Week of:
Apr 13, 2018

Abuse or exploration?

Dear Alice,

I am an 18-year-old girl and it is my first year in college. I am also involved in my first physically intimate relationship. At the beginning of the relationship, I was having a lot of problems with feeling sexually aroused and being physical with my boyfriend. It made me cry almost every time. Then, I remembered some experiences involving adult sexual behavior (both physical and conversations over the phone) with my best friend in first and second grade. I had not thought of these experiences in years, and the memories, even now, make me feel sad, scared, and sometimes guilty.

I remember being afraid to see her and being very upset as a child about what we did. I don't remember much, only very small snippets of what happened here and there. I went into therapy at school, and I can be intimate now without crying, but these memories still bother me and I just want to know what to call it. Is this child-on-child sexual abuse, or just little kids exploring?

Dinner does not equal sex

Dear Alice,

I was looking through your column and thought that I should ask your advice on a rather sensitive matter. I recently invited a guy over for dinner at my house. We had a great time together, yet he presumed that he was going to sleep with me and insisted that I had led him on during the main course of the evening. I do not see how this is possible, but this guy keeps on hassling me for sex and I do not want to lose him as a friend, but I really do not see him as a sexual partner. What should I do?


Healthy versus unhealthy relationships

Dear Alice,

What are some ways to identify and deal with unhealthy relationships? And what strategies can people use to enhance relationships? What are some internal and external support resources that are available for people dealing with unhealthy relationships?