Style im­i­ta­tor

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LIFE - An­nie Lane

Af­ter go­ing to col­lege out of state and grad­u­at­ing a few years ago, I moved home with my par­ents so I could save money while at­tend­ing grad­u­ate school. Re­cently, my mom has started to get on my last nerve. If I look good in an out­fit, she goes out and buys the same thing. Though this has been hap­pen­ing since high school, it’s been hap­pen­ing a lot more re­cently. I’ve brought it up in the past, but she hasn’t seen a prob­lem with it. We don’t even have the same body shape or skin tone, so what looks good on me doesn’t flat­ter her. Also, she gets so ex­cited when buy­ing new clothes that she’ll wear the out­fit over and over again, never giv­ing me a chance to wear it un­less I want to match. As I men­tioned, I’m try­ing to save money for school, so go­ing clothes shop­ping is a rare treat for me. How­ever, my mom would live at the mall if she could. I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate all my par­ents are do­ing for me — liv­ing rent-free is a bless­ing, I know — but I’m this close to liv­ing in my sweats. An­nie, how do I stop my­self from un­rav­el­ing?

— The Em­press’s New Clothes

I un­der­stand your al­ler­gic re­ac­tion to Mom’s copy­cat be­hav­ior. But the next time she dresses up like her style icon (i.e., you), try chang­ing your out­look in­stead of your out­fit. Per­haps if you look at it as an at­tempt at be­ing closer with you, it will become less an­noy­ing and more en­dear­ing. Af­ter all, im­i­ta­tion is the sin­cer­est form of flat­tery.

What’s more, al­though you might be self-con­scious, I doubt many peo­ple ac­tu­ally no­tice that you two are dressed like twins. For one, you wear the clothes very dif­fer­ently, as you said. For an­other, peo­ple are gen­er­ally too busy wor­ry­ing about how they look to no­tice how any­one else does.

My hus­band has been bat­tling ad­dic­tion for a long time. Things seemed to be go­ing bet­ter, but then items started dis­ap­pear­ing from the house. His be­hav­ior seemed off. I ques­tioned him but only heard more lies. We went to mar­riage coun­sel­ing. I tried to be a good wife. But then ev­ery­thing came crash­ing down. He is now in re­hab. His re­cov­ery is in his own hands, and I hope he takes it se­ri­ously.

Mean­while, I’m left clean­ing up the mess he made. I’m so an­gry, hurt and wor­ried. I’m see­ing a coun­selor, but I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to do that be­cause of the cost. I am plan­ning on at­tend­ing lo­cal Al-Anon meet­ings when I can, but I haven’t been able to yet.

I have no idea how I’m go­ing to pick up the pieces of the life his ad­dic­tion has shat­tered, but I know I must. I have to carry on for my­self and for my daugh­ter. I have been blessed with a huge sup­port group, made up of fam­ily, friends and col­leagues. With­out them, I don’t know how I would man­age get­ting out of bed in the morn­ing.

Please share this let­ter to re­mind peo­ple that com­pas­sion for vic­tims of ad­dic­tion can help save some­one who feels she has nowhere left to go. You may not be able to help the ad­dict, but you can help those whose lives have been for­ever up­ended as a re­sult of the ad­dic­tion. — An Ad­dict’s Wife

I’m print­ing your call for com­pas­sion. That is one thing we could al­ways use more of. If you are still think­ing about go­ing to an Al-Anon meet­ing but haven’t yet, go now and think about it later. Find a meet­ing that fits your sched­ule at https >>//

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