I am a 17-year-old girl, and my life is filled with problems. I am the only daughter of my parents and have two older brothers. A year ago, I was in a relationship with a guy, J, and I thought he was the one for me. J is a 26-year-old guy, and is my best friend’s cousin. I met him at my friend’s birthday party, and we hit it off right away. J is very good-looking, knowledgeable and funny, and I was proud that he was interested in me. I trusted him because my friend vouched for him. We met outside for lunch a couple of times and he promised me that he would send his proposal after completing his graduation. Some time back, my parents found out about J. They were furious and took my phone away. For some time, they did not even allow me to attend school. I told them I realised I was at fault, was sorry and would not do anything to hurt them again, and they allowed me to resume my classes. They also gave my cell back to me on the condition that I would not misuse it. I accepted my parents’ order, and did not contact my J. Then, J started doing weird stuff. Once he threw stones on the window of my house. As a result, three windowpanes of our living room were broken. Another time, he attacked my brother and broke his nose. A few days ago, I received a threatening text message from him. He texted me and asked me to send my pictures to him, and said he would kill my parents if I didn’t do that. I was scared and I sent him a couple of my pictures with my family. Now he has texted again saying that if I don’t meet him outside he will send those pictures to my mother. I’m confused and utterly traumatised. If I tell my mother, she will stop me from going out. Professor, I am not the naïve girl I was a year back; I have learned my lesson, but I am scared of him. If I don’t meet him outside, he will tell my mother that I sent him my pictures, and my parents will never trust me again. I just don’t know what to do. I feel very guilty because of the bad things that are happening because of me. In fact, I hate myself! I shouldn’t have gone out with J. I shouldn’t have had a relationship with J. I have disappointed my parents and broken their trust. What should I do? Please help me.
Dear Traumatised Girl,
First of all, my dear, don’t hate yourself. You were merely 16, at a very impressionable age, when you met J. You cannot be blamed for being swayed by J’s personality, especially when your best friend vouched for her cousin. You erred in meeting him on the sly. Your parents’ reaction was predictable, too, but this is how emotional parents usually behave. However, you need not feel you disappointed them. It was your parents’ duty – particularly your mother’s – to explain basic things a girl should know. Had your mother done her bit, you would have told her yourself about J, and she could have guided you. So, don’t think that it was all your fault. Going out with anyone without informing your parents is not right, because anything can happen when one is out: an accident, an unrest, etc.
The silver lining is that J’s true personality has become evident to you. He is a lot older than you and was taking advantage of your innocence. Now you know exactly what sort of a person he is. When he threw stones at your living room’s window, your parents should have complained to J’s parents. When he attacked your brother, your parents should have reported the incident to police. He has become so bold because your parents ignored these incidents. Now he is threatening to kill your parents, and this is unacceptable. Don’t give in to his threats. Trust your parents and show his messages to them. Explain that you sent the pictures because you were scared for them. This is a straight forward blackmail case and your father will be able to deal with it. Keep the text messages safe, because the police may need them as evidence.
My dear, your parents may scold you a bit because you did not confide into them, but they love you and will protect you. Good luck!