I am a senior and have had four difficult years of high school. My mom has been very physically ill, and my dad is very emotionally ill. Thank God he is going away on business for two weeks, so I can relax and be myself. I feel that I am always under stress from one of them. How can I cope? How do I get the energy to complete college applications and complete my senior year?
I have several ideas. The first option involves seeing a psychologist who is qualified to guide and help you finish high school. Don’t worry about the money; it won’t cost a cent. I will gladly help, and I also know several psychologists who can help. We need to talk privately, so please call me.
I am bulimic and need your advice. My parents caught me throwing up and became hysterical. They took me to the pediatrician; he advised that I see a psychiatrist so I can be on medication. As you probably know, you can’t force someone to stop this behavior. What do I do?
You are absolutely right when you stay you can’t stop someone from engaging in this behavior. Bulimia is an extremely serious and life-threatening problem. Bulimia involves control issues and that is why they wanted you to see a psychiatrist. I assume the medication is relieving some of the stress. I always advise students not to give up if the psychologist or psychiatrist they initially see fails to be a compatible match. You may have to see five or six doctors before you find someone relatable, someone who is the right fit. I would like to meet with you privately. In addition, I want you to meet some of my students who are bulimic. Some are on the way to recovery, some have recovered, and others have relapsed. I sincerely believe that fighting bulimia is a lifelong challenge. The illness skews selfimage and perception. The media is probably the main culprit. None of us look like the skinny, petite girls on TV.
I feel embarrassed and humiliated. I’m not sure how to explain. In my Asian culture, most families do not get divorced. I’m deeply hurt by my father’s absence. I was sitting on the carpeting when my dad was leaving. I crawled over and hugged his legs, so he wouldn’t leave. He just pushed me away. He then announced that he was going to be with his other family. How do I face the world? I feel like I have done something terrible and I don’t know what to do.
Divorce is not your fault, so please do not think it is. Thousands of children, regardless of ethnic origin, think they are to blame when parents divorce. Your parents divorce is an issue between your mom and your dad. I understand your cultural predicament. I don’t know of any divorces among the Asian families I work with. Sometimes parents stay together and remain in an unhealthy environment; they avoid divorce because it brings shame upon the family.
Toby Rose is president of Toby Rose’s College Prep. She is an independent college counselor, was a Dade County Outstanding Teacher and served as chairperson of the Dade County School Board Academic Advisory Committee. Rose may be contacted by calling 305-238-7737, by email at email@example.com or via the Internet at www.tobyrose.com