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I AM in Control.org Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality

Questions, Answers and Resources for Teens

Use this resource for questions regarding your health, your relationships, your body and your sexuality.

While this site is informative, it is not a substitute for talking to your doctor, parents or other trusted adult.

May 1

Follow us on Twitter!

Posted By iamincontrol | May 1, 2014

Want to find out when IAMincontrol has a new post?  Follow us on Twitter @IAMincontrolIA for tweets about our posts and events for teens.  Retweet to share your favorite posts with your friends!
Jul 22

Toxic Relationships

Posted By iamincontrol | July 22, 2014

Upset teen male
By Brittany

Although this story is not a personal one, it affected my fiancé, Hunter, who is obviously extremely close to my heart. He told me about his dating history shortly after our relationship began and I think his story is something we can all relate to in one aspect or another.

He was 16 when he met Ashley on a band trip with their high school. He had just moved to this school from a couple hours away and was excited to meet new people. Their relationship started slowly at first, and before he knew it he was completely enamored with this mysterious, older girl. Soon they started spending more and more time together, and Hunter could tell he was really starting to fall for her. His parents saw red-flags right away though. They noticed he was acting differently, dressing differently, and was almost never home to spend time with them or his younger siblings. They became concerned and expressed these concerns to him, but he blew them off. He thought he was old enough to make his own decisions, and ‘What did they know about his relationship?’ Hunter told me that he knew he was in a full blown ‘puppy-love’ state of mind with Ashley. He wanted to spend every waking moment next to her. He began to abandon other important things in his life to be with her. He stopped participating in after-school activities because she would want to hang out. He even stopped being friends with a couple of his closest friends because she did not like them. His relationship was getting to a toxic point, yet he didn’t realize it.

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Jul 17

A Girl’s Best Friend

Posted By iamincontrol | July 17, 2014

Girl and dog
By Jenny

A dog is a girl’s best friend. We adopted Otis when I was 9 years old. I remember like it was yesterday. He was a small, baby pug. When I got him, he was 4 pounds and 6 weeks old (way too early to be away from his mother) and needed a lot of attention.

I did anything and everything for Otis, including rocking him to sleep at night and taking him for walks in a stroller. He was a spoiled but bad dog. Otis would chew all the furniture, steal your socks, and loved eating pig ears even though he would make a mess all over the house. Even though he was naughty, Otis was like my best friend. He was there when I had no one else to talk to. He also was the best listener, as I did not know who else to turn to through my awkward preteen years.

Otis grew up to be a big boy weighing almost 30 pounds. However, this turned out to be a problem and he developed an intestine dysfunction. One day he needed emergency surgery, and he did not make it out of surgery.

That day, I thought the world was over. For 7 years, I had always had Otis. Now I didn’t. Dogs are great best friends. However, just like humans, they pass with time. Through this I learned to cherish the time you have with your best friends, as you never know when your last time to tell them you love them may be.

I thought this video described my life with Otis perfectly. He was always there just like Maddie in the video.

Jul 15

Try New Things

Posted By iamincontrol | July 15, 2014

Girl with soccer ball
By Anonymous

One of the most important parts of my high school career was athletics.  Throughout high school I participated in volleyball, soccer, and softball.  Volleyball and softball had been sports that I had played practically my whole life.  Soccer, on the other hand, I had never competitively played until my sophomore year in high school.  By the end of my three years of soccer I was so sad that it was over.  I had improved so much over that time and wished I could have played longer.  Soccer helped me make strong friendships and a strong body.  I have never been more in shape in my life than when I was out for soccer.

Athletics are a great way to stay in shape, make new friends and spend time with old ones, and also another way to stay out of trouble.  Even if athletics aren’t your forte, there are other high school groups that students can get involved with.  Athletics just have the added bonus of improving your fitness.  My experience also taught me it’s great to try new things because you may find out that you really enjoy it!

Visit this site for more information on extracurricular activities and how to find one that’ll be right for you.

You are in control of trying new things.

Jul 10

Changes

Posted By iamincontrol | July 10, 2014

Teenage girl
By Natalie

During my high school experience, I went through a lot of emotional issues that made me the strong person I am today. I specifically had a very hard time with bullying and aggression from girls I had once called my friends. It got so bad that things were thrown at me in school. I had Facebook pages created about me, and no one wanted to be my friend. This all spewed from a simple argument between my close group of friends (girls I had been friends with since elementary school) that spiraled out of control. I finally had enough. I became very depressed and refused to return to my high school.

I spent a year in and out of hospitals and treatment centers for my depression and emotional issues. Although this experience was extremely traumatic and life changing, it also impacted my life in a very positive way in the end. From this, I learned to be extremely forgiving and realize that some people just don’t know how to treat others. You cannot blame yourself for that. I also learned that no matter how hard a situation may be for you, there is always someone who has it worse. You have to remember that.

I have slowly become a much more mature and strong person from the events that happened throughout my time as a high school student. I am now the happiest I have ever been, and in a sense I am thankful that I went through such a hard time in high school. It taught me what a true friend is and what it means to be a true friend to someone else.

Visit the resources below for help and more information on bullying and depression:

Your Life Iowa
Love Is Louder
StopBullying.gov
It Gets Better

Also, check out these other IAMincontrol posts on bullying and depression:

Overcoming Bullying & Depression
Battling Depression
Unexpected Motivation

Jul 8

Don’t Forget the Sugary Cereal

Posted By iamincontrol | July 8, 2014

 Teen girl
By Laysa

When I was in 6th grade, I had my first and only boyfriend. We dated for like 8 days. It was very serious. A couple days after he broke up with me (in homeroom of all places!), we were at soccer practice, and some girls came up to me and said, “Joe broke up with you because you’re chubby.” I felt like I was kicked in the stomach. Later Joe came up to me and explained that he actually said he broke up with me because I was “pleasantly plump.” That wasn’t much better.

Either way, after that I was VERY aware of how I was bigger than the other girls. I also started to think twice when my stepdad told me not to eat my favorite sugary cereal because it was bad for me. But how could Cinnamon Toast Crunch be bad for me, when it made me feel so good? My mom, despite her good intentions, would try to get me to pick a bigger size in clothes. I never wanted that. I didn’t want to give up my favorite foods that all the other girls got to eat, and I didn’t want to wear an XL when all my friends wore smalls. How uncool would that have been?

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Jul 3

Conflicting Values: Marijuana

Posted By iamincontrol | July 3, 2014

marijuana
By Jamie

When I was in my junior and senior year of high school, I dated a guy who smoked a lot of pot. I hated this because I was against drug use. I didn’t like it because it was illegal and it is bad for you. Why would you intentionally get high on a regular basis if you didn’t need to for medical purposes? It directly affected me because I was worried about him. I knew he had random drug tests at work, and I didn’t want him to get in trouble with the law. I also didn’t like being around him when he was high.

Even though I wasn’t the one smoking marijuana, I was still affected by it. He knew it bothered me when he smoked, so he started hiding it from me. That led to trust issues because I knew he was lying to me when he would say he “quit” or hadn’t smoked in days. I knew when he was lying, and that led to other issues. Even though he was trying to keep me happy and just keep me out of the loop from his drug use, I didn’t appreciate all the sneaking around. Because of this, I learned that there is only so much you can do as a friend and a loved one.

If there is something that is really affecting someone you love, you may need to get help from other people. I learned that addiction is hard. Just because he didn’t quit for me doesn’t mean he didn’t care about me. Luckily, he doesn’t smoke on a regular basis anymore. We are no longer dating, but I like to keep in touch and remain good friends.

I would recommend visiting the following website about how to help a friend with their substance use. You may also be interested in how to help a friend quit smoking.  It’s about tobacco, but some of the recommendations apply to quitting other things too.

Jul 1

Bringing Friends Together

Posted By iamincontrol | July 1, 2014

Group of friends
The results are in!  Last month we asked you: “How would you describe your friend group?”

You said:

  • We’re a super tight group and only hang out with each other. (0%)
  • I have a main friend group, but I have other friends too. (66%)
  • I float between lots of groups. (33%)
  • We don’t have friend groups at my school – everyone hangs together. (0%)

Sometimes when you are friends with more than one group, it can be hard to juggle being part of both.  Lexia shares her story below about how she brought two friend groups together to solve that issue.

Read More
Jun 26

Controlling Relationship

Posted By iamincontrol | June 26, 2014

controlling relationship
By Taylor

I was in an abusive relationship my freshman year in high school.  When someone thinks of an abusive relationship, they think of someone who has bruises and has physical evidence of abuse.  This was not my case at all.  He had an older brother who was a senior and had a lot of control in the school.  I was pressured into dating this guy and pressured to stay in the relationship.  He sexually abused me after a couple of months of dating.  I knew I should tell someone, but felt like if I did no one at school would believe me.  He made all of the decisions in our relationship and isolated me from everyone; he was extremely possessive and jealous too.

One day I was so fed up with everything that I just texted him and broke it off.  The next day at school he got in my face and demanded a reason.  I simply said I could not take it anymore and to leave me alone.  He acted depressed, and he and his brother tried to make me that way too.  Instead, when people said anything to me about the situation, I told them what really happened.  It felt great, and people did believe me because of how he reacted when I ended it.  Do not be afraid to end it; more people will believe you and realize what was going on than you think!

Some of you may have heard of this website from school or television, but I suggest you take their quiz even if you believe you are in a perfect relationship.

If you are experiencing abuse, there is help.  You can chat with someone at loveisrespect.org, call 866.331.9474, or text “loveis” to 22522.  Everyone deserves a safe, healthy relationship.

Jun 24

Coping with Infidelity

Posted By iamincontrol | June 24, 2014

Sad teen with parents fighting
By Kelsi

As a sophomore in high school and the oldest of three siblings, I always felt like I had a lot on my plate. Growing up, I had nothing to complain about, but then things got weird. My dad was always working on his racecar, and when he was done, he would sleep on the couch. I will never forget the moment my mom told me what was really going on. I was in the shower when she came in and told me that she had been cheating on my dad. The first thing that crossed my mind was the timing. I was in the shower. Maybe she was just scared and felt like she needed to tell me ASAP, but after this, things definitely went downhill. Being from a small town, everyone knew. Going to school and staying focused was hard, but the hardest thing of all was making sure my siblings were okay.

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Jun 19

Celebrate your Individuality

Posted By iamincontrol | June 19, 2014

Teen girl
By Allison

During my middle school and high school years, I struggled a lot with self-image. I never felt truly accepted by my peers. I spent years trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I would ask myself questions such as:

“Am I wearing the wrong clothes?”

“Do I need to have a specific haircut?”

“Am I listening to the right music and keeping up with all the celebrities the girls in my class talk about?”

“What do I have to say for Johnny to ask me on a date?”

“Why doesn’t anyone ever want to be my partner for projects?”

“What is wrong with me?”

All of these thoughts led to an extremely low self-esteem. I wanted so desperately to be accepted and be invited to the parties that people talked about. Sometimes, I even wondered if any of my classmates would show up to my funeral if I were to die unexpectedly. I was trapped with these negative thoughts, trying constantly to change myself and “fit in.”  I would watch the “popular” girls and try to figure out how they gained acceptance. They often talked about cute boys and complained about teachers or their parents.

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