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

Tag: family

Nov 20

Dealing with Divorce

Posted By iamincontrol | November 20, 2014

sad teenage boy
By Kelsey

I was a sophomore in high school when my whole life got flipped upside down: divorce. This wasn’t the first time I have had to deal with divorce. My mom and dad got divorced when I was a baby, so by the time I was a teenager, I was used to the whole having to go to two Christmases, two Thanksgivings, and everything else that needed to be split up amongst my mother and father. My mom got remarried when I was in kindergarten, so I dealt with the transition of having a step-father and didn’t seem to mind it.

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Oct 2

Working through the Aftermath of Divorce

Posted By iamincontrol | October 2, 2014

teenage girl
By Anonymous

Divorce: the legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body. Growing up with divorced parents wasn’t entirely bad. I’m grateful that it happened when I was younger so I don’t remember the fighting and pain my older sister went through.  Looking back on how my family essentially ended, I almost wish I could go through the pain my sister went through. That way I wouldn’t have to deal with it eight years later. After my parents split, my mom started dating and that is where it all started.

Depression: severe despondency and dejection typically felt over a period of time and accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy. After my mom and her boyfriend got married is when the depression really began to take over. I found myself having these horrible thoughts that I could only share with my soon to be counselor. I stopped hanging out with friends; I was lying in my bed a lot doing nothing but having these thoughts run through my head. This darkness I called it. The darkness was always there. It was there to remind me that my family wasn’t a family anymore, and I couldn’t do anything to change it.

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Sep 23

Fighting Change

Posted By iamincontrol | September 23, 2014

fighting change
By Emily

For the first 11 years of my life, it was only my mom and me. She was a single parent from the very start, and in my eyes that was the best thing ever. We did everything together: we did homework, played outside, participated in sports, rode our bikes, and numerous other things. However, all these things came to a complete halt when she met Richard.

I was pulled from everything I knew because of Richard. We moved an hour away within weeks of her meeting him. My living situation quickly went from it just being two of us to being four of us with a fifth to arrive months later. When I say everything changed, I mean EVERYTHING! What we ate, how we lived, and where we went all changed. The time we spent together was cut way back; we did not go out and do all the things that we were used to doing. Also, I was not able to see the family members that I used to spend my days with when we lived by ourselves. This resulted in me losing touch with them because I was young. I had no way of getting to see them unless my mom was willing to take me, and she very rarely made the time. Richard made it so that I was completely cut off from the world that I was comfortable in and put me in a world that I hated!

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Aug 26

Getting though My Parents’ Divorce

Posted By iamincontrol | August 26, 2014

By Anonymous

My parents got divorced when I was in the seventh grade, and my world was forever changed. I woke up one Saturday, and it seemed like a regular morning. When my mom woke up, I could tell something was wrong. She asked me to come talk to her in her room; she sounded so sad. She told me that “Dad was gone.” I was really confused at that point. I wasn’t sure what she meant; was he dead? She then told me that he had left the night before, after I had gone to bed. Some of the news that my parents were getting a divorce started to sink in at that point, and I started to cry. My mom and I laid in her room for most of the morning, with her adamantly telling me that the divorce was not my fault. It wasn’t, but somehow it felt like it was. She also told me how much both her and my dad loved me. I remember how shocked I was because my whole life would change from that point on. My dad wouldn’t be living with us anymore. I went to school the next day and told my friends at the lunch table.

Now when I look back on that time of my life, I remember how strong my mom was for me throughout the divorce. I think that would be my biggest piece of advice to get through a big life change: find a person who can be your “rock.” Find someone who can support you and who you trust.


Aug 21

Living with a Chronically Injured Parent

Posted By iamincontrol | August 21, 2014

By Anonymous

I grew up in a pretty typical family: mom, dad, a brother, and a sister. We always had a dog and had a couple cats along the way. My mom worked at a high school, and my dad was a construction worker. Seems like a typical American middle class family, right? Well we were, but then at the end of my sophomore year of high school my dad got hurt at work. His machine had jerked and had hurt his back. He was in a lot of pain, and the doctors told him he needed surgery. Everything was fine, he’d have the surgery and the doctors said he’d need a couple days of recovery and then he should be able to walk out of the hospital. Well that’s not quite what happened. After about a week in the hospital, they wheeled him out in a wheelchair and he came home. He was still in a lot of pain, maybe even more than before the surgery.

This began a time in my life where my dad, tough, strong, and involved, became very distant. I had a lot of questions and no one to turn to. I’m the oldest, and I took on the role of doing as much as I could for myself. It was disappointing that he couldn’t come to my activities, but there wasn’t much I could do. People would ask how he was doing often and I would tell them, “Oh, he seems to be getting a little better,” or “He’s had a quite a few bad days recently.” In reality, he wasn’t getting better, and each day seemed just the same as the last. I’d go to school, sports, work, and then come home and nothing was different. He was still sitting there, maybe playing Xbox or sleeping. Distant. No one in my family talked about it much, and we definitely didn’t talk about how we were feeling. Depression. It seemed like a cycle in a bad story, and it was never going to get better. The way that I dealt with this was to try to do everything right and hold it all together, even though I was a wreck inside. Five years later, my dad is still in pain a lot of the time and still can’t be very active or go to many events, but he’s better than he was. He’s more present in our lives, but parents from the recliner.

My advice to anyone dealing with a parent who is chronically sick or injured or a parent who is just not all present: talk to someone, preferably someone older, like a school counselor, a teacher, a family member, or a family friend. Be honest about how you are feeling and how your situation is affecting you, because it does affect you or it will. I am still dealing with the effects of that time in my life five years later. It’s tough and it hurts, but I have to come to terms with the effects it’s had on me. I’m learning to accept that there are things that I might miss out on doing with him and that there has been time lost in this process. Time I can’t get back. I have friends and mentors now that I can talk to about that time in my life and sort out my grief for how things were “supposed to be.”

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 12

My Experiences with Bullying

Posted By iamincontrol | June 12, 2014

stop bullying
By Samantha

During high school, I was emotionally and verbally bullied. As a result of this, I had low self-esteem and did not have a sense of self-worth. You may have been bullied, have witnessed someone being bullied or have been a bully yourself. The presence of bullying is likely an everyday occurrence at your school. It could be physical, verbal or emotional. The results of bullying are devastating. It can make a person feel inadequate, worthless, depressed, and angry. The list goes on and on.

I was also a bystander. I would not speak up when I saw another one of my peers being bullied, I would just sink into the corner and avoid the situation. Thankfully, when I was bullied, someone spoke up. My family was there to encourage me and lift up my spirits. They reassured me and reminded me of the solid foundation I stood on, that it did not matter what those other people said or claimed about me. Who were they to judge? I did my best not to allow them to keep me down. In the beginning, I never truly stood up for what I believed in, and I allowed the bullies to win in that way.

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May 27

The Cost of Fitting In

Posted By iamincontrol | May 27, 2014

By Emily

When I was in high school, I didn’t appreciate all of the awesome people around me that looked out and cared for me. I was very selfish, and all I cared about was trying to fit in.

While trying to fit in with the group of kids I thought was cool, I lost sight of the people who cared about me, including my family. I found myself lying to try and fit in. I started using new substances I never thought I would. But it landed me a new boyfriend, and that was all that mattered to me at the time. I started to do things I could never have imagined myself doing: sneaking out, smoking weed, drinking, etc. I grew further and further apart from the few close friends I did have, and most importantly, my family.

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May 6

Unexpected Break Up & April Poll Results

Posted By iamincontrol | May 6, 2014

Teen couple holding hands
The results are in!  Last month we asked you guys:

“Who do you trust most when it comes to relationship advice?”

You guys said:

  • Friends (53%)
  • Siblings (6%)
  • Parents (13%)
  • Other adults (26%)

It makes sense that most of you go to friends for dating advice – they’re probably going through the same things you are and know the people you’re talking about.  That’s why it’s important to not forget your friends when you start dating someone, as hard as that can be.  They’re the ones that will be there for you through thick and thin (and if you go to someone else for advice, make sure you don’t lose touch with them either!).  Read below about one teen’s experience with getting too involved in a relationship and ignoring her friends.

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Apr 29

How I Moved on After a Break Up

Posted By iamincontrol | April 29, 2014

Teenage girl
By Monica

When I was in 10th grade, I was dating this guy I really liked. We met at youth group at church. He was a couple years older than me, and I’m surprised my parents even let me date him. My parents had to meet him and be around him a lot. For a while, if I wanted to go somewhere with him, I had to take my little brother with me. I really started to have strong feelings for this guy, but we were both in different areas in our lives. I was in high school, and he was in college.

He ended up breaking up with me before my last soccer game of the season. I was so angry and upset that I actually played better than normal in my last game. My teammates and coach even asked me what was going on and what changed. Only one of my teammates knew what happened. My teammate told me that someone should break up with me more often, and I just laughed.

I still went to youth group every week, and sometimes I would be sad because I was so used to being with him at youth group. There was this other boy who kept trying to flirt with me, and he actually made me laugh. I kind of started talking to him so I could get over my ex-boyfriend, but then we actually started dating. Things were going well for about a year or so until I had to move to Iowa.  I had been living in another state at the time. My dad got a new job, and I moved with my family.  So my new boyfriend and I had to date long distance. Then, when I came back for prom and for part of the summer, my ex was back and wanted to try to work things out. I couldn’t decide what I wanted. I missed my ex so much.  So I took a break for my boyfriend at the time, but I ended up choosing my new boyfriend over any guy.

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