Advice, please?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-16-2001
Advice, please?
4
Fri, 11-23-2012 - 11:37am

My 17yo niece lives with my husband and me.  She's 5'11", about 280 lbs, a big girl.  As such, she's very insecure and has all the self-esteem/self-worth issues that go along with it.  Not to mention the sibling rivalry from having a 16yo sister who is super-model beautiful and has boys fawning over her all the time.  She's always felt big, ugly, and unworthy - is currently in therapy & on depression meds.

17yo is a college freshman, turning 18 next week. About 2 weeks ago, she met a boy.  Well... a man.  He's 22 years old.  A mutual friend, playing match-maker, introduced them to each other.  Within 2 days of meeting him, she was totally infatuated.  "He so nice to me and says I'm beautiful and says he can't believe a girl this beautiful wants to be with him <yadda yadda yadda>."

Red warning lights are flashing all around me. I'm afraid that she's feeling so happy for the positive attention that she's going to jump into having sex.  I say that because she's done it before.  2 years ago, while being neglected by her father (ie under dad's care, but dad didn't really care what she did, ya know?)  She met a guy and "fell in love." Her first (and only) boyfriend ever!  She slept with him within days/weeks of meeting him.  He dumped her a few days later.  Soon after she moved back with her mom, attempted suicide, ended up in the psych ward - basically a whole mess happened, leading up to her moving in with my husband & me.

She still chats regularly with her Mom.  Her mom called me yesterday saying I had to do something about her daughter.  She asked the girl point-blank if she has had sex with this guy.  Girl says [after a big pause] NO....   Mom, detecting the lie, got her to admit that they had tried (without protection, at that!), but the guy had stopped because he "felt bad."

I've talked with her at length about this and she had assured me that after her first experience, she was not ready to do it again.  Apparently that was a big giant lie.  Niece is with seeing some of Mom's relatives for the holiday, and that's a good thing.  I'm so angry & upset & worried I think I'd be yelling & screaming.  And since she's NOT here, I'm posting this instead!  (so thank you!)   I have time to calm down & be a rational human being, but I'm looking for some advice & suggestions how to approach this with her when she returns from her holiday,

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-16-2001
In reply to: ketue
Sun, 11-25-2012 - 10:18am

Yes I have gotten great advice.  Thanks to all of you, I appreciate it very much!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Fri, 11-23-2012 - 5:26pm
You've gotten good advice, both here and on the college student board. Your last two sentences speak volumes, too bad so many girls don't want to hear it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-16-2001
In reply to: ketue
Fri, 11-23-2012 - 5:19pm

Believe me!  Birth control is definitely at the top of my list!  I'm not about to try to preach abstinance at this point.  But I want her to be thinking clearly how this decision could effect the rest of her life, sex does not equal love.  Having sex is not a guarantee the boy will love you.  Just proves your easy.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
In reply to: ketue
Fri, 11-23-2012 - 12:42pm

She's 18.  She's going to have sex.  Time to make sure she's physically prepared.  Get her to a gyne NOW.  Discuss the various options out there--Norplant might be a good idea for someone like your neice--but she needs to understand ALL about STD's, and the need for condoms.  She may ALREADY be infected with HPV.  Up to 30% of women are infected by their 1st--and often ONLY--partner.  75% of ALL women today have HPV, and it causes ALL cases of cervical cancer.

Her emotional preparedness is a seperate issue.  She needs counseling to help her understand herself -- why she falls into bed when a man looks at her, and the fact that she is substituting food for love.  That will take a while to accomplish.  In the meantime, you don't need her pregnant or with an STD, so handle that NOW.