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Naomi Zelwer

Naomi Zelwer has a BA in Psychology and Sociology and has had further training in counseling, specializing in issues specific to adolescents. She lives with her husband and daughter.

Nancy is 12 years old. She is noticing changes in her body, and doesn't quite know what to do with herself... My body is totally freaking me out. There's hair in all sorts of places. Wiry hair. In my armpits and Down There too. Shaz (that's Sharon) says I need to start waxing my legs and maybe my armpits too - OUCH! Shaz says that I could shave instead if I want to (which wouldn't hurt at all) but the hair would come back thicker and stronger and before long I'd look like a gorilla.

Mike and Jim are on their way into the liquor store. Their plans for the night include drinking...and drinking. "Mike, come on, man! I'm not doing this by myself." "Chill, I'm coming." I can't stand this part of it. Buying the booze with our fake ID. I don't know why the other guys can't get themselves some fake ID. Jim and I use ours all the time. We could get into some serious trouble if we got caught. "Four six-packs of Budweiser please and that whiskey over there.

Chelsea is 14 years old and totally "in love" with a guy in her class. But is she obsessed? I think I must be totally, completely in love. It's no crush this time. It's a feeling that burns me up. Whenever I see him, I feel like a volcano is erupting inside and hot, molten lava is going to pour out of my mouth and ears and then everyone will see. And everyone will know. And he will know. We're studying Romeo and Juliet at school.
Nancy is 12 years old. She is noticing changes in her body, and doesn't quite know what to do with herself... My body is totally freaking me out. There's hair in all sorts of places. Wiry hair. In my armpits and Down There too. Shaz (that's Sharon) says I need to start waxing my legs and maybe my armpits too - OUCH! Shaz says that I could shave instead if I want to (which wouldn't hurt at all) but the hair would come back thicker and stronger and before long I'd look like a gorilla.
So now I'm Jen's Back Up Plan. The Next Best Thing if Roger is otherwise occupied. It used to be me and Jen . Just us - every lunch-break, every night on the phone, every Saturday night at the mall. But now she's with Roger, and I have to ask her when she's free to talk or go out instead of it just being assumed that we would be hanging out together. Last Saturday night, Jen asked me to come with her and Roger to the movies. I really didn't want to go - I knew I'd be left out. Jen sat between Roger and I, and they whispered and held hands throughout the whole movie. She only remembered to talk to me during intermission.. They asked me to come with them afterwards for pancakes and shakes - as if I would! As if they really wanted me to.
Teenagers sometimes feel as if they are caught in a No Man's Land between childhood and adulthood. Wanting to have arrived as adults but not yet having the requisite life experience to temper their views of the world and the way it should be. No longer children, but not quite mature enough to be considered adults. Wanting responsibility but perhaps not yet ready to embrace all its consequences. Desperate to test and challenge the borders of their world but not wanting to abandon the place they call home - a physical and emotional refuge to return to.
Annie is 15. She has always felt OK about her body, but during this past year, she has started to feel uncomfortable in her own skin. I really need to avoid looking in the mirror. It just depresses the hell out of me. What does it take to get a body like Jennifer Aniston? I mean really. Because maybe I could do it. You never know. Like do you have to eat only fruit and vegetables, and drink only water? Because I might be able to do that. Except for weekends I guess. I don't think I could do without pizza and stuff like that on the weekends.

You just have this expectation that when you return home from work, you'll find comfort, space, a little quiet and maybe a wife waiting to embrace you. A few minutes to yourself. A chance to unwind. I suppose I should be completely honest. Yes, to a certain extent, as accused by my wife, my brain does kind of tune out when I come home. When I come home, it is as if I am entering into someone else's work domain.

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