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Getting Deep #9: Oversupportive Mom, Embarrassed By Handicapped Sister, Jealousy


Q&A with Dr. Dorothy: Your tough questions answered

dorothy ratusny
Dorothy Ratusny is a Certified Psychotherapist specializing in Cognitive Therapy. Send your ‘Getting Deep’ questions to dorothy@faze.ca


I’m pretty good at basketball. Actually, I’m really, really good and might get a scholarship to an American university. The problem is, my mom won’t give me my space. She comes to every practice and every game. The only time she’s not with me is when I’m in the change room. I love her, but how do I tell her this is MY time, not hers?

It sounds like your mom is your biggest supporter and fan. If it feels like she isn’t giving you your space you may want to ask her (in a gentle way) to tell you her reasons for why she attends all of your practices and games. You may be surprised to hear that her intentions for attending are quite honourable. You can also remind yourself that it really is your time when you are on the court. Being totally focused on playing the game and being in your ‘zone’ is a completely personal experience. At the end of the day, no matter how many people (including your proud mom) come out to watch you, it’s ultimately you that has the potential, and the ability, to make basketball a professional career.


I’m ashamed of myself. My little sister is physically challenged. She was born with a bone defect in her left leg and walks with a very noticeable limp. I think she’s great and everything, but when she starts to walk she moves like something from a horror movie—and then I’m embarrassed to be around her, especially in school. I know this problem is mine, not hers, but I don’t know how to deal with it?

We all have our own imperfections to deal with. The only difference is that your sister ‘carries’ hers where it’s visible to the outside world. Some examples of the imperfections that the rest of us keep well hidden are: low self-esteem, negative attitudes, dishonesty, envy, ego, hate, and fear. The next time you start to feel embarrassed about your sister’s physical challenge, think about your own personal challenges. What are some of your ‘inner’ imperfections that you would like to change? Often it’s the things that others can’t see that hold us back most in life.


My best friend is not allowed to date, and I am. So, whenever I come home from a night out she wants to know EVERY detail. At first, I didn’t mind, but now there are things that I want to keep to myself, and I know she can sense I’m holding back. I don’t want to lose her as a friend. What should I do?

Your best friend may find it hard at first to understand that you don’t want to always reveal every detail. Right now you also happen to be her best outside connection to the dating world. I’m sure (if you put yourself in her shoes for a moment), that you can appreciate how curious she is. Hopefully it won’t be too long before she will be allowed to date, and then the two of you can have one more thing in common. Below are some great books that may help answer many of the questions that your best friend has.

  • Sex, Boys & You: Be Your Own Best Girlfriend by Joni Arredia
  • The Girls’ Guide to Guys : Straight Talk for Teens on Flirting, Dating, Breaking Up, Making Up & Finding True Love by Julie Taylor
  • The Rules for Teens by Meg Schneider

My friend is really popular, pretty and smart. Everything seems to go her way. The cutest guys ask her out, the teachers like her, even my parents call her their adopted daughter. Lately, I find myself wishing she’d get into an accident and get badly scarred, and other really mean stuff like that — even though I still really like her. Is something wrong with me?

Nothing is wrong with you. It just sounds like you might be forgetting about how great you are. Appreciate your friend for who she is. You probably wouldn’t have chosen to be her friend if she didn’t have some great qualities. At the same time, remember your positive attributes—including the things that you are most proud of, and the things about yourself that you are good at. Try creating your own power-list of positive attributes. Some examples might include: being good at a certain subject in school, being a loyal friend, being honest, being intelligent or caring about the environment. Focusing on your own great qualities will help remind you of your own personal worth.


For more on Dorothy check out www.dorothyratusny.com


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