DEAR ABBY: I was sexually abused by a sibling for 10 years during my childhood. I never told anyone what happened to me until I confided in my fiance after we were engaged. I have gone through counseling sessions and am at a place in my life where I am happy and healthy.
Currently, I have a relationship with my parents, but not with my sibling. My parents often express their wish for me to have a relationship with my sibling, but I always refuse. I feel that telling them what happened at this point would only cause hurt for them. But I also feel that if I tell them, I can stop getting asked uncomfortable questions. What do you suggest? — SURVIVOR IN SOUTH DAKOTA
DEAR SURVIVOR: I suggest you tell your parents everything. It's something you should have done years ago. Do not worry about hurting them. Once they have all the facts, they will understand why you want nothing to do with your sibling and stop pushing you to have a relationship with your abuser, and that's the goal.
DEAR ABBY: I have been in a relationship with a man for five years, and we are deeply in love. We want to spend the rest of our lives together, but it bothers me that he wants to go into the military for three to five years. He says he wants me to wait for him, but three to five years seems like a lifetime to me. I can't help but feel like he is prioritizing his desire to serve his country over me and years of our life together. — CIVILIAN IN THE EAST
DEAR CIVILIAN: It would be interesting to know how old you and your boyfriend are. I assume you are both young and graduating from high school.
This is not necessarily a question of where his priorities lie. While three to five years seems like a large chunk of time, the military may provide your boyfriend with the chance to decide what he wants to do career-wise with his life. It would also provide benefits that could positively affect his future — and yours — once his term of service is finished. If you feel unable to wait for him, you should let him go.
DEAR ABBY: My mother is 88 and in a nursing home. While cleaning out her apartment, I found her will. With it there was a handwritten note stating that my son should get my mother's diamond ring. The ring is unique and special. The note specifically said that my sister's kids should not get the ring because they didn't act like they loved her, while my son did. The note instructed my son to give the ring to his wife.
I have not shown the note to my sister because I know she will be upset. I want to give the ring to my son. I know my sister will see the ring on my daughter-in-law's finger and know it was my mom's. My sister will wonder how she got the ring. What should I do? — HURT IN OHIO
DEAR HURT: Do not approach your sister with this information until you have spoken to an attorney. Show him or her the will you found in your mother's apartment and the note that was with it. If your mom is able, have the ring details added to the will. In order to avoid any misunderstandings and a possible rift in the family, your sister should be given a copy of both. After that, take your lead from the attorney.
DEAR ABBY: I recently found out I am pregnant. I'm only 17 and scared I won't be a good mother. I'm also anxious about giving birth. I'm due in three months, so I know time is going by fast.
My mother never taught me right from wrong, and having to raise a child at my age is really scary. I don't want to give my baby up for adoption because I know God does things in mysterious ways. I feel like this is an obstacle he is putting me through to make me stronger in life. Can you give me some advice on how to be a good mother or guide me on how to give my child the necessities? — CONCERNED TEENAGE MOTHER
DEAR CONCERNED: You will be facing challenging circumstances. Consider talking to a social worker at the hospital where you will give birth for advice on how to get the necessities for your baby. It is more important now than ever to complete your education by getting your high school diploma or a GED, so you will be able to better support the child. A trusted teacher or counselor at school may be able to guide you. If there are older, more experienced family members who are willing, they may be able to offer emotional and practical support. And, if possible, the baby's father should be involved.
DEAR ABBY: I recently quit drinking because it was clearly becoming a problem for me. I was hiding alcohol, putting it in water bottles, drinking it like water, etc.
I struggle with anxiety, which makes AA not a viable option for me. I looked online and was able to find SMART Recovery. So far, it has been a valuable resource for me. I am sticking to the program and find the people online to be supportive and helpful.
My struggle is, because I had been drinking for so long, people judge me by my past. Even at home. How do I get to a point where people take me for who I am now and stop dwelling on the past? — SOBERING REALITY
DEAR SOBERING: I applaud you for recognizing you had a problem and doing something about it. You mentioned that you "recently" quit drinking. I wish you had mentioned how long ago because it may have something to do with how you are being treated now.
All you can do to change people's perception of you is sincerely apologize and try to make amends to anyone you may have hurt or offended while you were under the influence. It may take time for them to trust that you are no longer the person you were, so be patient and continue to work on your sobriety. With time, you will be respected for the person you are now.
DEAR ABBY: Can you think of any way to tell social media friends that I am not interested in their political views? I respect everyone's political beliefs, but I am very tired of politics, and there must be something else they can post. Should I "unfollow" these people until after the elections and hope for the best? I suspect I am not alone on this. Any help would be much appreciated! — "WAR" WEARY IN ARKANSAS
DEAR WEARY: These days it does seem like everyone's a pundit, but you cannot dictate what others choose to post. Because the posts are not entertaining, I see nothing wrong with "hiding" their posts until the election season is over.