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I am currently in a relationship with a great guy. He is sweet and caring, and we get along very well. There is, of course, one problem that has existed for quite a while but is really starting to bother me now. I am very ticklish, and I hate being tickled. He found out about this weakness when we first started dating, and since then, barely a day goes by when he doesn't try to tickle me. Whenever we are lying on the couch or in bed together, he will start tickling me, and when I react he gets on top of me and pins me down so that I can't defend myself. I have repeatedly told him that I hate being tickled, that it makes me feel vulnerable and no longer in control of my body, and when he continues to do it, it is disrespectful. He insists that because I laugh, I must enjoy it. He adds that I need to learn to master my mind, and once I "convince" myself that I am not ticklish, then I won't panic when he tickles me. What should I say to him that gets my point across?
There are some people who, when they're having sex, may look or sound as if they're being tortured but are actually having a great time. Your boyfriend knows that though you're laughing uproariously while he's tickling you, it doesn't mean you're having a great time but that you're being tortured. Torturing you is the great time for him. If he were a decent person, a simple "Please don't tickle me again. I hate it" should have been enough to end the sessions once and for all. But you've explained ad infinitum what a violation the tickling is. In response, he plays ridiculous mind games with you about how you're responsible for your own reaction when he dailyclimbs on top of you and pins you down so he can force you to endure his digital assaults. You're asking me what you can say to your "great," "sweet," and "caring" boyfriend to get him to stop attacking you. I think you should boil your remarks down to their essence, and what you should say is "Goodbye."
I'm a 30-year-old woman who grew up with an alcoholic mother. Mom is celebrating her sixth year of sobriety this month, and I am very proud of her. She recently told me she wanted us to get together for lunch so I could fill her in on my adolescence, which she missed. She was there physically but says that, due to her drinking, she has almost no memory of those years. I was a little appalled that she would want to hash this out over lunch, so I told her that I would be more comfortable putting my thoughts in writing. But now I realize I don't want to revisit those years. I don't bear my mother ill will for her disease, but I also don't feel I owe her a memoir of the time that she missed. I don't think this will help me heal in any way. Am I obliged to participate, or is it reasonable to tell her I'd rather not share?
There you were, staring at the computer screen, realizing that to fill her in, you'd need to write a memoir-length work you could title My Childhood, Your Blackout. If this were a project you wanted to undertake because you felt it would be therapeutic or cathartic for you in some way, then it is your story to tell. But it turns out you don't want to relive those miserable years. And there seems to be something blithe in your mother's tone ("So by the time we order coffee, we should have at least gotten up to your high-school graduation!") that is deeply annoying. It may even remind you of how you felt back then: that she just didn't think about how her behavior would affect you. Your mother needs to learn that since she was drunk during the years her daughter was growing up, she's lost something she simply can't get back. You can reiterate to her how proud you are of her sobriety, but say you'd rather not disinter the memory of her drinking.