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Author Topic: How to talk when she doesn't want to hear it
Kawani3792
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Here's the thing...I'm 18, and at three years into my period (yes, I was a late starter, and very grateful for that trick of nature!) I think I'm probably somewhat overdue for a visit to an ob/gyn, just to make sure everything is, you know, functioning and everything. There's no actual reason for me wanting to go, other than I figure if I get it over with I'll be a dozen times less nervous when I actually need to go for something important. I've managed to cut down my mental image of some scary creepy dude with a flashlight enough to be willing to go and get checked out, and I'm scared of just about everything beyond my own shadow (and that can give me the creeps on a bad day) so this is a minor miracle.
I managed to mention it to my mom the other day as we went past an ob/gyn clinic right down the road from us, and she essentially freaked because it was strange hearing her 18 year old talk about wanting to go get a check up to make sure she's healthy and everything. The "strange hearing her 18 year old talk about wanting to go to an ob/gyn" was direct from her mouth, actually.

So, how do I talk to her? I certainly don't want to talk to my dad, he manages to tease me about everything and I have enough nervousness without him around (and my dislike of him is a whole nother issue that I won't go into right now) but mom won't listen, or to be exact, she'll listen, say "sure" and then let the subject drop and sort of hope I forget about it. I don't know how to explain that yes, I know the terms, and when I'm not in the presence of someone who expects me to be shy, I don't freak when I hear them. I'm not as naive as they think (my mom offered me a massager for my bad knee the other day. I used it and gave it back. Mom explained that she had meant me to keep it, and she had "washed and sterilized it with alcohol for me". I nodded. My dad started chuckling and going "Oh, she doesn't get it!"...yeah...she did) and it's a real hindrance when my mom goes "well, you don't want to go there, it'll be really uncomfortable and everything."


As a related question, my only health insurance is my parents, and I have no job and therefore no money of my own. I'm pretty sure I'm completely unable to go to the clinic without them finding out, but if anyone knows if I'm right about that?

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Heather
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You're mistaken in your ideas about getting healthcare without their knowledge. That would be the case even if you were a minor with Title X clinics, but it ABSOLUTELY is the case ANYWHERE you get care as an adult. HIPAA law prohibits healthcare providers from sharing your private health information with anyone without your permission, save within very strict parameters mostly pertaining to other clinic staff and public health agencies.

If you use their insurance, mind, they may see this on the bill. But you may still have healthcare options for sexual healthcare you CAN afford or which may even be free. What state are you in?

Mind, if you want to fill them in and have one of your parents help and support you in this, we can talk about that instead or also. But I first wanted to make sure you knew you had other options if your parents are not being supportive.

[Edited because PARENT is very different than PARTNER. Sorry!]

[ 10-18-2010, 01:13 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Kawani3792
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I'm in Idaho...the state where the persuasive political commercials consist of "blankety-blank is TOO LIBERAL for Idaho!"

EDIT: yes, partner and parent are very different...I've done that myself a couple times, I type quickly, so I post and then realize that I said something very different from what I meant.

My parents just...aren't very good at the whole child-growing-up situation, and while I'd like to talk to them, my dad is essentially an overgrown twelve year old (he and my brother both have Asperger's Syndrome) and my mom is only slightly short of sticking her fingers in her ears and yelling "LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU"...so it doesn't work too well. I did try to talk to her about stuff, but there's a lot on her plate, she's finishing college and dealing with aforementioned brother and dad.

[ 10-18-2010, 04:13 PM: Message edited by: Kawani3792 ]

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Heather
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Sorry about my silly typo! I mean parent, not partner (I do that one a lot).

Idaho does have some Title X programs available for family planning, which GYN exams are part of. This page has a link on the left of the basic information with clinic locations: http://www.healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/Health/FamilyPlanningSTDHIV/FamilyPlanning/tabid/100/Default.aspx

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Kawani3792
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Thank you!
I did find a clinic in my town, it's a bit over 2 miles away. I could probably walk it in a pinch, but my mom would definitely know. The only days I can leave the house without her knowing are when she's at school, and she's gone for around 5 hours, so that would be ok (I'm guesstimating my walking time each way at 45 minutes to an hour) but I've got a bum knee and can't put weight on it for very long. And no way am I crutching it for 2 miles. Either way, I'd get home whimpering and using various frozen foods as ice packs, which would cause much annoyance from aforesaid mom. she won't take me, but she'll be angry if I injure myself worse by walking all that way.

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Heather
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Do you have any friends who might be able to give you a ride?

(Are you still in school, by the way, or are you out of school at this point?)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Kawani3792
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I graduated this past May.
And no, pretty much all of my friends are younger than me without cars, licenses, or both.

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Heather
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I don't mean to pry, but can I ask why, if you're a legal adult, and have graduated from school, you still have so little freedom at home and with your own life?

The thing is, you're a legal adult. You getting your own healthcare -- or even going somewhere for a few hours by yourself without having to say where or why -- should be okay for you to do and should be doable. if you have a disability that makes transportation, for any reason, hard for you, have you filed with your state for disability benefits that might also include transportation?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Kawani3792
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I don't have much freedom because my finances, my transportation, and my lodging are all still dependent on my parents. My mom is what could be called "moderately paranoid", and I inherited that from her, but in me, it just means that I have plans for what to do if *anything* happens (I literally think I have a plan of what to do if I am kidnapped by aliens!) but in her, it means she worries about me a lot more than most parents of 18 year olds. She doesn't have much support from my father, so I'm pretty much the only semi-sane person she can talk to without calling and running up the phone bill, and she kind of...uses me as a crutch, almost, and leans on me as someone to talk to about her classmates, my father, my brother, how crazy everything is...I think she'd fall apart if I wasn't around.

I don't have a disability other than clumsiness. This knee thing is an old injury that comes back in various incarnations when it's cold, or hot, or I relax too much, or I exercise too much, or I hit it, or any of a thousand other different things. It causes anywhere from slight achy pain to moderate throbbing pain (which is what it is right now) to "AUGH OH MY GOSH JUST CUT THE THING OFF ALREADY!!!!" pain, the last of which happens perhaps once every couple of weeks, usually when I walk a lot.

Last time I needed to get out of the house for a few hours, I sat down in a little area near the house where I can see the cars, but they can't see me, and I watched as my dad's car went past two or three times looking for me. I left the house for about half an hour once and came home to my mom freaking out, dad angry because they were worried about me. And I got to stay home alone overnight when I was 16, because I flat-out refused to go to a town several hours away to check on my dad...my first alone weekend was a month (exactly 30 days) before I turned 18. Back when I could walk to the library in fifteen minutes, I would sometimes forget to call when I got there and mom would threaten to not let me walk if I wouldn't call her.

So yeah, that's why I don't really have much freedom in the sense of going out for a while.

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Heather
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Before I say anything else, can I ask: are you happy with this arrangement/dynamic?

Can I also ask what your plans and goals are for your life moving forward? Do you see yourself in this situation for a long time?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Kawani3792
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Not really. I just don't have any way to move out.

As soon as I get a steady job with a decent enough paycheck for rent and utilities, I'm planning on moving out, probably to a house much closer to my old neighborhood where I was a 15 minute walk from the public library. I'm applying for nearly every job opening I see, and I actually went to a job fair for a new movie theater yesterday and applied, so I'm really hoping that works out. My dream job would be a children's librarian, my fallback dream job would be a library, bookstore, or something of that sort, and my fallback job is just working with people, doing something I would enjoy...basically nearly anything besides a fast-food (or slow-food) joint.

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Heather
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Can I ask if you've looked into college per library sciences?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Kawani3792
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I have, but have decided to spend a year or two with a job, save up as much money as I can so that (hopefully) I won't have to get a job during college, and it will be my choice whether to get one or not.

Also, very, very few colleges offer library sciences, and none of them actually sent me anything. (grr...I got stuff from NEW YORK! but not Washington. Gah!)

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Heather
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I have a couple friends in library science. Would you like me to ask one (or more) of them if they mind swinging over to the boards to help fill you in and give you some info on pursuing that?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Kawani3792
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If you could, that would be amazing. I've been volunteering at libraries for the past...six years or so, I was a school Library Science Aide during the entirety of 10th, 11th, and 12th grade, but I'm iffy on the whole college, what college to go to, if or how they are different...that sort of thing. It's not a hugely common field of study, so there aren't many people that can really explain that in my area.
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Heather
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You got it! Let me leave two of my fave librarian folks notes. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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rachel_w
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Hi, there - I'm a medical librarian, and am happy to answer any questions you have about the field. It's great that you already have some experience in a library, that really helps both with narrowing down what you might want to do in librarianship and getting your foot in the door in schools and the field. Library & info science is typically a masters degree in the U.S. - usually something like an MLS or MLIS. So your first step will likely be getting an undergraduate degree. Now, there are jobs in libraries that don't require the Masters, but the majority of them, I would say, at least require an undergrad (BA or BS) degree in something. It's less important what your undergrad degree is in, unless you have a particularly interest. For example, someone who knows for certain they want to be a medical librarian might take some biology courses, someone who knows they want to do children's librarianship might take some children's literature or education courses - but very few future librarians know exactly what form of librarianship they want to end up in at the undergrad level - librarianship is often a second career.

So my first concrete suggestion would be looking into undergrad college. With your current situation, maybe you want to try going to a community college for your first two years? That is often a way for people to get basic requirements out of the way as cheaply as possible before transferring to a four-year institution. Of course, you may want to go away to a university somewhere as a way to modify your relationship with your parents. Just make sure you'll be able to transfer your credits properly if you go the community college route (so if you want to go to state school X for your four-year degree, it helps to contact them and make sure of what you need to do to transfer credits from community college Y). You'll also want to try to keep your grade point average up as well as possible - it's much easier to get accepted to a master's program with something like a 3.0 gpa or higher, although some will admit students provisionally and let them demonstrate over the first semester that they will succeed.

I would recommend trying to get a student worker position in a library while an undergrad as well. Experience makes a huge difference. And then, if you like it, consider getting your Masters after finishing, or looking into non-degree assistant/paraprofessional positions.

It sounds like a lot of time and work, I know, but hopefully that helps lay out the steps. There are now some distance programs in library science that allow you to earn your masters totally or partially online, but you can explore those options further once you're working on your undergrad.

I hope this helps!

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Kawani3792
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I know in a perfect world I want to be a children's librarian...I love working with children, planning activities for them and helping out at said activities (says the girl going to the library tomorrow to hand out goodies for a Trick-or-Treat event...for the third year running). The college I'm looking at the most is in Washington, which is right nearby but far enough away that my family can't visit every day, and I think that I saw courses in storytelling-type things when I looked through a small catalog they had at a college fair.

So an undergrad degree is four years, with all the basic stuff-english, composition, math, and the other required classes, with a Master's being another...2 years, I think? and devoted solely to that field?

I hugely appreciate the advice! It helps a lot.

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Heather
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(My other librarian friend should be showing up soon for you, Kawani, who also went to school in WA!)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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rachel_w
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Yep. Some people do the Master's in about a year if they do it full-time. I did it part-time at a distance while working full-time in a library, and that did take me two years (6 consecutive semesters).

With your interest, definitely check out programs for having good classes on that - some will have more, others will have less, and many programs have independent study options or ways for you to take other classes as part of your degree.

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Kawani3792
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Thanks...the degrees have really never made sense. In my high school it was "ok, figure out a college. what, college planning? are you crazy? why would we give you that??"

What would the difference be between full-time and part-time? As in, time-wise?

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