DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: This is an open letter announcing that if within two months (my birthday) I have not had sex, I will end myself. I'm sick of being a late 40s virgin living with my mother. I'm tired of my social shyness, inadequacies, my certainty that no woman could or should be interested in me. I've had enough of counsellors, therapists, psychiatrists and family assuring me it's no big deal to have never had sex by this age. They tell me there's no stigma, that my lack of having sex is not reflective of me, my personality and my positive attributes. I can't believe there's anything good about me. Were sex going to happen, it damned well should have happened by now.
I believe it's my fault I'm a virgin because I'm a hateful coward, unable or unwilling to socialize or to take the most basic of risks. "Fake it until you make it," I'm told. Why? Why pretend? I'm clearly nothing and am tired of despising myself. If there is any worth to me, if I'm not a living joke of a male virgin, if I stopped hating and despising myself, if I'm capable of feeling anything other than hatred, rage, self loathing and fear, then real proof is needed, not just words, not assurances or advice like "live your life for you" or "try a dating service" or "seek counselling" or "hire a prostitute." No more. -- Life or Death, One or the Other, Winnipeg
Dear Life or Death: "Either sex or suicide" is what you're saying -- that you need sex as proof of your worth and a reason to live. But sex is not all you want. Like most people, you want the validation of having a partner who wants to be close, affectionate and make love with you. The problem? You're filled with angst and can't take the most basic of risks, such as asking a woman for a coffee, perhaps. As social anxiety/phobia may be the basis of your problem, there is medication available through your physician or psychiatrist which will help you open up, become more sociable and able to make friends. You are clearly intelligent, so research all the medications currently available and their side effects. Talk to a pharmacist, and have an informed talk with your doctor.
There is no need to take your life over not having sex to this point, but a great need to start making friends, male and female, and to start developing social skills. That's the first step to finding a girlfriend -- practising with other people. I spoke to the people at the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba at 4 Fort St. (near Assiniboine Avenue) which would be an excellent place for you to contact. It is open weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 204-786-0987. Talk to a peer-support person or ask for Beau who has offered to speak to you personally to inform you about what help is available. Support groups -- more than a dozen per week at Mood Disorders -- offer emotional support, and will introduce you to many new friends. Go more than once a week since they are created for many issues and purposes. Check out the schedule at www.mooddisordersmanitoba.ca/support-groups.php
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I slapped my auntie across the face because she told me I was grounded for drinking. Now she has kicked me out of the house and I'm back living with my dad who is never home. My mom lives on the rez. I said I was sorry in an email, but my auntie is still mad at me. What else can I do? I love my auntie and want to live with her again. Stupid Girl, 15, Winnipeg
Dear Girl: Pick her some dandelions and go to her door when you know she's home and apologize from the bottom of your heart and promise it will never happen again, and say openly that you love her. Tell her how you would be different if she took you back -- the drinking is finished and make that true. You can't use your fists to solve any problems, it only makes them get worse.
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