Ask Liz Anything!:
"Abused by Family" and
"He Only Wants to Be Best Friends"

By Elizabeth, age 20, Pennsylvania

I'm depressed. When I was 2 my father died, then two years later my mom died. When I was about four I was sexually abused by my brother and his friends. I thought that my family knew, but they didn't. My brother lives with us now. I'm a little afraid of him. I'm too embarrassed to tell anyone. What should I do?

Kaitlin, 14

Hey Kaitlin,

I would like to start off by thanking you for especially choosing me to answer your question. I'm sorry to hear about your parents, but so far I can tell you're a very strong young woman. I had lost my father at the age of 7.

Wow, I have to congratulate you for opening up about this. Not many in your situation would look for help, but only hide it by doing drugs, being with different guys, drinking, etc. Being in your situation isn't easy, but the first thing is that you have to be able to confide in someone - either a friend or a family member.

In any case, try not to be alone with him in any way. If you have a family member that you truly trust, talk to them, so they know what's going on and know not to leave you and him alone at any moment.

"The only way to stop this from happening again is by speaking up." I know it will feel very strange and weird when he's around, but like I said, try to avoid being around him. I hope this helps, but if you have any questions, contact me. Take care and good luck. :)



My best friend is a boy, and I have fallen for him, and he has said to my mate that he would never ever go out with me because we are "too close". This has broken my heart and I hate this feeling. Please help :(

Lucy, 13

Hey Lucy,

It's amazing because I had helped another teen in this similar situation and it's also something I'm dealing with this very moment, but in my case he isn't ready. It's normal to fall for someone who is a friend because you know that person so well - the way they treat and respect girls, smile, etc. It's going to be hard because, from my point of view, he sees you as a sister and would feel awkward to see you any other way. Being in your shoes, it's going to be hard to be around him because of your feelings. Here are your options:

1. Confront him - ask him directly. Let him know that you like him, but say, "we can still remain friends."

Consequences: He might see you differently when you're around him, and he might act differently around you.

2. Say nothing - just keep it inside and not say anything to him.

Consequences: It will get harder and harder when you see him, and I think he might notice in time.

I asked my friend, "What type of girl do you go for?" I told him, "I have feelings for you. I just thought I should tell you this, because it's the way I feel. I can't help that, but it's understandable. If the feeling is mutual and if your answer is no, then it's no problem. This is life, and you have to take risks, but I still want to be your friend, and hope you don't look at me differently. And don't worry, I won't mention it again, but I just had to take that chance though, lolz."

He took it well and we are still friends, but remember, not everyone is the same - it's up to you. I included some options from my point of you. Think, approach, and say whatever it is. Always stay strong.

I hope this helps.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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