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October 26, 1998   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Girl,

I am 16 and in a relationship with a 20 year old. He is smart, funny, ambitious....and sensitive, caring, thoughtful, vulnerable. And I am DESPERATELY in love with this adorable guy. And he is always telling me how much he loves me. But I don't feel worth it. I feel like sooner or later he is gonna realise I am not worth the trouble and I am not as great as he thinks, and dump me. And the thought scares me to death. I still live with my parents and although they accept our relationship, they really don't approve, and have thrown some obstacles in our way. If they had any idea that I am having sex with him, it would be hazardous to his health, even though I am very much the instigator. (I finally bedded him via daring him to christen the backseat of my parents car, because I know he can't say no to a dare !) My insecurity makes it difficult for me to see him, knowing that one day, all the things that he fell in love with me for will be all the reasons he falls out of love with me.

He gets offended so easily, and he admits he has a habit of taking things the wrong way from past experiences even though he knows I don't mean them that way. And when he gets offended, I hate myself and wonder why he bothers with me. I have a short temper and several times I have verbally taken my anger out on him when I am mad about something else, and I see how much it hurts him, yet I never learn. He has such a gentle soul, and I seem to hurt him all the time. I feel tactless, thoughtless, and basically like a downright mean person. I love him so much it is going to kill me when it ends, but I know it will end and this makes it harder. A couple of days ago, we were on the phone quite late, and as he gets up at 6 a.m, he has to go to bed early. During the conversation that night, he had mentioned several things about me which were not good.

A) I am shy in front of him, I won't change in front of him, because I feel like my body will disappoint him, I believe that he deserves better.

B) I am very bad at taking his compliments. He always tells me that I am beautiful, wonderful, adorable, and I don't know how to respond because I am not used to receiving compliments, and because I don't feel they are true.

C) I always say things that offend him

D) I take my anger out on him

E) I am, according to him, emotionally immature.

All of the above things I know are true. And I don't like any of them. So why does he think I am wonderful, and that I treat him better than anyone else ever has if he can say all these things? I don't feel worthy of the love he gives me and I am sure he will realise that I'm not. As we were ending the conversation, I began to cry. He realised it too. It took him twenty minutes to get it out of me why I was in tears. When it came out, he began to cry as well. Basically I didn't feel like I was giving anyone, especially him, a good impression of me. He tried so hard to convince me that I am worthy of his love, and that I am a good person, and I treat him well, but he only managed to convince me that he THINKS I am worth the trouble, but not that I am actually worth it. I love him so much and of all the boyfriends I've had (and there have been plenty) he is the only one I have ever been able to say "I love you" to.

He admitted that before me, he had never told a woman he loved her. But just a couple of months before me met me he was engaged to a girl. She proposed to him, and he said yes. Soon he realised he was wrong to have done so and broke off the engagement. When he did, she was angry and admitted she had been sleeping around during their entire relationship. So they broke up. But therein lies another problem. He once told me I am very much like her. He apologised when he realised he'd made a mistake, but I could never forget it.

I almost feel like rebound girl. But I could never tell him that because it would A) make him angry AND B) hurt him a lot that I would think that, right or wrong. He is a little jealous of my various ex-boyfriends, which is normal, but he does accept the fact I have a past.

But I feel guilty because, secretly I am VERY jealous of his ex-girlfriends, and the fact that he is close friends with almost all of them, even the ex-fiancee. He calls one of his ex-girlfriends "The second most wonderful person in the world" (apparently I am the first!) and is always so damn chirpy after talking to her, and they were together for 2 years. I know I am wrong to be jealous, I know it's petty and stupid, but I can't help it. I trust him totally ( and he is the only person I have ever trusted), but I'm jealous because I feel I am not worth his love. I feel he deserves better than someone as thoughtless and unstable as me.

And I DREAD the day he realises that !

-- Unworthy


Oh, dear. I would have put you in the theme section about dealing with your squeeze's, but I don't think that's the core issue here. Worries about her are just a symptom of your feeling of unworthiness, which -- wow -- you take to the max by feeling like a loser for feeling so unworthy. So. Our own Breakup Belleruth wants to get you out of that heinous circle, sit you down, and say: "Ah, you are totally doing the self-fulfilling prophecy dance. You are arranging -- with certain strategic behaviors -- for your fears to become reality." At this [low] point, not only is the ex-girlfriend not the issue, but neither is the boyfriend; you are. Please please please let your parents know that your beautiful, wonderful, adorable self would like to please go talk to a therapist so that someday you might actually believe the beginning of this sentence.

Breakup Girl



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