Advicereality check

Reality Check

I am a mom to three awesome kids. They mostly hang out with family friends and kids from their individual classes and I hang out with the parents. I’ve met really great people through my kids’ school since moving to the area and am really happy. I’m new in town, and through other parents it’s been brought to my attention that [a] child lives in a home with four men that are registered sex offenders. If I have my story straight, the child’s mother is single and lives with her male family members (brothers, father and maybe a cousin); all of them are registered sex offenders. This isn’t a temporary thing, since the other parents have been worried about it for two years now, and unless they all drunkenly urinated on a playground in the middle of the night, I find it hard to believe that these men are safe to live with for the child. The child is sullen and hates leaving school or play sessions to go home. Is it possible that all the negativity surrounding the living situation is getting to the child somehow, or is there something terrible happening? How do I get the child’s grandfather to stop volunteering at the school? I feel like it is unfair for the other parents to dump this on me, since I am new. I want to help this child but I don’t know if there is anything to stop or change, if it’s my place, or if it’s even possible?

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I can appreciate your concern, WM, but keep in mind that you don’t really know anything at all about this situation. It isn’t fair that everybody else seems to have some idea that something is up and yet none of them wants to deal with it so it’s getting dumped on you. That being said, somebody needs to do something, and you might be the only hope this kid has. You can make an anonymous call to DFACS by calling your local office during business hours (8:30-5 p.m. Monday through Friday), or off hours at 1-855-GACHILD.

My life is a mess. I have a bad job at a bad restaurant. I have a bad boyfriend that is probably addicted to alcohol. I get bad grades. My friends have left me. Through all of this awfulness I have had a guy friend who has always been there. We had a one-night stand last year, but he ended up staying with his girlfriend. This put a lot of strain on our relationship, because she didn’t want me around. I don’t think that they are together anymore, but honestly, everything in my life sucks so bad right now I wouldn’t care if they were. Should I go for it? The attraction is there and I am so lonely.

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You want things to stop sucking? Dump your bad boyfriend, find a less bad job and work harder to improve your bad grades. You have to deal with the actual causes of your problems, Anonymous, rather than distracting yourself with something or someone else—especially somebody else’s boyfriend. If you get your shit together, and you talk to him and it turns out that he is single: great, go for it. But if he’s not, you’re just adding more negativity to your already negative situation, and you’re pretty much asking karma for a kick in the balls. Don’t do it.

I am from a small, conservative town and was made fun of growing up for being too effeminate and not being interested in masculine comings and goings. I’ve been at college for two years now, and after a lot of soul searching, prayer and experimentation, I know that I am gay, and I am OK and proud of myself for accepting this. I will not hear the end of this when I go home this summer if I come out, but not coming out will be an obvious lie—not only to those I grew up with and who raised me, but to myself. How can I deal with this without hearing, “I told you so” over and over?
Country Gay

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You’ve already gotten through the difficult part of this, CG. Figuring out who you are and what you want, being honest and happy with yourself: that is not easy. Going home and admitting to a bunch of people who have known you for your whole life, and known that you were gay, that they were right? Who cares? It is entirely possible that people won’t care at all—contrary to what many dipshits in our government believe, the majority of people in this country are kind of over homosexuality being an “issue.” This is especially true for younger people, regardless of their political leanings and their religious affiliation (or lack thereof), so it’s most likely that at least the people your age aren’t going to give a damn. If they do, screw ’em! You’re out now, and proud, and ready to get on with your life.

If you have to suffer a few “I told you so” or “I knew it!” remarks, try to be graceful. Smile and say, “Yeah, well, I guess everybody knew before I did.“ Or tell them you were afraid that you might be treated differently, but now that you know that they are all kind, courteous and enlightened people, you are happy to be home and out. Basically, I think you should just suck it up and deal. “I told you so” is not the worst thing that a person can say, and if you don’t make a big deal out of it, they probably won’t, either.

Got a question for Jyl? Ask her.