The Maui News - Weekender

Dear annie



My daughter, “Melanie,” now 34, dated a boy when she was 15. It only lasted a few months. Melanie and

I had a great relationsh­ip before they started dating. The boy’s mother has kept her relationsh­ip with Melanie to this day. She always loved Melanie and constantly made remarks that her son was an idiot for ending the relationsh­ip. She’d say things like how she wanted a daughter just like mine.

The mother claims to be a devoted Jehovah’s Witness. Their religion states they are not allowed to associate with non-Jehovah’s. The mother has smoked pot and gotten tattoos, according to Melanie, and attended non-Jehovah’s celebratio­ns with and for my daughter. The mother even introduced my daughter as hers on many occasions, while I was standing right there!

She’s gone against my wishes, allowing Melanie to go somewhere or buy something when I specifical­ly said no before she turned 18. I know Melanie fully manipulate­d us to get what she wanted.

I spoke to the mother on several occasions, and she always said she wouldn’t interfere, but she did and has. Other things she has done include getting my daughter a job in the same office as her, where she made a lot of money with no experience (more than any 17-year-old was making at the time), superseded all my rules as a parent, and went wedding dress shopping when Melanie became engaged to another man. The very worst was, she hid Melanie’s whereabout­s when she got angry at me and left the state in the middle of the night just after she turned 18. I had no idea where she was for nearly a year. I begged this woman to tell me where Melanie was, but she wouldn’t.

I decided to talk to her Kingdom Hall based on advice from another Jehovah. I was so angry and fed up I had to do something to get this woman to go away. I have no idea what happened with her church. I sent a very nasty text to Melanie about this woman and how I really felt. She forwarded the text to her, and the mother tried to get a restrainin­g order against me! The judge threw it out because I had absolutely no contact with her, which she admitted I didn’t. I felt like Melanie threw me under the bus by showing her that message and stirred the pot even more by doing so.

This woman has been lying, deceitful, disrespect­ful and narcissist­ic toward me from day one. Yet, Melanie still maintains a relationsh­ip with her. Just recently, Melanie came from another state to attend a wedding of the mother’s niece. This woman and I live in the same city. We were also going to celebrate Melanie’s birthday. Melanie said she was going to stay with me but changed her mind because this woman told her she could use her car while she was there. Melanie got angry with me when I asked if the mother would be at her birthday dinner. Once again, Melanie has vowed not to speak to me. She says it’s all my fault and I should just “get over it.”

This woman has interfered with my relationsh­ip with my daughter for many years, always coming off as the victim. Am I wrong here? What woman in her late 60s maintains a relationsh­ip with a 34-yearold woman when she knows it causes this much stress on my daughter and me? Is my daughter that sadistic that she enjoys the drama between us? Is she so unaware of how distraught I am over this? Should I still be very angry and hurt by all of this? Are my feelings warranted?

— Lost My Daughter DEAR LOST MY DAUGHTER: It’s completely valid to feel confused and hurt by this situation you don’t understand. It may be hard to accept, but as your daughter is an adult, it’s up to her what relationsh­ips she wants to pursue, and she’s made it clear this is one she isn’t abandoning any time soon. By continuing to dig in your heels, I’m afraid you’ll only lose more of Melanie to this other woman.

Try to focus purely on your oneon-one relationsh­ip with Melanie. Let her and this woman have whatever dynamic they will continue to have without your involvemen­t or knowledge. There’s little you can do to change the bond between them, but you can try turning around the trajectory of your own relationsh­ip with Melanie. Show Melanie love and acceptance and ignore her “other mom” altogether, especially when you talk to Melanie.

DEAR ANNIE: My sister, “Claire,” is getting married this summer and has lost weight by getting injections of drugs for diabetes. Claire might have had a little padding, but I never thought of her as being fat. And Claire is not the only person I know who is taking these drugs for weight loss. I know several others, and they all seem to be very happy with the results. The two brands that I keep hearing about are Ozempic and Wegovy.

Claire lost 10 pounds in the first few weeks of getting the shots, and she keeps losing weight every week. Her doctor gave her a prescripti­on to Wegovy because her BMI was in the obese category, even though, as I say, to me she did not look obese. Now she has dropped another 40 pounds, and she is starting to look like a skeleton.

I asked my doctor about this popular new form of weight loss. Instead of talking about these drugs as weight loss aids, he told me that there is an epidemic of obesity in our country, where more than 40 percent of the population is statistica­lly obese. But I did not ask him to prescribe the drugs for me, and he did not offer to do so. According to my BMI of 20, I am in the “healthy” category. I enjoy exercising three or four times a week and don’t want to be dependent on any drug.

My husband has been lifting weights for many years and has lots of muscles, which he says weigh more than fat. Yet his BMI says he is obese, and he says I should ignore the BMI as a measuremen­t of obesity. He says body fat percentage is a much better indicator of health and fitness.

Claire is in great spirits, and I don’t want to discourage her since she feels so good about her weight loss. But the whole thing scares me — the idea of taking diabetes injections to drop a few pounds. What is your advice? — Without Drugs

I love the way you signed your letter. You are literally doing it without drugs, and we all know that is a much healthier approach to losing weight than taking regular injections of drugs designed for coping with diabetes. Your regular exercise and, I suspect, healthy eating habits are something you can enjoy every day of your life. Imagine waking up knowing that you have to give yourself an injection so you can “look healthy.” I wouldn’t want that, and I’m glad you wouldn’t either.

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