“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Jan 13, 2014
DEAR ABBY: You said in your Nov. 14 column on bullying that you hadn't received a single letter from anyone who had bullied others. Well, I was a bully.

As a young girl I'd tease and taunt, and when I was older I used sarcasm as a way to bully. I was involved in an abusive relationship in my 20s. With support and counseling, I was able to stop being abused and being abusive.

I learned the feelings I had repressed -- shame, fear and low self-worth from a childhood of sexual and physical abuse -- were misdirected at the people around me instead of at my abuser, my father, as they should have been. I'm not saying this is an excuse for the hurt I inflicted on others, but for me there was a correlation.

I'm now in a loving and supportive relationship. We have raised our children to be kind, thoughtful and confident individuals. I'm involved with an organization supporting nonprofit programs in our community that empower abused children, reach out to the sexually exploited and help women experiencing domestic violence.

Because of the life I lead now, I have been able to let go of the negativity and shame of being abused, but the shame of being abusive stays with me. I hope the people I hurt have forgiven me and have been able to move forward. But I will never know for sure.

Thank you for allowing me to share my story. Even if it doesn't get printed, writing it has lifted a little bit of the weight that I still carry from my bullying days.-- REDEEMING MYSELF OUT WEST

DEAR REDEEMING: Confession is good for the soul, and if getting this off your chest has been helpful, I'm glad. Obviously, you have grown since the days when you were an abuser, and your focus on helping vulnerable people in your community is laudable. I hope you will continue the work that you're doing because there is great need for it.

If your letter makes just one person stop and think twice about why he or she would deliberately hurt or diminish someone else, it will have been worth the space in my column because sometimes those scars can last a lifetime.

DEAR ABBY: I recently lost a niece. She had struggled with substance abuse and was away at college when she died. I believed in what a wonderful person she was and could be, and often sent her cards of encouragement.

When my sister and her husband went to retrieve her belongings, they mentioned that she had my cards around her room. I had hoped that her parents would give them to me, but three months later, they have not. Would it be wrong for me to ask for them?-- LOVING AUNT IN THE SOUTH

DEAR LOVING AUNT: Please accept my sympathy for your family's loss. The cards may not have been offered because your sister and her husband are experiencing the depths of grief. While it would not be "wrong" to ask if you can have them, don't be surprised if they refuse to let them go -- at least for the time being. Having the possessions their daughter surrounded herself with may be important to them right now as a way of feeling closer to her.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#2 Jan 13, 2014
1 Whatever bully. Glad your trying to break the cycle, but dont expect any parade's.

2 Lighten up lady! Its only been 3 months. Sure ask if you like, but wait a few years first. Ever think its comforting for the parents to know that other people besides themselves thought of her?

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#3 Jan 13, 2014
Jezus lady, forget about the dam cards

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#4 Jan 13, 2014
Those cards probably mean a lot to her parents... Or they are still so deeply grieving, they can't muster the energy to find them in order to return them.

Cut the parents a break or four.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#5 Jan 13, 2014
Blunt Advice

Saddle River, NJ

#6 Jan 13, 2014
1. The kids you teased are over it. If your father isn't already dead he will face an eternity in hell. Now get down off your high horse and back to earth.
2. As all above said forget about the cards. The parents are going through enough.


“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#7 Jan 13, 2014
L1: There's nothing wrong in publicly apologizing via letter to an advice columnist. It would do more good if you apologize directly to the people you hurt, however.

L2: I would just assume the parents would want them as a part of her. Why would the aunt want them back? You send those type of things out to help someone. Maybe those cards aren't done helping people. I find it strange that she wants them back.

Plant City, FL

#8 Jan 13, 2014
2: Eeesch, rough. Wait a year and ask for a couple, not all....
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

#9 Jan 14, 2014
I Like Red's answer to LW2. Could LW2 ask them to Xerox a copy for
her because she, too, is grieving?

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