I am writing to you as I am now at my wits end. Ever since puberty I have been subject to an ever increasing urge to explore caves. I didn't worry too much at first as I had read that people of that age go through peculiar phases before "normalizing" but as I grow older, far from disappearing, my urges led me to go in for tighter and tighter caves to the point that it has now become an obsession.
What shall I do? I have played with the idea of "coming out" but the possibility that I might somehow be able to straighten myself out has always held me back.
Please, please can you advise me what I should do? I am so desperate and unhappy. Is there any chance that I might find a solution to my problem and has it got anything to do with the fact that, as a toddler, I once surprised daddy playing with himself whilst wearing mummy's camiknickers?
Yours in Desperation
Dear Mr. S ( or may I call you Paul ),
The first thing to accept is that many people share your problem - you are not as alone and unusual as you think.
Think carefully before taking the decision to come out. You must consider the reactions of your friends and colleagues and you must ask yourself if your family will be able to accept such openness. Many people have experienced very painful rejection after admitting to being cavers.
Various rehabilitation programmes exist for hardened cavers who find themselves unable to cope any longer. Most forms of treatment involve a mixture of all-day drinking and sitting in Club huts writing in log books. I have enclosed a list of addresses to write to.
The thing to remember is that each and every one of us is not quite normal in one way or another. We all have our little problems - I have two and even falses don't help.
All the best on finding a cave
Post script - Ask your daddy to come round and see me, anytime.