Ask Dear Dr. Pam,
When I was 15 years old, I was sexually molested by a close relative. This was perhaps, the darkest time of my life. The allegation divided my family. My oldest sister supported and stuck with me, my four other siblings did not seem to care and my parents ignored me. The situation was never spoken of again.
Fast forward 30 years, and I am still a wreck. I have been through six relationships, two marriages and I am the mother of two wonderful children. Whenever I became involved in a relationship, I always felt that I was being sort for my “sexy” body. As a result, I did things to sabotage intimate relationships.
My parents are deceased and my siblings pretend as if we are a perfect, happy family. The perpetrator is also dead; he was killed in a freaky boating accident. I call it Karma. I never shared my ‘secret’ with anyone, but I don’t know how much longer I can live with it. Can you help me?
Your situation is unfortunate, but common. There are many women living with a secret like yours, and it is time to tell your secret. This molestation has robbed you of the ability to have normal relationships and contributes to those counterproductive behaviors you exhibit. You need not carry this guilt any longer. Find a therapist who specializes in posttraumatic stress disorders, or who has experience working with victims of sexual exploitation. This skilled professional can assist you in working through this difficult position, forgiving yourself, forgiving your perpetrator and how and when to confront your siblings. This may prove a little costly, but it is worth the investment.
Dear Dr. Pam,
I have been unemployed for almost three months. My last position was terminated because the funding source dried up. I am a college graduate with great skills; I am also 45 years old. Do you have tips or suggestions that may assist me?
Bills are piling up
Dear Bills are piling up,
These are truly difficult times, especially on Grand Bahama. The reality is, we must all think of creative ways to diversify our economy. In addition to this, accept that you are an expensive employee, given your age and skills. Younger college graduates would do your job for a fraction of your salary. With that being said, here are a few tips for you:
1. Be prayerful and read Proverbs 3 every day.
2. Take this opportunity to learn a new skill or brush up on old skills.
3. Think entrepreneurship or accept a lesser paying job.
4. Get hooked up on LinkedIn and other social networking sites.
5. Commit several hours a day to finding employment.
6. When submitting resumes, highlight those areas that set you apart from other applicants.
7. Practice mock interviews with family and friends; accept constructive feedback.
8. Be persistent and consistent.
9. Do some volunteer work.
10. Don’t get weary, endure frustration and never give up.
Point to ponder: “Sometimes you have to find creative ways to reinvent yourself.”
• Askdoctorpam is a column that is featured every week in this journal. Your letters and comments are encouraged. You may e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Askdoctorpam P.O. Box F43736. Dr. Pam is a Clinical Psychologist trained in all areas of mental health.