I’ve had this complicated, painful life, prior to going to University.
It was a new world. I made a lot of good friends and felt, for once, like a normal girl without problems.
But something happened at home that pushed me over the edge. My madness affected all my relationships with friends who couldn't understand why I was creating fights for no reason.
It's been a year; I've apologized and apologized, but my friends, although initially responsive, are ignoring me and excluding me from social invites.
They’re happy with their lives and don't want me in them any more.
If I hadn't taken out my frustration on them they wouldn’t behave this way. Yet they’re deliberately rude, talking behind my back, knowing I’m going through a hard time.
Who’s wrong here, since I started it? I want to get over them, but don't know how. It's hard to make new friends in University after first year.
Troubled and also Confused
I urge you to look after yourself and get help through Student Services’ counselling. You need professional guidance to learn what you can do about some complex problems, and which ones you can handle in a different way.
Most people in your age group also have their own “stories,” but try not to reveal them except to their very closest confidante. They mostly don’t want to know about others’ personal dramas. They use their social circle for casual get-togethers, fun, and entertainment.
That’s why when you have deeply disturbing problems; it’s best to seek individual help. Experienced counselors are used to dealing with serious issues, and it’s strictly confidential.
Nobody’s “wrong” here though the friends could certainly be more understanding. Nevertheless, they don’t have the skills you need.
Good therapy can guide you through the lows, and recommend you for medical help if medication should be considered.
Look after yourself first, and others will enjoy being in your company again. You may also find new friends when you feel more confident.
FEEDBACK A late response, regarding “concerned,” appalled that her friend provided her teen with alcohol and condoms (July 14):
Reader – “My mom believed that if I wanted to drink and have sex I’d find a way to do so whether she allowed it or not. So she’d pick up some alcohol for me when I asked. I had other friends whose parents either allowed the same or didn't.
“Here’s the only difference between those teens: The ones whose parents didn't allow drinking, would find someone older and willing to buy the alcohol for them, and pay more for the same thing.
“I was always a great student and have always been a respectful, trustworthy person. Even as a teen. I got good grades, didn't get into drugs, came home at a reasonable time, and helped at home.
“The odd time I’d go to a party and drink, I wouldn't get plastered or unruly. I had rules, my mom needed to know what friend’s house I’d be at, and there had to be a parent home during the party, or I didn't get to go.
“I've grown into a respectful, hardworking woman and owe that to how I was raised.
“Teens are going to drink, have sex, or do drugs if they want to, and no amount of rules will prevent it.”
Ellie – Lucky you, to have a mother who trusted you, and instilled trust and responsibility by so doing. Parents have to know their own child and assess what they believe can be handled safely.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman concerned about her boyfriend's low ambition and financial planning (March 19):
Reader – “As a family lawyer, I felt compelled to point out that she’d be wise to consult with a lawyer prior to cohabiting with this boyfriend.
“Not to suck the romance out of the relationship, but she’s right to be concerned about the possible financial consequences that could flow from a long-term relationship with him.
“A cohabitation agreement could go a long way in helping her feel secure in the relationship, from a financial perspective, as that’s apparently the main issue holding her back from fully committing to her boyfriend.
“The agreement could insulate her from potential spousal support claims, and help protect certain assets from equalization (i.e. if she owned a home that he later moved into), in the event they married.”
Ellie – Seeing a lawyer is essential as different jurisdictions treat break-ups from co-habiting differently.
Tip of the day:
Take intense personal troubles to experienced advisors, not casual friends.