Question from Bad-Ass Bitch

Hi Weezy. So let me get right into it … I have a huge problem!! I have NO friends!

I am absolutely miserable, and I’ll tell you why. My parents are overprotective to the extreme. They will not let me go to public school because of “the bad influences.” So I am forced to do online school. I can not do homeschool clubs or whatever because my parents say I can only be friends with kids of our religion. I know, it sounds crazy, but it’s true. My religion doesn’t have church groups for teens either, so that’s not an option.

I have really big dreams of modeling and maybe even a music career, but I can’t even leave my house. I want to save up money and run away at 18, but they won’t let me get a job. I’m 17, by the way.

Also, if I don’t stay with the religion, my parents will cut off all communication with me. They will not support any of my dreams. They don’t even know them, because if I tell them what I really want to do with my life, there will be a lot of drama and they will probably take away the one thing that keeps me sane, which is my phone.

Because of their overprotective ways, I have extreme social anxiety and do not feel very confident in performing simple tasks. They have really f*cked me up.

I’m so angry and confused and I don’t know what to do. Also I can’t become friends with anyone in my congregation because I can’t be myself around them and there aren’t any young people there. I feel so stuck. And I have to run away because my family is very prominent in the religion and me revealing all of this will result in a lot of drama and my entire family not talking to me.

Everything else about my life is so restricted. No social media, ripped jeans or tight clothes. Skirts have to be at or below the knee. Not explicit music, limited TV shows and movies. No dating or sex. No unnatural hair colors or anything that “draws attention to myself.” So, basically, no self expression.

HELP ME PLEASE!!! I am desperate for help. Can this also be included in the podcast? I need other people’s viewpoints. Thank you so much for reading this!!


Thank you for reaching out. Your situation sounds so extremely difficult. I will start with just a bit of a warning. A lot of kids in your type of situation react by breaking away and skidding hard in the opposite direction. I can sense that you are on the verge of that, and I want to be sure that you understand an important truth: The correction for thirst is not drowning.

You signed your letter “Bad-Ass Bitch.” That’s pretty hostile, and I don’t think it reflects who you really are; it’s simply a reaction to your restraints.

You are going to meet people outside of your church, and you don’t want to scare them away. You want to draw them to you. Don’t hide your vulnerability by coming off as too hard. Don’t run toward the dangerous kids. Look for health and balance.

Here’s the good news: You strike me as an extremely interesting person. You are very expressive and emotionally intelligent. Those gifts will take you far.

You are being brought up in a community that is very sheltered. Your church’s design is to limit access to information and ideas that would challenge its teachings. Rather than offering an ideology that draws you in, they have constructed a system that keeps you out of doubt. This works for some people who crave certainty. Your parents chose this way of life. You did not. You probably understand that the world is uncertain, and that there are so many different ways to think and believe.

I truly hope you do not have to choose between your freedom and your family, but you do sound like someone who will never be happy living in such a restricted society. You may be expected to marry young and, once you have a child, leaving will be far more difficult. Start making a plan. Who do you know who lives outside of this community who can help you? There is a big world out there and help is closer than you think. Go find it.

Here are a few starting points:

» Click here to read an interesting article.

» Click here to check out a helpful website, Recovering from Religion.

» The Recovering from Religion helpline: 1.844.368.2848.

Our podcast is Things I Found Online, and I will have our panel discuss your situation. I wish you the very best.

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Question from Annie

Hey. I’m a 13-year-old girl, and I have a question and I need advice. So in my mind I know I’m straight; like, I like boys but I’ve never had feelings for a girl until this one girl who I saw singing was amazing. She followed me on Instagram and we started talking, and whenever I talked to her I would always smile.

Do you think I’m like this because she’s, like, a good singer and I’m, like, star struck, or I’m bi? Also, this girl is lesbian but I knew that after I started liking her. And I can’t watch girls kissing; it freaks me out.

Keep in mind I never had feelings for a girl before. Thanks.


Try not to be in a hurry to label yourself. Straight girls get girl crushes. This may be that. Or you may be developing feelings for this girl. Or it could be something in the middle.

Feelings of attraction fall along a spectrum. You may develop a crush on a trans person who identifies as gay and female. Does that make you straight or gay or queer? I would say it doesn’t matter, but of course it does. We all want to know who we are and come to a better understanding of how we fit in. And so we go on Tumblr and look for the label that best defines us.

OK, but keep in mind that these things are fluid. And for a lot of people, attraction is about the person. There is just something about this individual. That may be defined as pan. But it’s still a label and nobody needs to sign up for life as one thing. If you think of it as a person liking a person it just gets much simpler.

Get to know the girl. You don’t have to date her or kiss her. Just follow your feelings with no judgment. You are drawn to her. See where that is meant to lead you.

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Question from Vanessa

Me and my boyfriend/father of my child don’t have sex often due to me not having any drive because of health issues, and he had recently just asked me if he could do hookups with other people cause he can’t NOT have sex. I explained if he did that then it would be cheating and that isn’t right, and I got mad and he didn’t agree.

I should be mad, right?? We shouldn’t be together if that’s what he thinks it has come down to. Am I right??

I don’t know what to do. Our relationship has plummeted …


Two big issues that tend to challenge couples are sex and kids. Interesting, since sex makes kids, right? But a rich, meaningful and fulfilling life will not be yours unless you work at it.

You may have had a baby with this guy before both of you had an opportunity to fully grow up. You two are facing an age-old conflict. You are both right.

Yes, sex is a very natural urge. And, yes, giving birth can affect your sex drive. However, hookups are not a reasonable solution, and if he understood more about the world and the people in it, he would know that. Even suggesting it speaks to his immaturity and selfishness.

But if you two love each other, then go seek couples therapy. He has a right to know if and when he will be having sex with you again. A gynecologist can help you answer that question. You have a right to end a relationship with a guy who is sleeping with other women. Staying together while he does that is not going to work.

Talk about all of this with a counselor. Seek common ground. Do your best at it, and then make an informed decision. If you decide to end your romantic relationship, then do it amicably. You are and will forever be the parents of this child.

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Got a question for Weezy? Email her at 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 also hosts a weekly video podcast called Things I Found Online, and 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.