TROUBLESHOOTER / I’ve lost faith in adults as my counselor betrayed me

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a woman in my teens who dropped out of high school. I simply can’t trust adults.

I’m currently working a part-time job. On my mom’s advice, I was going to counseling sessions up until January. At counseling, I revealed my inner thoughts and frustrations about being bullied at school and the part-time high school I’ll start attending in spring, as well as my anxiety over my mother constantly ordering me to do this or that.

However, the counselor called my mom and told her the details of our conversations. My mom was hurt and took it very hard, crying to my sister about how much pain she was in.

I really hate that the counselor told my mom how I feel behind my back. What about the right to confidentiality? I know I haven’t been completely able to live up to my mother’s expectations, but that’s because adults are liars. I really don’t want to become an adult.

It’s gotten to the point where I avoid being around my mom, and I wonder what approach to take with her from here on out. Thank you for reading to the end.

E, Kyoto Prefecture

Dear Ms. E:

Your counselor perhaps thought they should report the situation to your mother because she was the one who entrusted them with counseling you. That being said, based on the right to confidentiality, the counselor’s action is completely unforgivable.

I can tell you’ve been terribly hurt by the incident. It also seems like your mother has reached her emotional limit on being able to cope with the difficult things you’ve gone through so far. I’m concerned that you may continue to suffer from dark thoughts.

Regarding your life from here on out, I think you should search for something that interests you without apologizing to anyone. You haven’t done a single thing wrong. On the contrary, you’ve kept your head up in the face of bullying and decided to start going to part-time school, striving to set out on a new path in life.

Perhaps you feel it’s difficult to trust other people right now. However, at the end of your letter you very politely wrote, “Thank you for reading to the end.” People always gravitate toward those who are similar. Your future holds many encounters with people who are worthy of you. This is the conviction of someone who has lived a life many times longer than yours.

Masami Ohinata, “university president

(from Feb. 17, 2019, issue)Speech

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