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Your Body, Sex & STDs

  • I’m really self conscious about my body and nothing is working to help me change it.
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    I’m really self conscious about my body and nothing is working to help me change it.

    Female, 17, Minnesota

    Question/Issue:

    I am 17 years old, 140 lbs, and 5’8. I have bigger thighs and I really want to make them thinner because they rub against each other and make me self conscious and uncomfortable. I would also love to tone my stomach and have abs. I do a lot of cardio at my community center and ab workouts, but nothing seems to be working. For the past couple of months I’ve been dedicated to eating only two times a week, but I do eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner before 8pm. Do you have any ideas on how I could actually see changes in my body and the amount I weigh?

    Teen Line Wrote:

    First of all, I just wanted to thank you so much for reaching out to Teen Line. I’m so glad you took the time to contact us. Struggling with eating, weight, body image, and lifestyle can be so difficult as well as overwhelming and I’m so sorry that you have to deal with this right now.

    I was wondering if you have talked to an adult or friend that you trust about how you are feeling such as a teacher, parent, coach, therapist, or pediatrician. Trusted adults are often good to talk to because they have previous experience and can help to give you advice. If you see a doctor or pediatrician regularly, they may also be able to talk about healthy ways to lose weight.

    Because thinking about body image and weight can be so overwhelming, I was wondering if you would be open to trying out some coping skills. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, it can sometimes feel good to take a hot shower or bath, listen to music you like, hang out with friends, or play with a pet or even keep a special journal just for you where you can write down how you are feeling and what you are thinking.

    In addition to the coping skills, I was hoping you would be willing to look at some resources sort of surrounding body image. The first is this movement on Tumblr called the Internal Acceptance movement. It’s basically a body and mind positivity page that I think you might find interesting. The link to their page is http://internal-acceptance-movement.tumblr.com. I also wanted to give you this article from a website called  yourlifeyourvoice.com about this thing called the mirror rule where you work of saying positive things about yourself in the mirror. http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/Pages/tip-the-mirror-rule.aspx. Lastly, I wanted to give you this article from Teen Vogue about 5 body positive things to say to yourself.

    I hope this helps.

  • I think I’m ugly and have zero self confidence.
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    I think I’m ugly and have zero self confidence.

    Female, 16 years old, Outside U.S.

    Question/Issue:

    I think I’m ugly and I have zero confidence, and whenever I try to accept myself and finally start loving myself, someone would appear and say I’m ugly. This started to affect my personality and I became a quiet person because I don’t even feel like talking to other people because I’m afraid of what they’re going to think of me.

    Teen Line Wrote;

    Thank you so much for contacting us. It was really brave of you.  I can’t even imagine how hard it must be feeling so uncomfortable and judged. I can’t even believe what people are saying to you, it is so rude! Having to deal with your own feelings on top of it must feel impossible. It is so amazing that you started to love yourself, which I am sure took a lot of work, and I can’t even imagine what it must be like after someone says something so cruel. I think that it would be really helpful to talk to someone, like a parent, extended family member, teacher, coach, or school counselor.

    I think that you would really like this Tumblr page  internal-acceptance-movement.tumblr.com which is an online community where tips for self-acceptance and healing are shared. This is especially helpful when you feel like no one understands, because other people share their experiences. I also strongly recommend Kati Morton’s channel (youtube.com/user/KatiMorton), where she talks about a wide range of topics, including self esteem and coping skills. Many teens love her videos because they suggest many ways to help with what you are going through.

    I also wanted to give you a resource for bullying, because what people are saying to you is totally not okay. (https://www.pacerteensagainstbullying.org/) is a good resource to have. They have a student action plan, and other ways to deal with what people are saying. If you ever need to get your mind off these thoughts for a little, I would strongly recommend meditation. Many teens find it helpful, check out  mindfulnessforteens.com.

    I am not sure exactly where you are located, but I want you to have a hotline to talk to in your area. I have a list of great hotlines ( http://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/). There is also a great chat that is available 24/7 on imalive.org. I personally think that it can be helpful to get your thoughts out by talking. I can also give you our world wide number which is open from 6pm-10pm Pacific time, but long distance charges may apply- (310)855-4673. You can also check out our boards, where teens share their stories and receive replies from others: teenlineonline.org/boards

    Thank you again for contacting us, and i hope you found this helpful.

  • A boy threatened me for more nudes.
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    A boy threatened me for more nudes.

    15 years old, Female, United Kingdom

    TEEN LINE QUESTION/PROBLEM: 

    Basically I sent a boob involved video to this boy and he recorded on Teen-Chat, and he has threatened me to send more or he will post it on Tinychat. I didn’t do as he asked, so he posted them. Someone has recognised  me and has asked him for the full vision and is offering to pay him for it because they hate me. The boy is called            and is 17 from London and the girl is someone in my school with an account on Tinychat called              . I don’t know what to do. I’m very scared and I don’t want to get into trouble.

    TEEN LINE WROTE: 

    Hi,

    Thank you for contacting Teen Line. It sounds like you’re going through a lot right now, and it sounds like everything escalated really quickly. It must be so confusing and stressful, what with this boy threatening and posting a video on Tinychat. It must be so scary to find out that someone is offering to pay him for the full video, especially since they’re at your school. I know it can be extremely hard to talk to someone about this, but if you have a trusted adult, like a school counselor or even a close relative, who you trust enough to talk about this, they might be able to really help you get through this. I’m not sure what the laws are in the UK, but in America what he has been doing to you is illegal, and if you were to want to report it, talking to an adult might be able to help you learn about that. But even if you don’t want to report it, I just want to let you know that what he’s doing is not okay, and I’m so sorry that you have to go through this. In the meantime, distracting yourself with hobbies like journaling, sketching, or even just listening to music might help get your mind off things.
    I’d like to offer a few resources that might help your stress and anxiety in the meantime – I know it can’t solve anything, but I hope you’ll be able to use these websites. The first is at www.mindfulnessforteens.com which has free meditation exercises that you might find helpful to calm you down should you ever need it. Another website that you might really like is at the Internal Acceptance Movement at www.internal-acceptance-movement.tumblr.com. It’s a really great blog with uplifting and body-positive posts that talks a lot about coping with stress that I hope you’ll find useful.
    Lastly, I’d like to recommend a good website in the UK which offers a helpline as well as online support, if you would feel more comfortable with that, at www.getconnected.org.uk or 0808 808-4994 which is open from 11am-11pm every day. Talking to a trained counselor through them might be really helpful for you, even if just to relieve stress.
    You’re always welcome to check out the Teen Line Message Boards at www.teenlineonline.org/board which has forums where you can talk to other teenagers about what you’re going through, since some of them might be in a similar situation. I wish you the best of luck, and I hope you find the help you deserve. Stay strong!

     

    a TEEN LINE teen
  • I found out I was pregnant and thought my father raped me.
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    I found out I was pregnant and thought my father raped me.

    13 year old, Female, California

    TEEN LINE QUESTION/PROBLEM:

    In march, i found out I was pregnant and at first I thought my father raped me. I didn’t have the courage to tell or confide in anyone because I feared being judged. After knowing for a month maybe. I had a bloody miscarriage. I still don’t if it was my father who impregnated me. After all I was a virgin and my father was abusive. I just never saw or remembered him sleeping with me. Then my sister got taken away from me and I am just grieving and a worried sister. I’ve cared for her for practically all her life. Now I can’t do my job anymore and I just cry everyday because both of my babies are gone. I love her more than anyone else and it just breaks my heart that I don’t know what is happening to her. I reported my father and told them the truth about him molesting me for a reason. She needs to be safe. Then I got scared and took it back.

    TEEN LINE WROTE:

    Hi                 ,

    Thank you so much for contacting Teen Line. It was really brave of you to do so.
    It sounds like your going through a really tough time. It must have been really hard to not confide in anyone when your father raped you because feared  being judged. I’m sorry that you have to go through all of this. You don’t deserve to be treated this way or to be going through this. I want to let you know that it is not ok for your father to be treating you like this. It is not your fault in any way.I’m wondering if you’ve ever tried talking to an adult you trust or friend or even a school counselor can help sometimes with your miscarriage, your father, and even your little sister. It must be really heartbreaking and scary to not know where your sister is and what’s happening to her. I’m sorry that you have to experience this.
    Some resources that I highly recommend that you check out are:
    1.Teen Line:1-800-852-8336,where you can talk to another teen about what your going through.
    2. Department of Child and Family Services:800-540-4000, if you dad ever takes things to far again, I highly suggest that you contact the DCFS. There main goal is to focus on safety.
    3.Child Help: https://www.childhelp.org/, where they provide help for people that have been sexually abused.
    4.National Planned Parenthood: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/, they provide and support about sexual activity of any kind.
    5.The Hot Line: http://www.thehotline.org/, they provided help to those who have been raped or assaulted.
    6.Our House: http://www.ourhouse-grief.org/about_us/, there mission is provide the community with grief support services, education, resources, and hope
    7.General Mental Health: http://teenmentalhealth.org/, they provide information about different types of mental health issues.
    8. Teen Line Message Boards: https://teenlineonline.org/board/, where you can talk to other teens going through similar situations.
    Thank you so much for contacting Teen Line. Stay brave!
  • My life at home isn’t so great at the moment.
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    My life at home isn’t so great at the moment.

    16 year old, Female, NJ

    TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

    My life at home isn’t so great at the moment. My dad has developed an alcoholic addiction due to depression. Fast forward to 3 years later and the situation has not improved. He comes home drunk every day after work and fights with my mom. It’s really sad that my little 11 year old sister has to hear all the yelling and see my mom cry afterwards. My dad has tried reaching out for help at addiction centers but he never stays for more than a few weeks. I’m embarrassed of him because of the way he acts when he’s drunk in front of our neighbors and people in public. One time he embarrassed me in front of a friend from school when she came over to work on a project. And another time, he almost got us into a fatal car accident while driving to a school event at a science center. I don’t speak with him much now because I feel like I lost him as a dad a while ago, and he’s a stranger to me now.
    My father’s alcohol abuse is not the only problem in my family right now. My little sister was recently diagnosed with ADHD and she takes medication to help her stay focused in school, but at home she acts really aggressive towards me. She always picks up a fight with me over the silliest things, even when I ignore her. When my mom hears her fighting, she yells at me and I get in trouble for something I had nothing to do with. When my boyfriend comes over, my sister is super disrespectful towards me and treats me like garbage. Sometimes, she curses and tries to hit me. It really hurts that she has no consideration for her big sister, especially since I’ve been taking care of her while my dad struggles to get better.
    People have noticed that I’ve lost weight and it makes me uncomfortable to hear that since I already have body image issues. I’ve been trying to distract myself by doing other things but nothing seems to help. I haven’t talked with the guidance counselors at my school because I feel like they can’t do much to help,It feels as if  I have to deal with this by myself. I start my senior year of high school this fall, and I want to make the right choices and move ahead with my life.

     

    TEEN LINE WROTE: 

    Hi ____,

    Thank you so much for contacting TEEN LINE and sharing what has been going on in your life recently.  It was so brave of you to reach out and contact us.  It really seems like so much has been happening lately, and you do not deserve to be going through all of this.  It must be so hard to see your dad come home drunk and fight with your mom, especially knowing that your younger sister also sees this happening.  You must feel embarrassed of your dad’s behavior in public, and it seems like you have been really affected by your dad’s behavior.  You do not deserve to feel as if you have lost your dad; I am so sorry that you have to go through all of this.  It also seems really annoying that your sister has been picking fights with you over the silliest things and treats you like garbage.  It is so admirable of you for taking take of your sister right now and it must be so hard to see her treating you so poorly.

    You do not deserve to be going through all of this alone right now, and I am wondering if there is anyone you can talk to about what has been happening.  You mentioned that you feel as if your guidance counselors will be no help for you, but maybe there is someone else you can confide in.  Talking to a close friend, trusted adult, or close relative may help you receive the support the comfort you deserve right now.  You can also search the Internet to find a therapist that lives around you to talk to someone for free confidentially.  You deserve to be happy at home, and I encourage you to check out http://al-anon.org/how-to-find-a-meeting, a resource that offers support for individuals with family members that have drinking struggles.  You can attend an Al-Anon meeting near you, share your experiences that you have had with your dad, and learn effective coping mechanisms to deal with your dad’s behavior.  You can see that you are not alone right now and other teens have family members that have drinking issues.  If you are not comfortable talking to someone, you may find relief in journaling, exercising, singing, dancing, listening to music, playing a game, or sketching.  Doing something that truly makes you happy make help you at this time.  You are also welcome to call TEEN LINE any night from 6-10 pm PST at (310) 855-4673 and talk to a teen about everything that has been going on lately.  You also mentioned having to deal with body image issues.  You deserve to start your senior year on a good note, and I hope these options help you.

    -A Teen Line Teen

     

  • My boyfriend contracted HIV.
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    My boyfriend contracted HIV.

    18 year old, Female, United States

    TEEN LINE QUESTION/PROBLEM:

    My boyfriend had a heart transplant a few months ago and now has contracted HIV. I’m extremely worried about my health. I have no idea what to do, I can’t talk to my parents about this because they will just scream and say awful things about me. I really could use someone to talk to because I’ve been extremely depressed. I haven’t slept in 3 days because I constantly worry about myself and my boyfriend.

     What are my options? Do I have HIV? Where can I find help at a low cost because I’m unemployed and have no way to get money?

    TEEN LINE WROTE:

    Hey ______,
    Thank you so much for contacting Teen Line. What you’re going through sounds extremely difficult, and I can only imagine how scared and concerned you must be feeling. It’s extremely unfortunate that your boyfriend got HIV under those circumstances, and it sounds like that must be completely devastating to you and your boyfriend about that occurrence. There are several ways to go get tested for HIV at low cost. I don’t know what part of the United States you’re from, so here’s a resource that I think would be beneficial for you, Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood offers free or low cost STD tests; this depends on your location. You can find more information about Planned Parenthood’s STD tests at the following link: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/stds-hiv-safer-sex/std-testing-21695.asp. Have you opened up to any one of your trusted friends and/or adult about this situation you’re going through? It’s extremely important that you have someone to talk to through this extremely difficult time you’re going through. For additional support, I would like to refer you the Teen Line Boards, at teenlineonline.org/boards. Here, you can talk to fellow teens who are you going through similar situations you are. Some find it beneficial to talk to people they can relate to. Another great resource is our Teen Line Hotline, at (310) 855- 4673. You can call any day from 6 PM – 10 PM PST. I truly hope things work out.


    A TEEN LINE teen

  • I feel like I am too fat
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    I feel like I am too fat

    17 year old, Female, Canada

    TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

    I feel like I am too fat for anything. So many people including my friends say I am skinny, and that my body looks great. However, deep down I feel ugly and fat. I often complain about my weight and how unhappy I am with my shape. I tried everything to get rid of  my extra belly fat but it won’t go away. My mom agrees and she thinks I could lose a few pounds. What can I do? This has affected me so much, and I feel I am too ugly to even have a boyfriend. I always turn down any potential guy because of my insecurities. I feel that if a guy asks me out it would be as a joke. Please Help me.

    TEEN LINE WROTE:

    Thank you for contacting TEEN LINE. I am so sad about what are you are going through and how you don’t feel comfortable with your body. Having your friends not agree with you can get annoying and frustrating. It also makes me really sad that your mom does not support you. You don’t deserve to be treated like this. You can try talking to your friends and explain to them how you feel, so they understand you. Also, don’t forget that appearances aren’t everything. What also matters is what is inside like your personality. You sound like a great girl and who deserves people in your life that make you happy. You mentioned about your eating and I am concerned that you may not be eating healthy. If you would like to check out resources that deal with this you can go to www.nationaleatingdisorders.org. If you just want to talk about this you can contact TEEN LINE at 310-855-4673. You can also post on the TEEN LINE Message boards, which is a teen forum where teens can talk to other teens with similar situations. I hope everything goes well and thank you for contacting TEEN LINE!

    a TEEN LINE teen

  • I’m a teen insecure about my weight.
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    I’m a teen insecure about my weight.

    13 year old, Female, WI

    TEENLINE QUESTION/PROBLEM:

    I haven’t been able to lose weight in the past year now. I always feel so embarrassed to be in public sometimes because I’m so insecure. When I look at it, most of my family members are in great shape! All i want is too lose weight and it feels impossible! My mom always tells me, ”Come to the gym with me” or ”Just try to eat healthier” but all my parents buy is junk food! It’s hard to exercise because I was hit by a car last summer and I still get bad headaches and shoulder and neck cramps. It’s really painful when i get these cramps and headaches! I just want to have a better looking body and have confidence. I want to be able to go to the beach and wear a bikini, go to formal events and have a silhouette complimenting dress,wear skinny jeans with out my stomach sticking out or them falling down my waist and wear body complimenting shirts and outfits that show my body in a good way!! I’ve been picked on and messed with for years about my weight and I just want to show all those lame people that i can change myself!! I want my stomach to be flat with skinny legs! I used to look very good until I got sick last march with mono. My doctors said with all the medications I was on and all the time I had to stay in bed and not be active affected my weight. PLEASE HELP ME!!! I JUST WANT TO BE SKINNY!!!

    TEENLINE WROTE:

    Dear __________,

    I can understand where you are coming from. In today’s society there is all that pressure to be thin and people’s perception of the “perfect body”. In the end everyone is beautiful in their own skin regardless if they are a size 2 or a size 10.

    That’s perfect, how about you join your mom at the gym? That is a perfect way to get your daily exercise in. If you are not into the gym then you can try different ways to exercise, such as sports, or dance classes.  Also, it may help if you suggest healthier snacks and groceries so that your parents won’t always buy junk food. The important thing is that you lose weight the healthy way, balanced diet and exercise is the key. If you would like to talk to other teens you can call our hotline at (310) 855-4673 6pm-10pm Pacific Time or you can also create an account on www.teenlineonline.org and communicate via the message boards. Teenline is here to help =)

    Sincerely,

    a TEEN LINE teen

  • Hi my names J___,
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    Hi my names J___,

    16 year old, Female, US

    TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:
    Hi my names J___, on november 26 I was sexually assaulted by one of me dear friends, someone who I loved seeing everyday, and someone who I was my reason to look forward to school. I had feelings for him. And ge betrayed me. I reported what happened but about 3 days ago I got my last call from the police that they won’t press charges because when he was question he seemed remorseful. But I never once got an apologyfrom him. His family doesn’t even know what he did. And I have to see him everyday. I just don’t know what to do. I have no closure known that I get to suffer while he gets to go on in peace. I dont feel like me anymore. And I’m afraid of men now. I can’t go in public by mysel anymore because it’s too much for me. I just need help I guess.

    TEEN LINE WROTE:
    Hi,
    I’m glad you contacted us here at TEEN LINE. From what you’ve shared with us here it sounds like you feel betrayed by someone who you care about, and trusted, which is a very awful thing, and im so sorry that you were hurt like that. I can imagine that you are frustrated by the lack of concern by the police about what he did to you, as well as his lack of remorse. Along with these feelings, it must be very hard having to see him every day. At this point it is really important that you talk to somebody who can help you sort out how you are feeling and can help you choose what steps to take next. A good place to start is with someone like a counselor, teacher, parent, or therapist, perhaps someone who is trained, and can help guide you toward healing. Here is a number to a great organization called RAINN 800-656-4673. They are there to help victims of sexual assault and can be a great resource for you. You can also call TEEN LINE between the hours of 6pm and 10pm pst, our number is (310)-855-4673, if you would like to talk more.

    a TEEN LINE listener