Dear Abby

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FOOD - 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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069. For an ex­cel­lent guide

Hid­den se­cu­rity cam­eras are shock­ing sur­prise for daugh­ter.

DEAR ABBY: I’m a 19-yearold woman in col­lege who still lives with my par­ents. I found out some­thing sev­eral weeks ago that’s both­er­ing me, and I need ad­vice badly.

Years ago, af­ter a rob­bery, my par­ents in­stalled se­cu­rity cam­eras out­side our house. I knew about them be­cause they were vis­i­ble. But ap­par­ently some were in­stalled that I knew noth­ing about.

I have done things while alone to help con­trol cer­tain feel­ings, and I have also walked around with­out much on when my par­ents were away and never thought any­thing about it. Ever since I found out, I have been freak­ing out.

I don’t want to make a big deal about it be­cause I’m afraid if my par­ents didn’t look at any­thing be­fore, then they will now. I want to know if they have seen what I was do­ing. Part of me says to ig­nore this be­cause they’re fam­ily — so who cares. My par­ents have never said any­thing about see­ing me.

We’re Catholics, and I have heard the lec­ture about avoid­ing self-grat­i­fi­ca­tion ever since I can re­mem­ber. I’m very care­ful about what I do now, but I am still both­ered. Should I just for­get and move on, or should I ask? — POS­SI­BLY PARA­NOID

DEAR POS­SI­BLY PARA­NOID: If your par­ents had been view­ing the se­cu­rity footage and felt you were do­ing some­thing wrong, you would have heard about it from them by now. What you need to know is that mas­tur­ba­tion is nor­mal. It is not de­praved, a crime or harm­ful to your health. All nor­mal boys and girls (and some adults) prac­tise this nat­u­ral type of sex­ual grat­i­fi­ca­tion. (If it makes you feel guilty be­cause you have been told it’s “wrong,” then stop do­ing it.) Now, for­get about it and move on.

DEAR ABBY: I am a gay male and my boyfriend of three years just con­fessed to me that he’s been cheat­ing on me for the bet­ter part of our re­la­tion­ship.

We went to coun­selling in an at­tempt to re­pair the dam­age that was done and to see if I could re­gain any of the trust that I once had in him. Dur­ing our coun­selling ses­sion he told me that he was sleep­ing with his step­brother. I had for­given him prior to this dis­clo­sure and thought I could move past it, but I’m no longer sure I can.

Be­fore he told me about the cheat­ing, I had bought an en­gage­ment ring for him and was nearly fin­ished pay­ing for it. Now I am un­sure if I want to pay it off be­cause I am so ap­palled about what has tran­spired. On the other hand, I’m afraid it will af­fect my credit his­tory if I don’t. What would you do if you were in my po­si­tion? — CAN’T MOVE PAST IT

DEAR CAN’T MOVE PAST IT: A part­ner who would cheat on you for that length of time has a char­ac­ter de­fi­ciency and will prob­a­bly do it again. If I were in your po­si­tion, I’d end the re­la­tion­ship, fin­ish pay­ing for the ring and then cut my losses by sell­ing it. That way, all of the pay­ments you have made won’t go down the tubes, and your credit rat­ing will be in­tact.

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