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Infatuation

Hey, Sam

I need some help. My mum and dad divorced not long ago and I've only just accepted I'm gay and have come out to my friends and family, after a two year long infatuation with my school mentor..

I never got the chance to tell her how I felt - she left this summer before I built up the courage. I have her email address and mobile number - for school reasons only - but now she's left i'm thinking would it be okay to keep in touch with her?

I'd never tell her how I really felt - but I want to get in touch with her again - what do i do?

E

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Sam

Hi E

Thanks for your message. It sounds like things have been difficult for you recently, with your parents divorcing while you were going through the process of coming out to both yourself and to your friends and family. It’s good that you have contacted me for some support and advice.

I can hear how strongly you feel about your mentor and how hard it is for you to think about loosing her support. I’m wondering if you’ve thought about what you’d want to get out of keeping in touch with her. The fact that you’ve written to me suggests that on some level you’re not sure whether it would be for the best or not.

It’s worth thinking about the fact that your mentor might not actually be allowed to stay in close contact with you outside of school. I know you said you’d never tell your mentor how you feel about her, but often schools and colleges have strict rules about adults not seeing young people informally outside of school, even as a friend. You may well already realise this, but someone in a position of authority, like a teacher or mentor, will have a Code of Conduct which could prevent them from seeing people they have worked with after that job has ended.

It sounds like whatever happens, you’ll miss having her around at school on two different levels. There’s the ongoing help and guidance that she’s given you, and there’s the feelings of infatuation that you had for her. Maybe you could think about what particular qualities she had that were helpful to you. That might help you figure out how to get that type of support from other people, or even from within yourself.

It feels like you have accepted that you can’t ever tell your mentor how you feel and that’s a real sign of maturity. Having feelings for someone who doesn’t return those feelings (or who can’t return them) can be really painful. Maybe your mentor leaving is a good chance for you to move on from being stuck in that difficult situation. It might even be that you’ve been overlooking someone in your year group that would be a perfect partner for you. Maybe spending less time focusing on your mentor will give you a chance to spot them.

You might find it helpful to look at the Young Stonewall website which has lots of information and support for young people dealing with issues around sexuality.

Remember, if you want to talk about this more, you can always speak to a ChildLine counsellor by calling them on 0800 1111, or logging on for a 1-2-1 chat.

Hope this helps.

Take care,

Sam

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