Advicereality check

Reality Check

I had a difficult childhood and have always had emotional issues. I’ve been medicated since as long as I can remember and am finally in a good place now that I’ve been away from my hometown for five years. Lately, though, I’ve had resurfacing memories of being sexually abused by a family friend. I don’t know all the details, as the memories cut off before it gets unbearable.

I think this might be the reason for so many childhood difficulties. I sense that my parents may know something about it but are unwilling to admit it to themselves. Also, I looked up signs of childhood abuse and saw a lot of my unexplained actions as a kid (using the bathroom in strange places, having lots of genital health issues, being overly sexual, always feeling like I was on display, trust issues, issues [with] having my clothes taken off and my skin being touched, etc.) I have had problems being stalked as an adult, and even as a child I had male friends who were way too clingy and had to be removed from classes because they were metaphorically suffocating me. As far [back] as I can remember, I’ve had men and boys propositioning me for sex and marriage and what have you. My family always blows it off, saying that it’s just animal nature for animals to be attracted to other animals. I wonder if I give off some helpless vibe, or maybe a sign that I’ve been taken advantage of before, and that contributes to the issue.

I’m afraid to bring this up, as I do not know if these memories are even real. They feel real, but I’ve heard of brains creating memories. The man who I suspect abused me and his wife are always very good to my family—he paid me a ridiculous amount of money to do menial chores for him when I was in high school. I wonder if that’s a sign of guilt? Either way, I don’t know if it happened or what to do about it, but it’s eating at me constantly.

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Yours are issues best handled by a professional counselor, Irritated. Whether or not these memories are real or manufactured, you clearly have them, and they aren’t going to get addressed in 1000 words or less. Go get some help.

My boyfriend and I are 25, we have secure jobs, a great house and a little money in the bank. He wants to marry me and have a child—when we are 45. I think that this is too long to wait and think it’s a dangerous gamble. He thinks that’s when people have their lives figured out and are mature. I don’t get the timeline. I think its a commitment issue. He thinks women can have children well into their 40s with the help of a good diet and exercise. I told him that that was silly, and he said he’d be willing to parent a child by any means necessary: in vitro, adoption, fostering, etc., but it has to be when we’re 45. He doesn’t see the need to marry if no children are involved, so he would like to get married and then start a family immediately—at 45. I don’t get it, but I love him and want to be with him and start a family with him. I just don’t want to wait. Do you think this is the Lord’s way of telling me to leave him?
Running Out of Time

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Your boyfriend isn’t ready to start a family right now, period. And he’s tired of talking about it, so he’s telling you to drop it for 20 years and then you’ll get what you want. Now, whether or not he is actually going to want to wait 20 years is another question. I’m assuming you signed yourself “Running Out of Time” on behalf of your aging uterus, and if that is the case I would advise you to relax. I have plenty of friends who are having kids in their 40s, and they’re doing just fine. If your relationship with your boyfriend is otherwise good, maybe you should just try to enjoy it and see how things go. What’s the hurry? If you aren’t sure that he’s the guy for you, or if you are absolutely bent on starting a family now, then yes, it is time to move on. But don’t assume that ideas he has at 25 are rules set in stone.

My best friend just started dating someone. They have agreed that they are only dating each other and will be together for a long time. My best friend’s partner would like them to be “Facebook official,” but my best friend isn’t interested. I know lesbian culture isn’t something I’m immersed in, and I don’t even know if it’s related to that, but I wanted to know what your stance on the issue is anyway. Hopefully I can help my best friend in her relationship.

P.S.: They are both out and have dated other women in the past, so it’s not an issue of coming out.
Confused BFF

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My stance on the issue, if it can even be called a stance, is that relationship validity isn’t based on public proclamations made on social networking sites. If the relationship is solid and happy in real life, then it shouldn’t need validation from hundreds or thousands of people “liking” it alongside bands, restaurants, sassy shoes and LOLcats. I’m not aware of any rules that are different (on Facebook, at least—obviously, the government is still coming down on the side of discrimination) for lesbians than straight people. What I’m trying to say here, CBFF, is that you shouldn’t be concerned about the appearance of the status of your friend’s relationship in cyberspace as long as the real relationship is good.