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Tuesday, December 11 , 2018, 9:36 pm | Fair 53º

 
 
 
 
Teenagers

Louise Palanker: Womanhood Period Peace, Eating Disorders Aftermath, Annoying Cousin

Question from Dana

I don’t want to tell my mum when I get my period. It’s disgusting and I’m more of a tomboy and I don’t want to get my period.

Everybody is like, “I want my period!” And I’m, like “r u for real? Who the hell wants it?”

Weezy

Well, I certainly didn’t. I thought the book, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, should have been filed under “Fantasy.” Why is this kid praying for her period??!!

But, Judy Blume got it right. Most girls are very eager to get their periods and feel grown up. Other girls, like you and I? Not so much.

Your monthly cycle IS an entirely bizarre concept to grasp. And it’s especially embarrassing because it is happening in your private area!! If blood poured out of our ears once a month, we might be more inclined to discuss it socially.

But ... it happens. It happens to every female. It is happening to your mom, and it has been happening to her since she was your age.

Your mom is your resident expert on this subject and she is on deck, waiting to help you through this. In fact, she will be honored, touched and overwhelmed when you tell her that your period has started. She may even cry a little.

This is not the kind of thing you keep to yourself. It requires love and support and tips and hints, and a line of communication between you and your mother that will continue on through your lives. She has walked in every step you are taking. Let her help you.

This little comedy film from HelloFlo just may take the edge off:

(HelloFlo video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Amanda

Uh! I need advice! So I had an eating disorder last year and and this year, ninth grade, the principal and dean of students have been watching me really strictly. I don’t know if they know about my ED. It feels like they do. They watch me during lunch.

I don’t eat at lunch. Most of the time “I’m not hungry” or I don’t like the lunch. ... It makes me very uncomfortable to be watched like this. I have been set up with the school psychologist again, which I hate ...

I literally have panic attacks every time they come to me. I feel like they really know. They constantly watch me and I don’t know why! I need advice ASAP! Plz! How can I tell if he knows?

I don’t know what to do! They see me not eating, and I didn’t go to lunch today so I think that also set it off. I saw him talking to my psychologist today and I’m freaking out! I don’t want them to tell my mom or even mention it! Plz help! I need advice ASAP.

Weezy

Trust your instincts here. They know and they know for a very good reason. They care about you.

Talk this over with the psychologist. This person gets the big picture and he or she is there to help you.

There is a huge disconnect between your actual healing (because an eating disorder is a psychological disease) and the community’s reaction to your situation (because this particular psychological disorder quickly becomes a physical health emergency).

And so, the adults in your world are probably looking at you and simply thinking, “May Day, May Day! This child needs to eat!!”

They do not see the 360 mind/body equation. To them, it’s like looking at a child who has been crushed by a car. They just desperately want to rush to the rescue.

However, their eagerness to help is putting more emotional pressure on you because you are already sensitive and you pick up on every nuance or expression. You notice them noticing you and this is exacerbating your situation. They should be made aware of this. You can HELP your faculty better understand eating disorders by speaking honestly with the psychologist.

Your psychologist will understand the bigger picture, and he or she can speak to the faculty. It is OK for them to care deeply about your physical health. But overreacting compromises your emotional health and until you get emotionally well, YOU will not be able to nourish your physical body.

ALWAYS ask for what you need and remember that everyone has the best of intentions We all just want you to be well.

Watch and listen to Chris Henrie. I think you’ll relate to him:

(Chris Henrie video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Dander

I have a really annoying cousin coming in for New Year’s who will do anything to hang out with me and my friend, and won’t stop bugging us! I need to know a way to make her not hang out with us, or trick her into not hanging out with us. Like, can my friend and I form a secret club or something?

But I don’t want to appear mean to her or our family. Please help. Thx.

Weezy

It’s impossible to BE mean without appearing to be mean. She is your cousin and she is your guest. I think you need to let her hang out with you and your friend for a certain amount of time. Then tell her that you have plans for a little while but that you will see her later.

Enjoy some privacy with your friend and then return and be nice to her. That’s just the way things need to roll with family.

If she is your age, you really should let her join you, and you SHOULD NOT form secret clubs that exclude her. This holiday season will come and go and what will remain is your memory of how you treated your cousin.

If she is younger than you, then you can tell her that at this particular time you are scheduling an activity that includes only people who are ____ old and up. When that activity is over, you’ll watch a movie with her. That sort of thing.

Also, give her a chance. It is shocking how much less annoying little kids become with every passing year.

And, be very careful here. I can already feel grown-up you cringing over this. So, above all else, BE KIND.

                                                                 •        •        •

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, 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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