QUESTION FROM A GREEK TRAGEDY READER: I am an absolute mess in the intimacy and confidence departments. I am now a 27-year-old virgin who has never been on a real date. I don’t have any major weight, looks or body odor problems – it’s all in my head, of course. I grew up with a very meek and gentle mother and brother and a very frightening, powerful and often absentee father. I yearned for his affection and praise but never got it, which led to psychiatric problems of anxiety and depression at about the age of 15, a few years after my parents divorced. I had one overdose in college on my meds but am now doing better with the anxiety. But I still have absolutely no idea how normal females interact with men their own age. Not surprisingly, the only males I can feel comfortable around are either gay or at least 30 years older than me. I finally got so sick of my dad screaming at me for the tiniest little infractions and playing second fiddle to his second wife that I cut him off over a year ago. I thought that would really help me, but it hasn’t. I’m still terrified of men and have no idea how to date or flirt. I don’t want to be a virgin forever, but at this point, I think I might be. I had about 10 years of psychiatric help, but honestly, I just don’t think it can help me. I just sit in the chair and cry, session after session, about how much my dad hurt me and how scared I am of everything, but mostly trust and intimacy. Do you see any way I could ever get over my daddy issues? I hate that he emotionally controls me in this way! I yearned for a caring father figure my whole life, not one who would berate and criticize me, and so I’m afraid that I will just go for a father figure one day and have no hope of being with my equal in a guy. What did I do to deserve this? Why do I torture myself this way???
As always, the floor is yours until I take. Please try to offer anything that might help out our 28-year-old virgin. Yes, 28. Because it might have taken me a year to respond to this. Sorry about that.
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