A. She’s not in the picture.
B. She wants me to be just like her!
C. I’d rather talk about my relationship?
D. Okay, whatever you’d like.
2. How is your life going?
A. I would rather escape to a fantasy world.
B. I’m having an identity crisis!
C. I’m so miserable and I need a massive change!
D. Pretty good! No? Maybe? What do you think?
3. Tell me about your relationship.
A. Well, he doesn’t really like me being other friends or family, he’s a bit jealous, a little selfish.
B. I’m focusing on my work right now.
C. We’re so in love! I mean, as soon as he gets to know me, he’s going to be in love with me!
D. I have a lot of really good friends right now, so, things are good…
4. Did you have a happy childhood?
A. Sure! Kind of a late bloomer, bit of a nerd, but I liked growing up in a small town…at least…I used to…
B. I did, but then I grew up, and now everything is so complicated!
C. Hell no! But now I’ve met this guy, and we’re going to be together, and everything’s gonna be GREAT!
D. Well, first my mom died, then my dad died, and then my mean stepmother forced me into indentured servitude but I can’t complain! Right?
5. So, what do you hope to get out of therapy?
A. I just need someone to listen to my problems. It’s gotten so bad I’m talking to inanimate objects.
B. I don’t even recognize myself in the mirror anymore.
C. Do you think I need therapy? I just need to find my voice.
D. I’m not sure? I usually take care of everything myself? Actually my friends told me I needed therapy? And I basically do whatever anyone tells me to do. I’m a bit too trusting, tbh.
If you answered mostly A’s, you’re Belle!
So it looks like you have a bit of Stockholm syndrome, possibly because you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship. You say he treats you like a princess? But what you mean is, he’s locked you in his castle. It’s a little disturbing that he’s isolating you from friends and family, and discouraging you from pursuing your own interests? Try to focus on yourself first before putting all your energy into changing your boyfriend’s beastly ways!
It seems like most of your problems stem from trying to live up to your parents’ expectations of you, which come into direct conflict with your need to express your unique self. Your traditional family scoffs at your refusal to submit to gender roles, which is causing you to have an identity crisis. Ask yourself, “What would make me happy?” and follow that path to self-discovery!
Like many teenagers, you’re unhappy at home, and sometimes feel like a “fish out of water” among your peer group. You long to get off on your own and explore, and you’ve projected this desire onto a boy you like. Your behavior is borderline obsessive towards this boy, sneaking off to spy on him and collecting trophies that remind you of him. Why not take all of that energy and drive and put it towards furthering your own self-actualization? Maybe look into some colleges, take up a new hobby, join a show choir! Use your voice to express yourself instead of to chase after a man!
Your happy-go-lucky exterior belies a dark past that you may not have fully dealt with. The absence of caring relationships in your past makes you eager to please, desperate for new friends, but you haven’t taken time to set up boundaries. People may take advantage of you, exploiting your kindness, tricking you into doing things for them, crossing your physical boundaries! Don’t bite the apple! Put your foot down and learn to say “No!” once in a while.