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My cruel mum told the world all about my secret sex life!; Dr VERNON COLEMAN'S CASEBOOK.

Thank you for all your letters - and for the kind things you say about the column. I'd love to be able to write back to everyone, but I'm afraid I receive so much mail I really cannot send any personal replies. Send questions to be used in the column to: Dr Vernon Coleman, PO Box 30, Barnstaple, Devon EX32 9YU but remember that I can't write back, so no stamped-addressed envelopes, please!

QI was born in a man's body but have known for years that I am really a woman. I have lived as one for two years and convinced two psychiatrists that my desire to be regarded as a woman is genuine. I've paid for and taken hormones to give me a woman's breasts and physical shape.

I now want surgery to complete my transformation from male to female. I realise most people will find that incomprehensible, even repulsive. But for me this is a genuine and desperate need, not a whim.

When I told my mother and sister I was living as a woman they went to my flat, took all my female clothes and burned them. When they told me what they had done they laughed. They have now publicly disowned me. They even told all my new neighbours (most of whom thought I was a woman) the truth about me.

Because I had literally nothing to wear and no money, I stupidly went out to steal some clothes from a store, was caught and sent to prison - where the male officers took away my bra and laughed at me for having breasts.

I have no support at all from my family at a time when I need them most. I know you sympathise with and support transvestites - men who enjoy temporarily dressing up in women's clothes but who have absolutely no desire to change sex. I would be grateful if you would write in support of transsexuals too in the hope that we might one day get a better deal from society.

AI never fail to be amazed and sickened by the way people treat their nearest and dearest. Your relatives are among the most nauseating horrors I've ever come across.

I know it is no consolation but I suspect they are the sort of inhuman sewage who would also treat physically or mentally incapacitated relatives cruelly. "Let's have some fun! Let's kick Uncle Jim's walking stick away so that he'll fall over!" I was equally horrified to read that in prison your bra was taken away and people laughed at your body. Those individuals are also part of the putrefying afterbirth of humanity.

Transsexuals endure agonies coming to terms with their problems. They deserve sympathetic support from those around them. It is a tragedy that such support is so often denied them.

QI hunt regularly. I object very strongly to your stupid views about hunting. If you repeat your attacks, I intend to take legal action against you and your newspaper. You will find that this time you have bitten off more than you can chew.

AI realise that people who hunt are not bright. Most, indeed, are so thick that they have to go to special evening classes to learn how to shout "Tally ho!" To them, a little word puzzle which may tax their tiny brains. The letters FO sometimes, but not always, stand for Foreign Office. What else do you think they stand for?

QI'M a virgin and intend to stay that way until I marry. But my boyfriend and I get very frustrated at times. Can you please tell us of any sexual practices we can try which will not damage my virginity?

ATHERE are several things you can do with a penis without a vagina. For advice on very slightly kinky sex for virgins who want to stay that way, phone my advice line on 0839 664 426 (charges as for my other Helplines).

QA GIRLFRIEND has arranged a blind date for me. Is there any way to find out in advance what sort of person he is?

ATHE only way to find out for sure what you will think of your blind date is to meet him. And then it wouldn't be a blind date, would it? If you are unsure about the wisdom of the whole thing why not arrange to meet for lunch rather than a weekend in the country - that way you can wriggle away if the whole affair looks like being as much fun as a week with the Blairs.

Meanwhile, take small comfort from the fact that there is every chance that your date will turn out to be as charismatic, charming, trustworthy, intelligent and worthy of respect as the next man. Having said that, I must point out that next man could be Michael Howard.

QMy mother always does everything the doctor tells her. If he told her to stand on her head in a bucket of porridge she would.

A I long ago gave up being surprised at the way apparently sensible people will do anything a doctor tells them. In 1932, a woman of 34 caught flu. When her doctor visited her he told her to rest, promising that he would return shortly. He told her to stay in bed until he returned.

Unfortunately, he forgot to go back. The young woman stayed in bed under her mother's care. When her mother died her brother-in-law took over.

She stayed in bed for 40 years and in 1972 it took seven months of encouragement and exercise to get the by-now-obese woman back on to her feet again. She lived a fairly active life until her death in 1975. This story is entirely true.

QMy boyfriend says that a woman should speak only when spoken to. He insists that I do all the cleaning and the chores in our flat. He is always moaning about the fact that my breasts are too small and wants me to have plastic surgery to make them bigger.

Ayour boyfriend sounds as if he would be happiest if he could find a genial and undemanding deaf mute with big knockers and an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

I suggest that you abandon him so that he can have more time to continue his search for his perfect partner.

QI hate my job as a policeman, but I know that if I leave I will have difficulty in finding such well-paid employment. What do you advise me to do?

AIf the Devil arrived on your doorstep wanting to buy a day of your life how much would you do the deal for? pounds 1 million? pounds 1,000? pounds 100? Every day that you spend in your current job you are selling a little of your life and soul to the Devil.

Here is another real-life case from my files, acted out with pictures to help you solve problems with your love life, your health and your happiness...

SPARE A THOUGHT FOR YOUR FRIEND IN NEED...

Sarah writes: "I met a friend the other day. We used to be very close but I hadn't seen her for ages.

"We went for coffee in a lovely little place we both know. We used to have coffee there together quite often.

"After a few minutes Jane suddenly got very serious and said that she wanted to ask me something.

"I now feel quite guilty because, as soon as she said that, I got up and said I had to rush.

"It wasn't really true but I hate people asking me for advice. I never know what to say. I just knew that she was going to pour out her heart to me and I didn't feel I was the best person to help her.

"Now I feel bad. I feel that maybe I should have at least listened to her. What do you think?"

I think you're right. You did behave badly.

It probably took a lot of courage for Jane to start to tell you about her problem. It may well be that she has no-one else she can turn to. And you turned your back on her. You really weren't much of a friend to her.

Still, all is not lost. You could ring her up, apologise for having to rush away and make another date.

Make it clear that you're happy to listen if she wants to talk and pick somewhere quiet where she can talk comfortably and you don't have to strain to listen. The coffee bar where you met last time would probably be perfect.

And, when you meet, if she does start talking, you don't have to rush in with lots of advice.

Lots of people with problems desperately need someone to talk to. But they don't necessarily need lots of advice. They want to get their problems off their chest.

I receive a surprising number of letters from people who end by saying: "I feel much better for telling you all that. Thank you for reading this."

Just listen and be understanding. Provide a shoulder for Jane to cry on if necessary. Be a friend.

STRANGE

BUT TRUE

When Captain Cook was in Tahiti young men and girls often copulated publicly, frequently receiving advice from women bystanders.

King Edgar decreed that an adulterer or adulteress should live on bread and water three days a week for seven years. In King Canute's time, an adulteress had her nose and ears cut off.

Before the Reformation the English priesthood kept for itself more than 100,000 harlots. It was commonplace for priests to seduce women in the confessionals.

In the last century the young, better-looking prostitutes would be on the streets till midnight - then women over 60 would come out to serve the drunks who just wanted a quick one on the way home.

THINGS THEY SAY

`A teenager is but an immature senior citizen.'

- V Murtha (a reader of this column)

IT SOUNDS AMAZING - BUT NOISE CAN KILL YOU!

Noise is a major and under-estimated cause of stress, anxiety, anger, frustration and illness.

Most of us are permanently surrounded by noise. It disturbs concentration and communication, produces fatigue and bad temper and results in damaged hearing.

When exposed to noise we often become extremely aggressive.

One man who couldn't stand the noise of a neighbour's party threw lighted newspapers into a hallway. A woman died trying to escape the fire. And that's not an isolated case of noise provoking tragic results.

A recent survey showed that one in ten people say their lives are being ruined by noise.

When the level of noise is around 50 decibels or less, life is peaceful.

Ordinary conversation produces about 60 decibels. A lorry or a washing machine will both produce 80 to 90 decibels. When noise exceeds 100 decibels - as in factories and at pop concerts - it may result in an appreciable loss of hearing.

Noise results in the tensing of muscles and this produces headaches and high blood pressure. Unpredictable noises can produce pressure whether they are present or absent - just waiting for another bout of noise can produce tension and anxiety.

The noise most likely to cause aggravation is music. One man's joy can be another man's nightmare.

Last year there were 162,000 prosecutions for noise offences. Most involved late-night music.

There are several reasons for the growing problem with noise...

1. Music players are more powerful.

2. Partition walls are often flimsy.

3. Changing work patterns and a rise in the number of people working at home means that while some people relax noisily others are trying to work, rest or sleep.

4. Less care and consideration is shown to neighbours. People used to feel part of a community and care about one another. No more.

You can protect yourself somewhat with sound-proofing, double-glazing and ear plugs but many people flee to the country. There are inconveniences. Yet there is one huge advantage: peace and quiet.

WEALTH MEMO

Here are some tips on how to make a million:

1. Do your own thing. You will never get rich working for someone else. If you can't afford to give up your job, start a part-time business in your free time.

2. Keep your eyes and ears open. Learn what people want. Then you will know what to sell them.

3. Look out for great ideas and opportunities. You'll get them from shopping trips, newspapers, TV, even listening to other people's conversations.

4. Once you've decided on a good money-making proposition, plan ahead. Try to think of everything that could go wrong.

5. Invite useful criticism but ignore negative people who always say your ideas won't work.

6. Be prepared to take risks and to make mistakes.

7. Stick to things you know. Always do your research.

8. Before you start a new venture decide what the bottom line is: what is the worst that can happen? Have a survival plan.

9. Get the best advice you can - The Harry Schultz newsletter aimed at aspiring millionaires, for example. (For details, write to HSL, PO Box 622, CH-1001, Lausanne, Switzerland).

10. Keeping money is as difficult as making it. Watch our for crooks, confidence tricksters and con men. They may be disguised as banks, brokers or fund salesmen. Assume everyone is trying to steal from you.
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Coleman, Vernon
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Jun 30, 1996
Words:2217
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