Adult daugh­ter a fi­nan­cial bur­den Dear An­nie

Sherbrooke Record - - LOCAL SPORTS -

FRI­DAY, FE­BRU­ARY 23, 2018

Dear An­nie: I’m a 69-year-old re­tired widow liv­ing on a fixed in­come. I’m pay­ing monthly on a loan to get some re­pairs done to my home. My prob­lem is my daugh­ter and son-in-law. They both have health prob­lems, my daugh­ter es­pe­cially. He gets So­cial Se­cu­rity dis­abil­ity and Medi­care. My daugh­ter has ap­plied for So­cial Se­cu­rity dis­abil­ity and has been turned down. She has no health in­sur­ance at all. They are in deep fi­nan­cial debt. They live off his So­cial Se­cu­rity check, which isn’t much. He does pay the mort­gage on their home and a few other im­por­tant bills, but he is a hoarder and buys things he doesn’t need.

When they come to visit me, they just have enough money to get them up here and spend some while they are here. When they get ready to leave, they al­ways ask me for money to get them home. I keep telling them that when they come up here, they need to have enough money for all ex­penses till they get back home. I’ve also sent money to my daugh­ter sev­eral times so she can get her pre­scrip­tions filled if she is sick. I’ve told her it should not be my re­spon­si­bil­ity to do that. But if I don’t, she can’t get the much-needed meds.

How do I tell them — and re­ally get it through to them — that they need to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for hav­ing enough money with­out hurt­ing my daugh­ter’s feel­ings and with­out caus­ing my son-in-law to lose his tem­per? I’m be­ing taken ad­van­tage of, and I’m tired of it. — Wrung Dry

Dear Wrung Dry: There comes a time in your life when you have to stop cross­ing oceans for peo­ple who won’t jump pud­dles for you. Sit down and have a frank con­ver­sa­tion with your daugh­ter and son-in-law. Let them know you can no longer give them money but you can give them ad­vice. Per­haps en­cour­age your daugh­ter to file an ap­peal to have her ap­pli­ca­tion ac­cepted for So­cial Se­cu­rity dis­abil­ity ben­e­fits, and im­plore your son-in-law to seek help for his com­pul­sive hoard­ing. What­ever they de­cide to do, it’s not your bur­den to bear. So cut the um­bil­i­cal cord and give your daugh­ter a dose of tough love. You have no choice.

Dear An­nie: I liked your re­sponse to “Snubbed in the South,” who was dis­ap­pointed her boyfriend didn’t get her a gift. This year, I was sad­dened to hear from a few of my fe­male friends that their hus­bands failed to get them Christ­mas gifts (even though they had bought their hus­bands gifts). I have been mar­ried for 38 years now. My hus­band likes to show he loves me by do­ing things for me — but birth­days, an­niver­saries and Christ­mas are spe­cial times.

Early on in our mar­riage, we had oc­ca­sional “what I need from you” meet­ings. I told him that when it came to Christ­mas, what I needed was some­thing sparkly, some­thing that smelled good and some­thing soft. Then I pro­ceeded to give him a few ideas in those de­part­ments. Af­ter that talk, he had a clear sense of how to please me, and he felt hap­pier, too. We also had meet­ings in which we listed all house­hold and child care tasks and di­vided them up.

I will also say that we have gone to mar­riage coun­selors for a se­ries of vis­its roughly ev­ery decade. I have made the ap­point­ments, and he has be­grudg­ingly gone, but he has al­ways been hap­pier and our mar­riage stronger for hav­ing done it. Clear com­mu­ni­ca­tion has helped keep us happy. — Sunny in Sara­sota

Dear Sunny: Some peo­ple are re­sis­tant to the idea of plainly telling a part­ner their needs — but af­ter hear­ing sto­ries such as yours, you have to won­der why. Con­grat­u­la­tions on 38 years of happy, com­mu­nica­tive mar­riage.

Dear An­nie: I want your read­ers who think they may have an eat­ing dis­or­der to know that they are not alone and that their con­di­tion is treat­able. I am liv­ing proof!

Through­out my child­hood, I strug­gled with my weight and my re­la­tion­ship with food. When I reached the end of high school, I com­mit­ted to be­ing “healthy.” I lost more than 50 pounds by eat­ing bet­ter and ex­er­cis­ing. What a feel­ing of power it was to have made such a big and (I thought) pos­i­tive change.

How­ever, when I went away to college, I started to throw up when I thought I had eaten too much. I only did it oc­ca­sion­ally, but it crept up even­tu­ally to twice a day. I re­al­ized that I was purg­ing to cope with my feel­ings of de­pres­sion and re­strict­ing my food in­take to have a feel­ing of con­trol over my life. My feel­ings may have been out of con­trol, but I knew ex­actly how many calo­ries were go­ing into my body at any mo­ment.

I wore my dizzi­ness and light­head­ed­ness with pride. Af­ter all, I was get­ting com­pli­ments from peo­ple about how great I looked.

Even­tu­ally, all the purg­ing and re­strict­ing could not keep my de­pres­sion at bay, and my health started to de­cline. I en­rolled in a treat­ment pro­gram, and I am happy to say it worked. Though I don’t know that I’ll ever be com­pletely “cured,” I live a happy and healthy life now. I want other young women to know that there is help. — Liv­ing a Sunny Life

Dear Liv­ing a Sunny Life: Thank you so much for hav­ing the courage to share your story. Next week is Na­tional Eat­ing Dis­or­ders Aware­ness Week, and peo­ple can check their symp­toms at http://www.my­bodyscreen­ing.org. It takes only a few min­utes. It is free and anony­mous, and it could change your life.

Dear An­nie: The re­cent news sto­ries of sex­ual abuse of chil­dren have en­cour­aged me to share my story in the hope it helps oth­ers. I was sex­u­ally abused by my ma­ter­nal grand­fa­ther. I won’t go into de­tails here, but my great­est hurt was when I told my mother. I was about 45 years old and had started coun­sel­ing. I told her of my child­hood ex­pe­ri­ences and pleaded with her not to tell any­one, say­ing the coun­sel­ing was help­ing and all I asked of her was to give me some con­fi­den­tial­ity and sup­port. She ex­pressed sym­pa­thy but was not sur­prised, as this had hap­pened to her when she was younger. Two days later, she called me, said I was ly­ing and told me she and her sis­ters were go­ing to get a lawyer and sue me if I shared this with any­one. I was so hurt. This split our fam­ily apart; she and my brother con­stantly at­tacked me ver­bally and emo­tion­ally. Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion was at­tempted years later, but re­la­tion­ships never were fully re­stored.

My point here is to pro­tect your chil­dren as much as pos­si­ble, and if there is sus­pi­cion of abuse, deal with it im­me­di­ately. Sup­port them and al­ways give them the ben­e­fit of the doubt. The shame of abuse is in­de­scrib­able. I am glad that now peo­ple are com­ing forth with the truth. — Been There but Do­ing Bet­ter

Dear Been There but Do­ing Bet­ter: I am so sorry that hap­pened, but I’m grate­ful to you for shar­ing your story.

Any­one who sus­pects child abuse should call the Child­help Na­tional Child Abuse Hot­line, at 800-4224453. Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to: dear­an­nie@cre­ators.com.

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