Q I’m a college and still living at home. I say it’s home but it’s never felt like home. There’s always shouting and arguing going on between my mum and step-dad and my older brother gets involved too. It’s so horrible and I try and keep my distance as much as I can by staying in the college library to study. I feel ignored and over-looked because I’m the quiet one in the family. I shouldn’t have to shout to be seen or heard. It’s left me feeling more nervous and timid, and scared of ever having a relationship in case it ends up like my mum and step-dad’s (my own dad died when I was very small and my step-dad quickly came on the scene). I hate it there and long for the day I can move out and get my own place. Why do they all have to keep shouting at each other all the time?
A You are right. There is no need to shout. I guess they think that it’s an effective way to make the other person hear what they say. It doesn’t mean that the other person is listening though and is most likely pre-occupied with their own next verbal blasting!
It would take an ‘adult’ agreement between them to all stop raising their voices. I very much doubt that you will be able to change their ingrained conflict pattern alone. There will need to be an awareness of how detrimental and futile all that shouting was for them. [Read more…]
Q Two years ago, in my last year of school, I lost my virginity when I was raped. Since then I’ve assumed that was what sex was like and so I didn’t ever want to do it again. I didn’t realise I had been ‘raped’ until I recently told a friend about what had happened to me. I’ve never told anyone else.
I’m in a relationship now with a lovely boyfriend who is patient, kind and caring – a very different type of guy to the first one I met. I want us to be intimate together, but whenever we try I just seem to clam up. I have flashbacks and I freak out and get all panicky and tearful. I fear that I’ll always be like this. Will I ever be able to have sex like a normal person?
A You are a normal person – well, as normal an anyone is!
It sounds as though you’ve been more deeply affected by the distress and trauma of having been raped than you’d realised. This is perhaps compounded by not acknowledging the full impact of the sexual assault/abuse upon your mind and body, and instead trying to bury it and put it behind you. [Read more…]