Greenwich Time

Siblings disrupt man’s strained life

- Write to Dear Abby at P.O. Box 96440, Los Angeles, CA 90069 or

Dear Abby: My two siblings and I were raised by an abusive, alcoholic father. Predictabl­y, it has adversely affected our mental health.

One sibling struggles with alcoholism and substance abuse.

The other has a personalit­y disorder and cannot maintain stable relationsh­ips. I cope with comparativ­ely fewer severe issues, but I still must work hard to sustain a marriage and my career and raise healthy children.

My siblings’ issues have disrupted my emotional health and family life, which is why I keep them at a distance. Lately, they have expressed feeling abandoned. Other family members call me selfish and say I’m obligated to help them because I’m “the successful one.” I do feel some guilt for not helping more. Yet, my emotional bandwidth is limited. Is it selfish to prioritize my well-being by maintainin­g distance from my siblings?

Their Brother

Dear Brother: Your first priority must be your emotional health. Next should be the well-being of your spouse and children and the career that enables you to provide for them. If maintainin­g some distance from these siblings is selfish, then call it “enlightene­d” selfishnes­s.

Dear Abby: I’ve lived in my apartment for almost 10 years and had the same downstairs neighbor since I moved in. About three years ago, I began noticing an odor coming from her apartment.

It’s hard to describe other than the worst body odor imaginable. It’s so bad that I can’t open my windows because the smell drifts into my home.

She is not the type of person I can approach about this no matter how gently I word it. I’m to the point where I feel I should file a complaint with management. It could be a hoarding situation, which could lead to health issues or pests.

There are only four units in my building, and I know my other two neighbors would never complain. It would be obvious it was me. I am desperate for any suggestion­s.

Disgusted in Oregon

Dear Disgusted: Absolutely discuss what has been happening, and for how long, with the building management company. There may, indeed, be health and safety issues involved. Please do not remain silent.

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