Dear Abby

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - COMMUNITY - Abi­gail Van Buren Dear Abby Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069. To re­ceive a col­lec­tio

Daugh­ter strug­gles to re­solve mom’s fail­ure to de­fend her.

DEAR ABBY: I’m in my early 50s, dis­abled and live with my el­derly mother. Be­tween the ages of eight and 11 I was sex­u­ally abused by my adop­tive fa­ther. My mother fi­nally caught him in the act, but the next day they acted like noth­ing had hap­pened. He never did it again, and it was never spo­ken about, ever.

I have read about women who caught their hus­bands abus­ing their chil­dren and kicked them out, pressed charges, etc. It makes me think I didn’t mat­ter enough for her to do that. I con­fronted her about it a few years ago.

Her re­sponse was that it would have been in all the pa­pers (my par­ents were prom­i­nent lo­cal mu­si­cians in our town), and there was no way she could have raised two kids on her own.

I still have a deep ache in my soul that tells me that I don’t mat­ter as much as other hu­man be­ings. I re­sist go­ing to ther­apy be­cause I live with her and I know she will quiz me about what we talked about in the ses­sions. I just want to keep the peace and not risk her go­ing into a tirade about how she “did what she had to do.” I don’t know what to do. Please help. — STILL HURT­ING IN NE­VADA

DEAR STILL HURT­ING: You should ab­so­lutely talk about this to a ther­a­pist. If your mother de­mands to know what you’re dis­cussing, tell her. If she un­leashes a tirade, in­vite her to ac­com­pany you to a ses­sion so she can ex­plain to your ther­a­pist that she didn’t kick her child-mo­lest­ing hus­band out be­cause she was afraid she couldn’t sup­port her­self and two chil­dren alone. (Was your sib­ling also as­saulted?)

You and your mom are both adults. You should be able to have a frank dis­cus­sion with­out her in­tim­i­dat­ing you with her anger.

If any­one has a right to be an­gry, it is you. And she should clearly un­der­stand how her in­ac­tion af­fected you for all these years, and pos­si­bly your sib­ling, as well.

DEAR ABBY: I never used to be a sup­porter of same-sex mar­riage. Dur­ing the 2008 pres­i­den­tial elec­tions, I posted my opin­ions about it on so­cial media. Since then, I have changed my mind. The most sig­nif­i­cant rea­son is that I worked closely with a gay woman for four years. Af­ter I got to know her, her wife and two chil­dren, I re­al­ized they are the same as any other happy fam­ily.

I feel I may have of­fended some friends when I posted those views — specif­i­cally, my best friend from child­hood, who has come out as gay.

I’d like to send her a mes­sage let­ting her know my opin­ion has changed and that I sup­port her. Do you think I should reach out to her or leave the past in the past?

And if I do, what should I say? _ ADDING MY VOICE FOR EQUAL­ITY

DEAR ADDING: By all means reach out. I con­grat­u­late you for be­com­ing more aware of and com­pas­sion­ate about LGBT is­sues in the last few years.

Tell your friend about your change of heart since those posts were writ­ten, that you hope her life is happy and ful­fill­ing and of­fer an apol­ogy if you caused her any hurt.

If you would like to ex­plain why your feel­ings changed, do that, too. I’m sure she will be in­ter­ested, and glad to know.

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