney?!

I love him and not knowing if he loves me hurts more than anything.

Weezy

I must tell you that everything about this is very wrong. I hate for you to have to learn something so important so painfully.

When a relationship does not begin with honestly and respect it has nowhere to go but down. If Robbie were truly interested in dating you he would have properly ended his current relationship before beginning one with you.

Instead, he disrespected both his girlfriend AND you. He took advantage of your feelings for him and he had sex with you while his girlfriend was in the same house!

This is not even remotely justifiable and honestly, it’s not OK that you took part. His girlfriend is a person. You hurt her. You disrespected her. If and when you date Robbie, how will you ever know he is not doing the same thing to you?

This guy is dangerously bad news. I don’t believe a word he has said to you. This was exciting for him. That’s it.

Based on what you have described, Robbie appears to be carving out a path of empty sexual conquests that will rob him of ever knowing the beauty of a meaningful romantic partnership.

Once the thrill has evaporated and the screaming and yelling subside and the last door has slammed, Robbie will be very alone. You do not need to be another stone in his bumpy road.

I know this is not what you wanted to hear but you need to believe that you deserve your own boyfriend. Not a piece of somebody else’s.

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Andrea

Weezy, I think I’m developing a problem. I’ve been overly concerned about my weight lately. It’s gotten to the point where I watch everything I eat. Recently I was hospitalized for a few days for appendicitis and so I was eating very little. After I came home, I got a few comments about how I had lost weight.

I’m 15 years old and I’ve always been told I have a perfect figure. But now that I’ve lost weight, it’s kind of made me realize that if I don’t eat, I can look even better. I always have to try to be the prettiest, slimmest and best at everything. And I just want to be perfect and lessen the chances of myself ever gaining weight or going downhill.

And by me saying this, I don’t mean I’m starving myself. I just mean that I’m trying to eat less. I feel like if I ate a full meal I would be guilty and like I would try not to eat very much the rest of the day. I don’t know if I could ever starve myself completely.

It’s 9 p.m. and I still have not eaten a full meal. I’m really hungry. But I just feel so guilty about everything I eat. I don’t know if this is a problem, but maybe it could eventually develop into one.

Weezy

It's already a problem. There is a flip side to every idea. Or a tipping point where a good thing turns very bad.

The sun feels so nice and warm ... then you are sweating buckets.
The music is good and loud... then you have to cover your ears.
Going fast is really fun ... then you crash.
Fire is soothing ... then it's burning down your house.
Water is relaxing ... then you are drowning.

You get the idea. Balance is key.

Sure, it’s nice to be thin. But when people say, “Wow, you lost weight,” that does not necessarily mean that they think you look better. They may actually be worried.

Not to be too entirely graphic but you’ve seen photos of Holocaust survivors or people with AIDS, yes? Do they look good to you, or do you want to turn away or scoop them up and nurse them back to health? Your heart aches when you see people who are malnourished.

When you live in a world where food is available to you and when you live in a body that will accept and digest food, you do not have the right to purposely starve it. You are feeding the brain, the muscles, the tissue, the bones, the infrastructure that you will need to take you through the next 80 years. Let’s give this body all the fuel it needs to go the distance.

Parents, here are early signs that your child may be struggling with an eating disorder:

(Howcast video)

                                                                 •        •        •

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 (Family Band: The Cowsills Story is currently airing on Showtime Networks), a teacher and a mentor. She has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Our Place, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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