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Dear Abby: Repeat offender is ready to try new path to good job

Modified: October 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm •  Published: October 11, 2012

DEAR ABBY: I had my first boyfriend when I was 16. The relationship lasted 13 years, and we had a child together. Now that it's over, I don't know what to do.

It has been nine months, and it seems like my heartache is getting worse. I can't breathe. It feels like my heart has been ripped out of my chest and stepped on. It hurts even more because he started dating immediately after the breakup. I can't even talk to another man. I feel lost and have never been on a date with anyone but my ex.

I feel like I deprived myself of my youth. I cry every day. I can barely watch or see couples without getting depressed and breaking down. I need to see some type of light. Do you have any advice?

— Deprived of My Youth

DEAR DEPRIVED: Nine months is a long time to cry every day. You have been hit with what I call a “double-whammy.” You are grieving for your lost relationship, and because this was your first and only one, you never learned how to handle a broken romance.

A counselor can help you through your grieving process and, in addition, help you to build the social skills you will need to move forward. Please don't put it off. Do this not only for yourself but also for your child so you can be the most effective parent you can be.

Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. To order “What Every Teen Should Know,” send your name and mailing address plus check or money order for $7 to Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included.)