DEAR ABBY: When I was in high school and college, I was very promiscuous. I'm only 19 and have already had more than 10 sex partners. Because of this I have lost many friends, and at this point, I have no one to turn to.
I am changing now and have made some modifications in my life to raise my self-esteem. I know now that when I was younger, in order to feel wanted, I was willing to do anything to get attention. I now feel better about myself, but I'm finding it difficult to live down my bad reputation. People seem to have a hard time forgiving and forgetting.
Abby, I don't want to have to move. I just want people to accept me as I am now. Any suggestions how I can lose my past? -- REPENTED IN OREGON
DEAR REPENTED: Your situation reminds me of a saying I heard many years ago: "A woman's virtue is like a fine painting. Once its authenticity is questioned, it's never quite the same." People have long memories -- and they love to talk -- so even though you have turned over a new leaf, it could take many years to live down your past. Starting over in a new location would be easier, faster and probably more effective.