DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: This is hard to admit. As a teenager and young man I was "in love" with my mother. Nothing weird went on, but I had the whole spectrum of feelings for her, including physical attraction. I asked my doctor if I could see a psychiatrist and lied to him and my mother about the reason why. I got a first appointment and went for a couple of years. I'm OK today and have a wife and young kids. I had never heard of this happening to other guys, but my mother was young, beautiful and sexy. She was also a single mother and called me her little "man of the house." We were both lonely and hung out together a lot, watching movies. Nothing happened, I swear, but I wonder how often this happens to young guys who must hide it.
By the way, the woman I married looks very much like my mother. I told my wife I used to have "a little crush" on my mom when I was a kid and she laughed and said that's quite normal. She will never know how many years that "crush" went on, but my wife and I are very happy. I hope this helps somebody. -- The Confessor, Winnipeg
Dear Confessor: Feelings of attraction to parents can happen in the normal course of development. A lot of little kids will tell you they're going to marry mommy or daddy because they haven't really figured anything out yet. Their point of view usually changes with age. Yours didn't, and you were uncommonly wise to seek out help.
These days there is a lot of extra confusion going on, as kids from different families are often introduced and raised together in blended families. They are not blood siblings but are raised as sisters and brothers from that point on, although they don't feel related and there can be sexual attraction. Then there are the cases where the second wife is 20 years younger than the first and she is sexually attractive to the teenage boys in her new husband's family -- boys who are closer to her age than her husband. Life is getting very complicated in the 21st century.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I walked and ran more than 10 kilometres home in the dark to get away from a bad date who took me to a dark spot by the river. I knew if I stayed in the car with him he was going to assault me. I knew he loved his fancy car too much to abandon it and chase me, so, in the middle of a sentence, I snuck the door open and ran for it. He yelled at me as I took off across a field. I stopped in two convenience stores on the way home to calm down. People told me later I should have taken any bus and asked the driver for help, but I didn't think of that -- I was so panicked. There is nothing I can charge him with because he hadn't assaulted me yet, but I had a strong Spidey sense by the smarmy way he was talking to me that I was about to get raped. Do you think I was imagining things and overreacting? -- Escaped a Creep, Winnipeg
Dear Escaped: No, you were right to trust your gut. You must totally abandon any notion of being polite when you're with anyone who appears to mean you harm. Many of us have had experiences where we feel our intuition is telling us to get out of there before all the data is in. You may not understand what's coming at you, just that it's scaring you. Sometimes the voice used before a rape is over-solicitous, or mean and nasty, or the guy goes silent as he gets ready to mount his attack. All you can depend on is your instinct that things have become weird and you need to escape. You can't charge the guy for bad vibes, but if he threatened you verbally by saying something such as, "I'm going to find you where you live, and &%$# you and beat your face in!" you can certainly charge him for uttering threats.
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