Ask Ellie: My ex won't stop coming to the strip club I work at. How can I feel happy again?
Q: I dated someone last year. There was a lot of communication, love, and attention.
The happiness ended when he invited me to the Caribbean and I saw a hickey on his neck. He said with a smirk that his ex-wife gave him that while he slept over because he goes there to see his children. I lost all trust in him and broke up.
I work at a strip club and I did meet him there. I know everyone says I shouldn’t get involved with clients. But we fell for each other with a great connection, something that doesn’t happen easily for me.
He’s been coming to the club, looking for me, but getting dances from other girls. And girls talk. It’s torture for me because I did love him. Whenever he’s there, I lose control of my mind and get into a big depression.
When I pick myself up, I return to work and I feel awesome … until he comes back and tries to tempt me to go back to him. Then the depression cycle begins again.
I finally told him to back away from my workplace because I’m trying to mend my heart. He isn’t helping by bringing back memories.
I don’t want a man like him who visits other girls there. I’m also dancing with men and that isn’t fair for any guy who wants something serious.
I love working there because it’s a clean club and I don’t want to do extras. My managers said they’ll tell him to leave if he appears during my schedules. I don’t want to become depressed and go to the hospital again.
A: Stay determined to protect yourself emotionally and mentally. You already know how deeply you were affected by losing trust in this man.
Do not be swayed by his attempts to win you back. Meanwhile, he’s taunting you by going to the club, dancing with other strippers, possibly seeking “extras” with them.
It’s natural that he visited his children. But once you both stated your love, he was wrong to be casual about his ex-wife’s kisses — and who knows what else — when he slept over.
If you can attend a mental-health clinic at the hospital that treated you for depression, do so. Otherwise, ask your family doctor for medication if needed, and/or to refer you to a counsellor who’ll help you stay confident and determined to avoid him.
If your ex still tries to contact you, consider getting a restraining order against him.
Q: My family moved, separating me from childhood friends just when starting high school. I’m an introvert who has a hard time making friends. My school’s majority population is Chinese. Everyone else can communicate easily while I feel left out and unhappy.
I’ve made some “friends” but they’re always talking about Korean shows, or they’re laughing about something in Cantonese. I only say two words throughout lunch.
I can’t find anything in common. I’ve been releasing anger at home (not purposely) and unable to focus as much as I did before.
A: New “friends” have already included you at lunch, so ask about the Korean shows and what makes them so funny. People will appreciate your interest instead of silence. Some of these kids may be new immigrants and also learning another culture — yours. Speak up.
Tell your parents how you feel. They’ll understand loneliness better than anger. For more focus, ask at school for help.
Ellie’s tip of the day
Get the help needed to prevent an untrustworthy ex from causing you emotional and mental harm.
Read Ellie Monday to Saturday. Email or visit her website, ellieadvice.com. Follow @ellieadvice.
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