Home' LOTL : March 2005 Contents 39
By Dawn Cohen
QEver since my boss told me I was in line for a promotion he has
worked me overtime without paying me for the extra hours. I am
feeling resentful but don't want to jeopardise my chances. My father
was a slave driver. Am I being oversensitive? -- Dyke drudge.
AThere is no such thing as oversensitive, but there is such a thing as
over-reactive. Perhaps because of your childhood you are tuned in to a
particular kind of boundary abuse. Unpaid overtime smashes the
boundaries between work and personal life unless it is fully consensual.
Your child self is letting you know there is a problem; now your adult self must
take charge. You have two options. You can raise the matter with your boss,
or you can decide to accept the infringement until the promotion. Talking
about it now from your professional adult self would be the healthiest route.
THINGS THAT GO BUMP
QMy insomniac flatmate is up until the wee hours of the morning. She
tries to be quiet, but this irritates me even more. I want her to go,
but I own the house and she has nowhere else to go, and she
comes from a deprived background...as she never tires of telling me.
AYou are both kept awake at night by unexpressed anger. You are
blaming her for your guilt about having, and perhaps she is angry with
you because of the imbalance of power in your relationship.
You own the house, she does not. You are going to stay there when she
leaves. That is a fact that cannot be overlooked. You are not wrong or bad for
having that control, nor is she for wishing it weren't the case. She has ways of
expressing power too, like being open and assertive about her needs.
Perhaps she does not know how to do that.
Your task is to own the power you have responsibly and directly, while listening
to her needs. Her task is to be assertive about her house needs and
responsible for her covert hostility. Talk it over during the day, and you will both
get more sleep at night.
LOVESICK LATE IN LIFE
QI am 53 and I am just coming out. I am menopausal, but I am
mooning about after an unavailable woman like a lovesick teenager
rather than attempting to find a permanent partner. I feel very
immature. How can I start again now? -- Late bloomer.
AWelcome to our community! You have already started again, and your
heart and your body know exactly how to do it. Adolescence for
lesbians is measured from the day you come out. It takes straight
people about seven years to get ready for a relationship and lesbians need a
similar relationship training period. Teenage years can have times of angst but
can also be a time of exciting exploration and discovery. When you are sixty
you can start worrying about not having a permanent partner.
You feel like a lovesick teenager because that is where you need to be right
now. You are not immature, you are growing. Give yourself time and
The opinions expressed in this column are the personal views of the writer, they are
not intended to be a substritute got professional medical advice. If you need
medical of psychological help please see your local GP or psychologist.
"You own the house, she does not. You are
going to stay there when she leaves. That is
a fact that cannot be overlooked. You are
not wrong or bad for having that control,
nor is she for wishing it weren't the case."
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