Father and Mother Know Best

23 Jan

Dear LetterBalm: A few months ago, when my parents met the boy I had started to date, they disapproved of him and forbade me to see him. I thought he was pretty cool – he was 17, a year older and into hanging out, smoking pot, drinking and fighting with anyone in authority. My parents found out we were secretly dating and grounded me. He texted me constantly, asking to see me. I made plans to sneak out and meet him several times, but he always backed out at the last minute so he could drink or smoke with his friends. I found out he had a girlfriend all along and was telling people that I was a fool. This is eating me up inside, and I feel so stupid. I come home from school and cry in my room. I have to pretend everything is O.K., and I can’t tell my parents because they’d get really angry. I don’t know what to do.

–Devastated

The world is a hard place for a teenager walking around with a secret. Your parents were right about your ex-boyfriend, and you lied – twice – about him. Now, your conscience is talking to you. But Ms. L.B. also wants you to consider how lucky you are. Your ex is into drugs, alcohol and abuse of authority, and you could have been in real danger. He behaved abominably toward you; you’re well rid of him, and you’re the better person. Consider talking with your school counselor or a private therapist. You must come clean with your parents, who, after all, love you and want you to be happy. Sit down with them and keep it simple:

Mom and Dad, I have a confession to make. When you grounded me about Sawyer, we continued to text and call. I even made plans a couple of times to sneak out and see him. But he always backed out – thank goodness, because I found out he had a girlfriend all along and was talking trash about me. You were right about him, and I should have listened. I’m sorry I disobeyed you. I know I’m a much better person than Sawyer, but I’m feeling so sad, used and stupid about this that I want to talk to a counselor, with your help. I need a hug right now, and thanks for always being concerned about me.

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