Fam­ily cy­cle of abuse is legacy of sex­ual preda­tor

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - MARKETPLACE - ABI­GAIL VAN BUREN 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 P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069 or visit www.Dear­Abby.com

Dear Abby: I re­cently moved to Texas and met my teenage niece for the first time. Af­ter I got there I learned she had been mo­lested by her mother’s fa­ther at the age of 3. He had also mo­lested her mother when she was a child. “Grandpa” is cur­rently serv­ing a life sen­tence in prison.

Abby, my niece has some is­sues. Her par­ents caught her sex­ting twice that I know of and took her phone away for a pe­riod of time. She was also ac­cused of touch­ing her 8-year-old niece and was or­dered to knock it off.

She told me she show­ers with her mother and asked to shower with me. When I re­fused, she be­came abu­sive. When I tried to tell my brother she needs pro­fes­sional help, he told me to mind my own busi­ness.

If I re­port this, I risk never

see­ing any­one in my fam­ily again, but I love my niece and I’m afraid for her. Her mother has al­ready lim­ited my con­tact with her, and I’m afraid Mom needs help as much as my niece. Please help. None of this makes sense to me. Why won’t they get her help? — Des­per­ately Needs Help

Dear Des­per­ately: They won’t get help be­cause it ap­pears that in their lives in­ap­pro­pri­ate sex­ual be­hav­ior may have be­come an in­grained fam­ily af­fair. You are right that the mother needs as much help as your niece, and your brother should not be cov­er­ing for his wife. You should re­port what’s go­ing on to child pro­tec­tive ser­vices. While you prob­a­bly won’t be thanked for it, you may be able to in­ter­rupt the cy­cle of in­cest and mo­lesta­tion.

Dear Abby: I have a great-pay­ing job telecom­mut­ing. I know the idea of sit­ting around in pa­ja­mas all day seems won­der­ful, but I’m go­ing stir crazy.

I live in a very small town with no fancy co-share of­fices or trendy cof­fee shops. There’s one fast-food place that al­lows 20 min­utes of in­ter­net use, but that’s about it. How can I stay pro­duc­tive and mo­ti­vated and not feel so much like a her­mit crab? By Fri­day, I don’t want to be at home any­more. — Go­ing Crazy At Home Dear Go­ing Crazy: If there is an­other telecom­muter in your town, per­haps you could com­pare notes with him or her. If your prob­lem is get­ting an in­ter­net con­nec­tion or find­ing Wi-Fi, consider us­ing the pub­lic li­brary as an ad­di­tional site from which to work. That way, you wouldn’t feel so iso­lated. If there isn’t one in your com­mu­nity, ask your boss if you can change your sched­ule oc­ca­sion­ally.

For most peo­ple, work in­volves more than la­bor — there is also a so­cial com­po­nent in­volved. If that kind of stim­u­la­tion/in­ter­ac­tion is what you’re crav­ing, you may have to change jobs.

Dear Read­ers: Have a very happy, healthy and safe Fourth of July, ev­ery­one! — Love, Abby

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