Jive with Josie
Got a question, need an answer or just plain nosy? Then send your questions in and jive with Josie. She’s here to help with all your life’s dilemmas, so drop her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s completely anonymous, so spill your guts and get some advice.
I recently attended the “What’s your gay point average?” event on campus, and ever since, I’ve been questioning my sexuality. I guess I may have had some of these thoughts before, but now in retrospect, I feel that my personal sexual preferences have not necessarily reversed, but shifted more towards my own gender. I’m a little bit afraid to come out to my friends, especially when I’m not entirely sure what I am myself. How do I deal with this potential new self-discovery?
One of the most misconceived issues about the LGBTQ community is the “Q,” which stands for “questioning.” More often than not, people in your situation do not have people to turn to discuss things such as the idea of questioning one’s sexuality. Luckily, here on campus the Gay-Straight Alliance is one of the many safe havens for a questioning person like yourself to begin to explore the LGBTQ community without fully coming out at first. If perhaps you become more comfortable within the community, you may want to come out to friends you make through the club. Another avenue is the counseling staff here at Lock Haven, if you feel you would like to have a more personal discussion with a licensed professional. Whatever your choice, know that there are people on campus who support whatever decision you make.
I have developed a strange and somewhat worrisome habit over the past few months. While shopping in various grocery stores, I’ve started shoplifting small items, such as gum, eye drops, toothpicks, and other easily-hidden merchandise. I will buy a basketful of groceries on the same trip, but I still feel compelled to sneak one or two things in my shirt sleeve or coat pocket before I leave the store. I feel really guilty about this, but I really do enjoy the thrill of stealing.
Feel like a klepto
Stealing is a crime, punishable by the court of law, and you should not be participating in any activity where you break the law. The only advice that I can give you is to seek help by either getting counseling on campus or through some other therapist. To help you in the short term, I would suggest confiding your “bad habit” with a friend, if you feel comfortable. This friend could accompany you on your trips to the supermarket and prevent you from slipping those items in your pocket. You might not be a true kleptomaniac, but your behavior is clearly distressing you and is not fair to the stores that you steal from.
I just found out recently that my dad’s brother is very sick, and will probably pass away within the next month or so. I’ve never been very close with him, as he and my dad have been estranged for years. However, in his final days, he wants to make amends with his family members, including my dad and I. I feel bad about his condition, but I don’t feel as bad as I think I should feel about someone dying, because I just met the man. How do I deal?
Some of the most integral parts of the human experience are the emotions you have in any circumstance, and how they are wholly your own. When it comes to death, often those emotions don’t truly come forth until later. So, though you may not be feeling anything now, there might come a time when those emotions rise up and you have to confront them. What you are currently experiencing is not something that is uncommon, and one of the best ways to deal with it is to be open with your father so that you and he can get through the experience together. Though you’ve never known your uncle, your father probably has a lot of memories, both good and bad, about their relationship. Maybe your current role is to just be there for your dad. If you feel you are emotionally capable of it, maybe you should also try to get to know your uncle on your own, and get to know him the way he wants you to remember him. But ultimately, what you do with your emotions is your own decision.