Dad feels help­less to mend teenager’s cri­sis of iden­tity

The Korea Times - - HOROSCOPE - By Abi­gail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My 14-year-old daugh­ter re­cently came out of the closet, and it has made my hus­band and me quite up­set. She says she is “bi­cu­ri­ous, pan­sex­ual and polyamorou­s.” She now in­sists ev­ery­one call her by a gen­der-neu­tral name, gave her­self a side shave and dyed her hair pink af­ter we re­peat­edly told her not to. She wants us to re­fer to her as “they” and not “she.”

Boys used to like her, and she used to have friends, but she threw it all away to be “unique.” You may think we should let her be true to her­self, but in the process, she is dis­re­spect­ing us and ru­in­ing her im­age. She thinks she’s all grown up and can do what­ever she wants, and I just can’t get through to her.

She is also let­ting her­self go. She used to be in good shape, but she quit track and field be­cause it was a “gen­der-con­form­ing” sport. She is now get­ting chubby, looks hor­ri­ble and is de­pressed. Help! — DAD

WITH­OUT AN­SWERS

DEAR DAD: Your daugh­ter may, in­deed, be de­pressed. She’s at an age where she is try­ing to fig­ure out who she is, and be­cause she has lost her friends and her par­ents are mad at her, I can un­der­stand why.

It is very im­por­tant that you not panic. Her hair will grow back; her gen­der iden­tity and sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion will be con­firmed with time. The most im­por­tant sug­ges­tion I can offer would be to love your daugh­ter, stop crit­i­ciz­ing her and make an ap­point­ment for you and your hus­band to talk with a psy­chol­o­gist with ex­per­tise in ado­les­cents. Above all, she needs the sup­port of her par­ents right now.

DEAR ABBY: I met this beau­ti­ful woman on­line three months ago. We haven’t met in per­son yet, but plan to. We spend at least eight hours a day on­line to­gether, and our re­la­tion­ship has re­ally ad­vanced. I know she’s real and not a “cat­fish” be­cause we talk about ev­ery­thing. We even tell each other the L word.

My dilemma is, she has a sec­ond Face­book ac­count and ab­so­lutely refuses to ac­cept my friend re­quest. She says she needs her pri­vacy, and it’s none of my busi­ness. She also tells me her friends on that page are all male co-work­ers. She said she prefers to have mostly male friends in her life.

Am I wrong to be up­set if she refuses to let me see that pro­file or be one of her friends there? Am I ask­ing too much? I asked her what hap­pened to trans­parency, but she won’t an­swer that ques­tion ei­ther. What’s go­ing on here? — STUCK ON HER IN PENN­SYL­VA­NIA

DEAR STUCK: Al­though you have spent a lot of time on­line with this woman, your re­la­tion­ship is still new. As your re­la­tion­ship pro­ceeds, how will you feel about the fact that most of her friends are other men?

I DO think there is some­thing go­ing on, which is the rea­son she doesn’t want you to see that ac­count. The most im­por­tant ques­tion is: Do you trust her? You won’t know the an­swer to that un­til your re­la­tion­ship has de­vel­oped fur­ther. So stop us­ing the L word un­til you know her much, much bet­ter.

DEAR ABBY: My hus­band of 11 years told me that when his for­mer mother-in-law dies, he would like to go to the fu­neral. He was friendly with her be­fore he mar­ried her daugh­ter. I’m not OK with this. What do you think? — UN­USUAL IN THE SOUTH

DEAR UN­USUAL: If your hus­band feels the need to pay his re­spects to his for­mer mother-in­law, he should do it. And when he does, it would be nice if you were at his side, sup­port­ing him in his grief.

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