There has been trouble with me lately. You know how most people get crushes in school? Well I have one. It's a girl and her name is Sylina.
The problem is that I have had, well, very mature feelings. Okay let's be honest here, more like "sexual" feelings. This would be okay, if I were much older, but I'm still in school. It's very confusing that someone this young could get these feelings in the first place, but why? Is there something wrong with me? What is it? I don't know how someone can answer these questions but still, if you can answer, why and how do I deal with this?
Anonymous (age 12)
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Sorry for the late reply. I had to take a break from the column for a while, but I'm back now.
While being 12 does seem young to many people, the truth is that females have been reaching puberty at an earlier and earlier age. Thirteen is now the average, so at 12 if you are hitting puberty that is just on the lower side of the average. Here is an article about this trend, which, sad to say, could mean some health problems for women as they age.
Now the problem we have is that, in our society today, young teens are not established to support themselves financially and career-wise until at least their late teens, yet biologically we are seeing teens reaching sexual maturity in their early teens and sometimes as early as 9 or 10. The danger here, of course, is that very young people could start engaging in sex, possibly even having children at too early an age, putting stress on themselves, their families, and society in general. As you are clearly aware, this is going to make you question a lot of things in your life.
The first thing for you to understand, however, is that your feelings do not mean there is "something wrong" with you. There is nothing wrong with you that isn't happening to everyone else your age, you just have the courage to talk about it.
My suggestion is that you talk to the nurse's office in your school (you should have one, yes?) and, even better, talk to a school counselor if one is available. If you attend a church or temple, you could also seek some advice there if that makes you more comfortable. You need to arm yourself with information so that you are not working in the dark. You can also check out this helpful website designed just for you and your questions.
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