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Smok­ing mar­i­juana made me mean to my hus­band and kids

- DEAR ABBY Bullying · Society · Sex · Family · Parenting · Bloggers · Relationships & Sex · Internet Celebrities · Celebrities · Pauline Phillips · Jeanne Phillips · Los Angeles · California

Dear Abby: Af­ter smok­ing mar­i­juana for 20 years, I quit two days ago. My head is start­ing to clear now, and things are com­ing into fo­cus. I missed so much, and I feel ter­ri­ble about it.

How many times did I say no to my kids be­cause I was lazy? How many times have I yelled at them for just ask­ing a ques­tion? My 6-year-old would have this fright­ened look be­cause he wanted some­thing and I yelled be­cause he in­ter­rupted me from do­ing noth­ing.

I was at my in-laws’ on Fa­ther’s Day and started yelling at my hus­band for get­ting mad at me be­cause I told his fa­ther, “Heck, you’re not my dad, so what do I care?” The neigh­bors heard me, I’m sure. My fa­therin-law didn’t even come out of his bed­room, and I’m sure my hus­band won’t for­get it.

Al­though I’m not the nicest to him at times, he loves me. I can be down­right dis­re­spect­ful, and my kids see this. It’s the rea­son I quit smok­ing. Al­most daily, I hear my 13-year-old say, “Stop yelling, Mom,” or, “Why are you yelling, Mom?” I have so many re­grets.

Can I make up for them? What can I do so my kids will re­mem­ber good times and not just me yelling? Not sure where or how to start eras­ing the bad. Any advice would be ap­pre­ci­ated. Smoke is Clear­ing

Dear Smoke: You have al­ready taken the first step in mak­ing it up to your fam­ily by ad­mit­ting your smok­ing was hurt­ing them and quit­ting. The next step will be to apol­o­gize to each of your fam­ily mem­bers for your be­hav­ior and let them know you know it was wrong and hurt­ful and that it won’t con­tinue.

The last steps may be the most dif­fi­cult. Re­solve not to lapse back into the old pat­terns, do what­ever is nec­es­sary to pre­vent it and join a sup­port group if nec­es­sary. I wish you suc­cess in your so­bri­ety.

Dear Abby: My brother and sis­ter-in­law adopted their child at birth. It was some­thing I as­sumed the baby would grow up know­ing. Un­for­tu­nately, it has never been re­vealed to the child, and the “child” is now prac­ti­cally an adult. I know it isn’t my place to say any­thing, but the truth hangs over me like a dark cloud, and I feel com­plicit in the lie.

My chil­dren, who are younger, don’t know, and I worry that if they ever dis­cover it, they will think my part­ner and I are liars and re­sent us for not be­ing hon­est all these years.

This is a sen­si­tive sub­ject to broach to my brother and his wife. I have tried and been met with yelling and tears. Is there any­thing to be done at this point? Guilty By As­so­ci­a­tion

Dear Guilty: Al­though I whole­heart­edly agree that chil­dren who are adopted should be told at an early age, the de­ci­sion to re­veal or with­hold that in­for­ma­tion re­sides with the par­ents, not you. At some point, their child may need ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion for med­i­cal rea­sons.

How your chil­dren could think you and your part­ner are liars for not telling them some­thing that’s re­ally none of their busi­ness mys­ti­fies me. There is NOTH­ING for you to do at this point, so please re­sist the urge to ven­ture fur­ther into this mine­field.

To my readers: As the sun sets tonight, Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, be­gins. As we be­gin this time of solemn in­tro­spec­tion, let me wish you all, “L’shana tova tikat­evu” — may you be in­scribed in the Book of Life and have a good year. — Love, 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.

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