Woman tired of be­ing hurt by ly­ing al­co­holic fa­ther

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS -

ear An­nie: My fa­ther has hurt our fam­ily with drug use, al­co­holism and lies, and we haven’t spo­ken in more than a year.

Re­cently, he has been at­tempt­ing to con­tact me. He’s sent voice­mails, let­ters and a few emails. We emailed a lit­tle bit in the past week, but I told him I wasn’t ready to talk. I’m not sure what to do. At some level, I re­al­ize the only rea­son I’m in touch is to ex­press how much anger I have to­ward him.

Af­ter se­ri­ously think­ing it over, I’ve de­cided I don’t re­ally want a re­la­tion­ship. It’s not fair to me to go through this pat­tern one more time, and I can’t take be­ing hurt again. But I feel guilty. Maybe this time he’s gen­uine about want­ing to change and it’s

Dwrong of me not to give him an­other chance. But ev­ery time this has hap­pened in the past, I only end up get­ting hurt. Please help. — Still Hurt­ing

Dear Still: It’s un­der­stand­able that you keep hop­ing your fa­ther will straighten out and be the per­son you want him to be. You don’t have to keep in touch if you don’t want to, but if you de­cide not to give up on him, you will need to pro­tect your­self emo­tion­ally. Ac­cept the fact that he may never change and you might be able to con­tinue an email cor­re­spon­dence. It will al­low you to stay in touch, keep track of what­ever progress he might make and let him feel part of your life, while main­tain­ing enough emo­tional dis­tance that you won’t be kick­ing your­self later. Keep your ex­pec­ta­tions low, and do not al­low him to make ad­di­tional in­roads un­less you are pre­pared for any neg­a­tive con­se­quences.

Dear An­nie: I have two sons, ages 2 and 4. They get in­vited to many birth­day par­ties to­gether. I un­der­stand the cost is greater for the host to have both of my boys, and at this age, par­ents are typ­i­cally in­vited to stay, as well. I will ei­ther give the birth­day child one $20 gift from both or two $10 presents.

How­ever, when my boys have birth­day par­ties, re­gard­less of how far in ad­vance I send out in­vi­ta­tions, fam­ily mem­bers seem to be the only ones who at­tend. The few times friends have shown up, sib­lings have only given one gift, even from mul­ti­ple chil­dren, and it is some­thing ex­tremely in­ex­pen­sive.

I don’t re­ally care what kind of gifts my chil­dren re­ceive, but I am won­der­ing whether I’m over­do­ing it. Could this be why friends don’t come to my chil­dren’s par­ties? Do they think I ex­pect them to spend as much as I do? — Un­opened Goodie Bags

Dear Goodie: Maybe. You are not do­ing any­thing wrong, but that doesn’t mean other par­ents aren’t in­tim­i­dated. It’s also possi- ble they have other ob­jec­tions. If you are par­tic­u­larly close with one of the par­ents, it wouldn’t hurt to in­quire. But some of this will re­solve it­self as your chil­dren get older and they and their friends are in­vited in­di­vid­u­ally, without par­ents, to one an­other’s par­ties.

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