More than a 13-Year-Old Can Handle
Dear Margo: I’m very worried about my friend. I’m 12, and she will be turning 13. She has casual sex, and unfortunately, she binge drinks and does drugs a lot. She makes very bad choices regarding boys, and I worry for her health and safety. I doubt she uses protection, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she got pregnant or an STD sooner or later. I’ve tried to suggest nicely that she be more careful, but she is set in her ways and thinks she is much more mature than she is. It doesn’t help that her closest friends are also like that.
I’m sure others have told her these things, too, but she just doesn’t listen. I feel like if she keeps this up, she’ll end up having many problems with substances and a low opinion of men. She’s had some close calls, but she hasn’t snapped out of it. I worry that the only way she’ll see reason is if she hits rock bottom, but I obviously don’t want her to be beyond repair when she realizes it. — Worried in Michigan
Dear Wor: It is hard for me to believe that these things go on with 12- and 13-year-old kids, but I know that they do. Such a young girl clearly has little parental supervision and many problems. If I were you, I would go to the school nurse or counselor and tell this person of your worries. That adult may open the subject with your friend. The response may not be positive. Because you have “suggested” she modify her behavior and that has not helped, I fear it will take a pregnancy or an STD to wake her up, but you will have tried your best to be a friend. Sometimes we can only get so far in trying to save a friend from herself. — Margo, historically
A Sticky Wicket
Dear Margo: There are two men in my life for whom I have very strong feelings. One, “Tom,” I have known for years. We dated previously, and I was deeply in love with him. He broke my heart, though, and only in the past few months have we become close friends again. But recently, he’s been trying to resurrect our romance. I am wary because of the past.
The other man, “Carl,” is very sweet and has become one of my best friends. We hang out every day and are close. I have developed very strong feelings for him and have heard, from mutual friends, that he feels the same. The only problem is that he hasn’t told me directly how he feels. To make things more complicated, these two men are best friends.
I want to do what is right, but I don’t want to sacrifice my friendship with either of them. I love Tom and always will. He was my first love, but I don’t know whether it’s worth trying again. Meanwhile, I’m head over heels for Carl, and I could see us having a great relationship — if only one of us could get the courage to make a move. — Hopeless Romantic
Dear Hope: The best friends part is not so great. However, to get your bearings, I suggest you make the move and ask Carl if he envisions something more than being good buddies. It is hard to predict how this would play out, and there is the possibility that you might not be able to keep both men as friends. Or, worst-case scenario, they might be unable to maintain their closeness. In other words, it’s a tossup. — Margo, providentially
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Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via the online form at www.creators.com/dear-margo.html. Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.
COPYRIGHT 2011 MARGO HOWARD
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