DEAR ABBY: I am a sophomore in high school. When I was 13, I had a party while my parents were not at home. I got drunk, and my boyfriend, "Jimmy Joe," raped me. I tried to kill myself afterward, but was unsuccessful. I told my best friend that Jimmy Joe and I had broken up because we never got to see each other.
Two years later, I had a mental meltdown and told her why I really broke up with Jimmy Joe. She said I should tell my father, since he and I are really close.
Daddy has always trusted me, and I'm afraid if I tell him, he'll lose trust in me because of the party I had when he and Mom weren't home. Because it has been so long since it happened, and I am over it now, is it even worth telling him about it? -- UNDECIDED IN KENTUCKY
DEAR UNDECIDED: Giving the party was wrong, but the rape was not your fault. Tell your father what happened. He may be disappointed that you broke the rules, but he will also be concerned for your welfare. You may discover that by revealing what happened, you become closer to both your parents. It is never too late to get help, and if this episode were truly over, you would not be having "meltdowns." There are crisis centers for rape victims, and it would benefit you to visit one and tell your story. That's how healing begins.
DEAR ABBY: I need help! I have this friend who insists on buying me gifts that I don't want, like or need. She buys me T-shirts that don't fit me, among other items. She's driving me crazy. She says she does it because I'm her best friend. (She's not my best friend.)
I have told her several times to please stop spending her money on me. She won't listen. Most of the gifts she gives me end up going to charity.
Why does she do this? How can I get her to stop spending and wasting her money? I don't -- and won't -- buy her anything. -- GOING CRAZY IN PORTLAND
DEAR GOING CRAZY: She does it because she wants to be your best friend and she knows she's not. She thinks that if she keeps on giving, it will persuade you to like her more. You can get her to stop by refusing to accept the gifts. Tell her you like her, but that being on the receiving end all the time makes you feel uncomfortable. A lot of people make that mistake. They give and give and give some more, and when they don't get what they want in return, they feel cheated.
DEAR ABBY: How do I set limits with a neighbor who is kind and good-hearted, but who will not leave me alone? She has told me to close my blinds and curtains, and then she won't come over -- but I don't want to sit in my house in the dark. When I do that, she comes and looks for me at my work. I don't want to hurt her feelings, but she is stressing me out. -- HIDING IN DOVER, DEL.
DEAR HIDING: Your kind, good-hearted neighbor may be bored or lonely, but she also lacks judgment. Since you need privacy, speak up. Tell her she's stressing you out, and that when you want company you'll call and invite her over. Tell her you prefer that she not drop by without calling first. Should she come to your office, explain that you are too busy to visit. It's the truth. Please don't wait, because if you continue to tolerate her behavior, one day you'll explode and say something you'll regret.
TO MY MUSLIM READERS: Happy Eid al-Fitr!
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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