Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

You need to talk to your mom about her unwanted sexual overtures

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: Well, my mother just left and I locked the door and leaned on it for a full five minutes to make sure she was gone. She was lonely and acting seductive like she did when I was a high school kid. I never gave in to her but she let me know l'd be welcome. I have very bad dreams about this. No guy should have to think about this stuff. I got married at 19 to keep my mother away, and it worked for a time, but now she comes over and knocks on the door when she's had too much to drink, and she knows I'll be alone. Today, I called my wife to come from work early to get rid of her, and she left quickly. I do feel sorry for my mom and her loneliness and love her in my own distant way. She's very messed up, but she did beat her dependence on drugs. -- Her Only Son, West End

Dear Only Son: My guess is you've never talked to her about this problem openly, though you may have pushed your mom off silently. Where would a young guy find the words? But, to stop sexual overtures from happening or threatening to happen, someone needs to finally shine a light on the problem. Your physician could refer you to a psychiatrist who deals with incest problems. At some point you will want to confront your mother. You may need a third person (like a therapist) in the room to feel safe enough to talk about your mother's past and present behaviour, and how it makes you feel as her son. In therapy, you may also find out she was inappropriately involved with a parent or grandparent, as these situations often begin in a previous generation. Confide in your doctor, get a referral (psychiatrists are covered), and start getting the help you need.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm eating like two people ever since my partner left me. I never was thin; it was his role in the couple to be the thin gay man. But, now I've gone from being musclebound and a little bit overweight to corpulent. That means I'm growing more like a snowman every day. I just can't stop eating. In the gay world, obesity is not a plus. I can't even go to a party without people noticing how much fatter I am. There I said it! The ones I don't know well, don't say anything, but my friends look concerned and ask what's wrong. I say "I'm bloated from a medication I'm taking, but I don't want to talk about it." Some people now think I'm seriously ill. Please help. -- The Snowman, Osborne Village

Dear Snowman: You're trying to stuff the empty place in your heart formerly occupied by your love relationship. But, food won't stuff an emotional hole. Could it be you're purposely making yourself unattractive to a new partner because you can't bear to be vulnerable to a new person and hurt again. You can protect yourself other ways. That fear can be stopped to a great degree by making a promise to yourself you'll swear off men for several months. That will give you the psychological space you need to stop building a fat-protected version of yourself. Talking to a therapist, dietician and intelligent friends will help the emptiness go away much better than over-eating

Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press 1355 Mountain Ave. Wpg R2X 3B6 or email lovecoach@hotmail.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 24, 2009 C5

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