Sib­ling feels stuck in the mid­dle of fam­ily who don’t get along

The Tribune (SLO) - - Fun & Games - JEANNE PHILLIPS Con­tact Dear Abby at www. DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

Dear Abby: My sis­ter “Thea” has dis­tanced her­self from the fam­ily. Our par­ents were men­tally, phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally abu­sive while we were grow­ing up, with one who in­sti­gated the is­sues and the other tak­ing it out on us kids.

I feel stuck in the mid­dle of chaos. My par­ents have started to work on their be­hav­iors and make amends for past con­duct. It comes a bit too late for apolo­gies, even for me, but I de­cided to give them a sec­ond chance since they seem sin­cere. Thea told them she wants noth­ing to do with them.

Re­cently, she con­tacted me ask­ing me to sug­gest that my par­ents help out a fam­ily mem­ber who was in dire straits. I told Thea I would sug­gest it, but I couldn’t guar­an­tee what their re­sponse would be. Their re­sponse was that if she wanted some­thing from them, she needed to ask them her­self and not through an in­ter­me­di­ary.

I’m at a loss as to how to tell both sides that I’m tired of be­ing the mid­dle­man, as this has be­come an emo­tional thing be­tween all par­ties in­volved. I’m also not sure how to open the dis­cus­sion for them to air their dif­fer­ences whether they rec­on­cile or not. Help! — Stuck in the Mid­dle

Dear Stuck: Thea has cut her­self off from your par­ents for good rea­son. You are no more “in the mid­dle” than you want to be. Tell your sis­ter that if a fam­ily mem­ber is in trou­ble, THAT per­son should ap­proach your par­ents and ask for help.

Dear Abby: I have a 27-year-old son, “Bobby.” He was liv­ing with me and his grandma, and two years ago he got a puppy, which I took care of, potty-trained and fed. “Champ” even slept with me. Need­less to say, he be­came a fam­ily dog, and my 83-yearold mom be­came quite at­tached to him.

Bobby started dat­ing a gal. Af­ter four months, they de­cided to move in to­gether, and he took Champ with him. My mom has been cry­ing ev­ery day for our pet.

Be­cause they both work, they leave Champ home alone all day, and he howls un­til they get home. I asked Bobby if we could have vis­i­ta­tion once a week be­cause we miss Champ. His girl­friend got in­volved and told me Champ is their dog and they are not shar­ing him. I was very up­set.

I no longer have a re­la­tion­ship with my son over the dog and girl­friend, and my mother has a bro­ken heart. Am I wrong here? — Ca­nine War in Cal­i­for­nia

Dear War: You weren’t wrong to be up­set. Your mis­take was let­ting the dis­agree­ment cause an es­trange­ment from your son. If Champ’s in­ces­sant howl­ing causes a prob­lem for Bobby’s neigh­bors, he and his girl­friend might be re­cep­tive to let­ting you and Grandma take him while they are work­ing. How­ever, if they can­not see the logic, con­sider adopt­ing a res­cue dog to ease your mother’s aching heart and give her some­thing else to love.

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