Relationships Archives - Jigsaw

Ask Jigsaw: I can’t figure out if I’m lesbian or bi

I don’t feel like myself anymore, like I’m stuck in a looking glass trying to break free. I can’t talk to anyone and I feel alone. I hate the fact that I know if I try to talk to anyone it will be around school the next day. I want to tell people who I really am that I don’t want to be in a perfect ken and barbie marriage when I’m older I just want barbie. The bad part is I can’t figure out if I’m lesbian or bi I’m so confused I feel like no one will accept me. I don’t know what to do and I need some advice?

-silver123

Hi Silver123,

I know how lonely and isolating it can feel when we feel like we have no one to turn to. I am really glad you reached out for support today.

An icon of a paper and pen on a teal background

Domestic violence and mental health

Over the lockdown restrictions, we were asked to stay at home where possible. This was really challenging if home was not somewhere safe.

Domestic violence can happen in any type of relationship, no matter what your age, gender or sexuality. It can also happen in any family, regardless of culture, status or financial situation.

If you have experienced domestic violence you are not alone. One study by the National Crime Council has shown 15% of women and 6% of men in Ireland have been subjected to domestic abuse.

Domestic violence is not your fault, and help is available. Both local and national services are still open and offering support, despite the pandemic.

In this article you will find:

a woman holding her hand up covering her face

How to ask for help

Whether we are feeling run down, experiencing low mood, or are in crisis we all need to reach out for support sometimes. You are not alone.

Recent research conducted by Orgyen and the World Economic Forum highlighted that 87% of the global population is affected by mental health difficulties. This can either be through individuals’ own experience or that of someone close to them.

Close up of someone on their computer researching

Ask Jigsaw: I feel so lost right now

My Mam and Dad separated recently and my Dad moved out. I am really angry with him for loads of different reasons. I have access with him on Saturday’s and its really awkward , we sit in McDonald’s and he asks really awkward questions about school and my Mam, I have told my Mam that I don’t want to go anymore and she says i have to go or else she will get in trouble with the court.

Its really getting to me because i think neither of them care about how i am feeling, they just care about the court and doing what they think they have to do, I done think anyone really cares about me and its getting me down

-Louise

Hi Louise,

When parents are separated it can bring up lots of emotions for people. We may feel relief, sadness, anger or fear about what will happen.  It means change in terms of practical arrangements and often can have an impact on our relationships with parents.

An icon of a paper and pen on a teal background

Watch: Active listening

We’ve all had the experience of trying to say something to someone who is not really listening to us.

Active listening

In this animation we show how we can engage in active listening by showing young people these verbal and non-verbal signs:

Non-verbal

  • Eye contact, nodding and smiling
  • Leaning forward
  • Mirroring body language

Verbal

  • Remembering what is said. A young person will appreciate your full attention and focus.
  • Reflecting back what you’ve heard. This shows the young person that you’ve understood the key points of what they’ve said.
  • Seeking clarification. If a young person has shared something that you don’t understand, ask them to explain what they mean. This is better than pretending you get something, which a young person will pick up on.
  • Summarising. Recap your conversation and any decisions you have reached together to ensure you are both on the same page.

>> Read more about supporting youth mental health 

Video icon for on a gray background

Ask Jigsaw: Divorce affecting eating habits

My parents told me they were getting a divorce before lockdown, i told only 1 of my friends since quarantine. they have been living in the same house. i feel alone sometimes.

a few days ago my brother found out that my father was with another woman. he blamed me. for the last month i have been exercising and weighing myself everyday ive been counting calories and weighing my food .i dont know how to deal with the divorce but ive began to become obsessed with food and its leaving me tired and hungry.

-Henan

Hi Henan,

I’m sorry that your parents are separating during an already very difficult time. When parents’ divorce, we can feel a number of intense emotions including anger, relief, and sadness. There is certainly no right or wrong way to react.  It sounds like you could be managing this intense situation by trying to control your food intake.

An icon of a paper and pen on a teal background

Ask Jigsaw: My partner is depressed

Im concerned for my partner he has depression and is depressed now and just wants to be alone due to the lockdown im not with him and its killing us i don’t know how to help him, I ring him often to check up on him and i told him im here for him, i have anxiety myself please give me some advice.

-Bluebells

Hi Bluebells,

It takes a lot of strength to support a loved one when they are going through difficulties. It’s even more challenging at a time like this, when we are forced to be apart and may also be struggling with our own mental health. It sounds like you are doing your best to let your partner know that you are there for them. Covid-19 restrictions make it impossible to support others the way that we might want to. It can be helpful to acknowledge that, and accept that we are doing what we can.

An icon of a paper and pen on a teal background

Maintaining school connection during Covid-19

School connection is the extent to which a young person feels like they belong at school and feels cared for by that community.

It’s built through relationships, and also perceptions about those relationships within the whole-school community.

Role of the teacher

As we know, the role of a teacher is more than about giving information on their subject. Teaching involves creating a connection with and between students. It is often the intangible bits of teaching that mean the most to both students and teachers.

Now, more than ever, teachers are feeling the need to help students ground themselves in a world that can feel unstable and insecure.

Close up of a woman holding up an Ipad

Ask Jigsaw: I miss my ex and want him back

I have recently been through I rough breakup. My ex boyfriend got mad at me because I went on a night out without him. He broke up with me over text while I was out that night. He ruined my night and when I tried to ring him he wouldn’t answer me. My ex has often said hurtful things to me before, such as belittling my job towards his and saying how much more money he makes than me.

We argued like any other couple, nothing too reoccurring and not too often. After trying again and again to talk to him after that night out he won’t talk or reply to me. I respect his decision if he doesn’t want to be with me but I feel as though the least he could do if he truly cared about me was just give me and explanation as to why he did what he did.

I wouldn’t call our relationship abusive but he was controlling to a certain extent; getting mad at me for going to concerts / nights out without him, talking to his friends when we both were around them and if I talked to any other boys . I know my worth and I know how he treated me is not on but I can’t help but miss him and want him back. At the minute he is the only person I want to talk to and I genuinely don’t know what to do.

-EvC123

Hi there EvC123,

Breaking up with someone can be a really complicated and emotional time. It sounds like you are reflecting a lot on whether returning to this relationship would be a good thing for you to do. You might feel lonely on your own, particularly when you are used to being able to speak to your ex. It takes courage to seek help from someone new, so thank you for using this space.

An icon of a paper and pen on a teal background

Ask Jigsaw: I feel that my mother hates me

My mother and I don’t get along. She has admitted to resenting me during one of our arguments. I feel like no matter what I do she gets upset. And even though sometimes it’s clear she’s at fault I blame myself for everything. I can’t help but feel she hates me. She puts so much pressure on me and I don’t know how to handle it. I have a feeling it might also be the fact that I am Bisexual as she has made some comments that have made me question if it’s OK to be who I am.

I’m usually okay because I have my friends to talk to you but since the virus its very hard to talk. I feel maybe she would be happier if I wasn’t here. I still think about something hurtful she said, even though it was a year ago. I feel like I’m being stupid and that I’m overreacting.

I try to talk to her but I’m shut down straight away. I also can’t cry in arguments because then I’m yelled at. And she’s always calling me a liar or saying I’m playing victim. I try to get along with her but I can’t take it anymore and maybe I’d be better off not here at all. I don’t know what to do and this is the only thing I could think of to go to. Any advice?

KM *Please note this question has been edited in length from the original submission.

Hello KM,

Family conflict can be very distressing and now with Covid 19, it can be all the more intense. It sounds like your mother has made some very hurtful remarks to you in the past, and her behaviour towards you can be aggressive. It makes sense that you are questioning your relationship now, and that you are avoiding confrontation. No one should be treated aggressively, or to be made feel like they don’t belong.

An icon of a paper and pen on a teal background