Obsessed with teacher

Obsessed with teacher

QUESTION:

your avatar   Sophy (16 year-old woman)

I am a very good student and a highly responsible person. I am not troubled with typical teenage problems such as drugs or peer pressure. My only predicament is that I can't help having feelings for my 37-year-old physics teacher. In the past, I have dropped some subtle hints that I like him a lot, and to be completely honest, I would do anything for him, yet he has never returned my kind gestures. I know that it is illegal for him to take advantage of this situation, and I have absolutely no intention of getting either of us in trouble by establishing a physical relationship on any level. However, I care about him very much and I'm afraid that it's distracting me from my studies and disrupting my daily life.

How can I get him out of my mind? Should I? Is there a way for me to indulge and pamper him without getting him fired or getting me suspended? Should I even be thinking about this? Help!

ANSWER:

    Jef Gazley, M.S., LMFT, LPC, LISAC, DCC

Dear Sophy,

Of course you should be thinking of this. There is no age limit in terms of being attracted to someone and liking them. It just means that you are a healthy young woman who finds someone interesting. In some cultures today and in many of the past, your age differences would have been thought of as a perfect match. Beliefs in right and wrong often change over the years and between cultures. However, you are absolutely right that in the modern day Western culture it is looked at as unhealthy to engage in. It would also be illegal and unethical for him. If he is attracted to you on some level, he is probably distant in order to protect you both.

Part of the difficulty for you I think, is that you are judging yourself as wrong or bad and therefore trying to repress or deny your feelings to keep them under control. That is very much like trying to avoid water spillage when it is being heated by putting a lid on it. The cure exacerbates the problem.

We are taught that all of us have a brain, and this is what determines our behavior. The problem is that we have three brains - and a very primitive, yet powerful brain that runs throughout our body. Each of these brains thinks differently. The brain that most of us recognize is the Cerebrum and Prefrontal Cortex, otherwise known as the Human Brain. It thinks logically, therefore, it would say: "If you know you can't have this guy then stop thinking about him." The problem is that the Limbic System in your back brain is made up of numerous chemicals that form a Mammalian Brain that we share with all mammals. It is based on operant and classical conditioning. These forms of learning are like training animals. What is rewarding we keep and what is punishing we stop. However, it takes much longer for these brains to change, and therefore the Limbic system lags behind the rational intelligence of the Human Brain.

We also have a Reptilian Brain called the Medulla Oblongata in the back of our head and this brain also works on operant and classical conditioning. Every cell has a primitive brain made up of chemicals and the Endorphin System. Problems usually develop when one of these brains thinks differently than one or more of the others.

Even if you know that some internal fighting within the four brains is natural, it is still difficult, and this is the position that you find yourself in. However, if you know that what you are feeling is natural, then it lets go of some of the pressure. Remember that really caring about someone else simply means enjoying them and not wanting much in return. Don't condemn yourself. Enjoy your growing development as a woman.

I hope all goes well for you. Remember that in the long run, your own future and development is much more important than any man, so focus as much as you can on school.

Jef Gazley www.asktheinternettherapist.com

This question was answered by Jef Gazley M.S. Jef has practiced psychotherapy for twenty-five years, specializing in Love Addiction, Hypnotherapy, Relationship Management, Dysfunctional Families, Co-Dependency, Professional Coaching, and Trauma Issues. He is a trained counselor in EMDR, NET, TFT, and Applied Kinesiology. He is dedicated to guiding individuals to achieving a life long commitment to mental health and relationship mastery. His private practice locations are Scottsdale and Tempe, Arizona. You can also visit Jef at the internettherapist, the first audiovisual mental health online counseling center on the net.For more information visit: http://www.asktheinternettherapist.com/

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