Bittersweet Sixteen

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Dear Dr. Darcy:

I’m 16 years old and my parents are divorced and I live with my father.  This weekend I took a home pregnancy test and it said I’m pregnant. I’m hoping it’s wrong, but it’s been a while since I’ve gotten my period so I think it might be right. I don’t know what I’ll do if I’m pregnant. He’s very strict and doesn’t even know I have a boyfriend. I can’t speak to my mother because she left us years ago and I’ve been in therapy for that ever since. Can you please help me? I really don’t want to have an abortion so speaking to my dad is going to be necessary.

ANSWER

I’m sorry to say that home pregnancy tests are rarely wrong, so you’re probably pregnant. You’ve actually made some great progress in figuring out what you’re going to do – you’ve ruled out abortion, so yes, a conversation is inevitable. Hang in there. We’ll get you through this.

You say you’re in therapy which is great news. We need to hook an adult into this solution for you, and the therapist is our go-to. Call, email or text your therapist and let him or her know that you have something very important to discuss immediately. Doing this will ensure that you don’t b.s. during your session / avoid discussing the issue.

What your therapist will likely suggest is that you tell your father in a father-daughter session, in front of the therapist, which will minimize the reaction and maximize the likelihood of a productive conversation.

You need to put on your big girl pants to get through this. It’s going to be scary, but it’s possible that you’ll all come out better in the end. Please keep in touch and let me know if you’d like me to help in any other way. You’ll be OK. Stay strong.

Writer’s Stats: Female, Straight.