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Thread: I am 14 now, and seeing my friends is more important to me

  1. #1
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    I am 14 now, and seeing my friends is more important to me

    Lately i have been wanting to spend more time with my friends, and having to go to my dads house has been almost taking away my whole social life. I can only go to 2/5ths of the trips to the mall, movies, events that my friends invite me to on weekends, because 3 out of 5 weekends i am 25 miles away.

    I have been wanting to talk to my dad about this for quite some time, but i have been afraid to. He's very possessive. I hinted a little bit once, and his immediate reply was: "arent i more important than your friends??"

    I am 14 now, and seeing my friends is more important to me than it used to be.... and i want to change the schedule of weekends.

    Last saturday i found out that my dad has pancreatic cancer. If i change the schedule now, i will feel like i am deserting him. But i dont want to desert my friends or my LIFE either!!!

    What do i do?!?!


    --confused

  2. #2
    Member apurnell's Avatar
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    Twisted Sistah

    Eleanor,
    First of all, you should know that you are a good, no a wonderful daughter. You care, and that really counts.

    In an odd way, your father is right as well as wrong. He's right: he is more important than your friends. Regardless of the outcome of his illness, your relationship with him has already shaped your life and will continue to shape it long into adulthood. The same cannot be said of the majority of your friends, who I'm sure you love, but who may not be quite as central to your development.

    That said, he's also wrong: your friends are key to at your age. This is the very moment when you're really beginning to shape yourself, to figure out who you are beyond whatever raw materials your parents gave you. To ask you to sacrifice your connection with your friends is to ask you to delay your coming of age, and that's not fair.

    Your father's illness does complicate things quite a bit; but I think the situation should begin with you finding an older person you trust (a counselor, a member of the clergy, a teacher) who you can a) discuss your feelings and situation with, and b) can give you some ideas of how to broach your issues with your dad based on some kind of first-hand knowledge of him. I'm assuming your mom and he don't have a positive relationship, and that it wouldn't work for her to be part of this discussion.

    The second thing I'd do is work with my friends. Explain your situation to them. See if you can work out alternative ways to spend time. If some of them are older, have driver's licenses, and can be trusted, you might have them drive you to his house and make a trip out of it. If they're not worth their salt, they'll be dopes about it. Otherwise, they'll probably have plenty ideas regarding ways to work around your dad's need to see and be with you. If he is ill, you will want their love and support even more, so it's important for you to keep working on your ties with them.

    Finally, you're not deserting him by wanting to spend time with your friends. You're working on yourself, and on becoming a woman he can be proud of. Just realize that if he's ill, you may end up placing more emphasis on being with him. However, you will only do both yourself and him a disservice if you surrender all your time to him. You'll lose your mind, and that will NOT make you a delightful companion.

    Warm wishes, Miss Rigby. Hope that helps.
    Anna


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