Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

Stress:
“I can't take this anymore!”

Hey Terra,

Everything is just falling apart... my dad got laid off.... and today I went online and I IMed one of my friends and I was like "hey. I gotta go to work today :( ." she says: "then go. this is Joe-" that's her boyfriend who is such a jerk that I told her to get rid of but she won't listen. So I just replied, "oh great." and then I closed the IM box. And he just said a lot of things and threatened me and I printed it and showed my mom and dad. The things he said didn't hurt me, but when I went to my room... I just broke down crying... it was a mix of things cuz of my dad losing his job and because this isn't the first time her boyfriend yelled at me... and I just thought, "That's it... I can't be friends with this girl anymore."

I feel so alone, and the only thing I can control are my grades and that's why I study like hell.... I hate how people are and that I can't trust anyone. The only people who keep me going are my family. I couldn't see it before, but they're so important. I had a talk in the car with my mom and that really opened my eyes and I feel like crap for all the times that I was mad at my parents. And I hate growing up because I miss being young and playing with Barbies and not knowing anything about the world.

But then again, I'm glad I know how things are because I just wanna be able to do things on my own. I'm excited to just leave high school and finally be in college. You know... all those firsts... getting my first REAL job, being able to support my family. Just succeeding... to me that's all I want.

Should I still be friends with that girl? My mom said no because "I have to draw the line somewhere." and that "She must talk about me to her boyfriend because he called me a whore and threatened me and said he'll "smash my head on the curb and f--k up my teeth" I can't take all of this anymore, it's so much pressure, from school, SATs, my dad's job, losing a friend and losing a job.

Should I keep this girl as a friend? I'm sick of feeling like crap because of her boyfriend and I think it's unhealthy for me to stay being friends with her. But how do I tell her I don't want to be friends? I was just going to ignore her, but I think she needs an explanation. I want to be fair about it, but I think that if I'm fair she'll talk in a mean way and I don't want to be talked down to.

Should I still be friends with her? And if not, what should I say?

HELLP!!!

Dear HELLP,

Wow, I'm really sorry things are so difficult for you right now. But I'm glad you and your family are pulling together. You're very lucky to have loving caring parents and they are lucky to have you.

It sounds like you aren't comfortable being her friend any more, so don't be her friend. As for what to tell her, tell her how you feel. Calmly and directly, tell her, "I have a lot going on in my life right now. I had a pretty upsetting IM exchange with your bf and I'm not willing for that to happen any more. I think you're making a mistake being with him, but that's your choice. And my choice is to take care of myself. That's why I'm choosing to only be around people I know I can trust not to hurt me."

How's that sound?

In friendship,

Terra


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.


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