Amy 3-12

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“Derecho”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#1
Mar 12, 2013
 
DEAR AMY: After almost 20 years of marriage (half of it miserable), I am just days away from a final decree. We kept the process civil, but we are not able to have a conversation. He suffers from a mood disorder, which destroyed our relationship and continues to make me very uncomfortable.

We have two children, ages 16 and 18, who live with me in the home we all shared for 16 years. The house belongs to me as part of the property division.

My ex picks up one or both kids for dinner every week. Usually I am home, but not always. Recently one of my kids vented his annoyance that "Dad snoops around the house" when I am not home.

It bothers me. If he would not wander around the house when I am here, he must know it's not appropriate. It feels like an invasion of privacy. He has a new home, and I would never walk farther than the foyer unless invited.

How should I handle this?-- Ex-Wife

DEAR EX: This is definitely a violation of your privacy, but (the way I read your query) it is also trespassing.

Your ex might create some wiggle room by telling himself that the kids have invited him inside, but your son has reported that this bothers him. Your son told you this because he thinks (correctly) that you need to know and because he can't police his father's access.

You shouldn't involve the kids, or expect them to control their father. Speak to your lawyer. Ask if she could send a letter to your ex and his attorney along the lines of: "Now that this divorce is nearly final, I'd like to remind you that neither party should enter the home of the other unless directly invited by the homeowner."

Do your utmost to be home when he comes over to avoid confusion about where the boundary is.

And change the locks, if you haven't already.

DEAR AMY: I am 76 years old and in the process of writing my life story (autobiography) to leave to my children and grandchildren.

When I was young, I was the victim of two incidents of sexual molestation: by a well-known church minister when I was 9 years old and by a high school principal when I was 13.

I have never disclosed this information to anyone and wonder if I should include this information now or keep it hidden. What would you do?-- Wondering

DEAR WONDERING: I think you are very brave -- first to write to me, and second to contemplate telling your family. I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to hold this secret close for so many years.

Sexual abuse is a crime against a person's humanity, which hides (and thrives) in the shadows. The truth is the truth. I think the increasing awareness of (and willingness to discuss) this crime in our culture is a good thing, because every time someone comes forward, somebody else gains a teardrop of courage to disclose the truth as well.

If you'd like to talk to someone outside your family to help you make this decision, there are a number of options available. For instance, you can speak with a counselor, friend or someone from the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-xxx and onlinedotrainndotorg) for confidential help 24/7.

DEAR AMY: Sometimes -- often, really -- I think you are an idiot. The letter from a 16-year-old who calls herself "Super Sad" is a case in point. This 16-year-old went to a guy's house, and you tell her she was raped because she had sex with him. She didn't say "no," and she didn't fight him off. What does she expect?-- Disgusted

DEAR DISGUSTED: In many states, a 16-year-old is not even legally considered old enough to consent to sex. And this girl did not consent. In fact, she stated out loud that she didn't want to. She reported that she was scared. Your response echoes many I have received, but this is really not debatable.

Since: Jan 10

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#2
Mar 12, 2013
 

Judged:

1

L1: yes, change the locks, have your lawyer send his lawyer a letter, etc. also I suggest you buy some fun, kinky sex stuff and leave them where mr. Snoopy pants will find them. I recommend something big, black, with two ends. Freak that snoopster the hell out.

L2: I think t is cowardly to drop this on your kids and grand kids via a book they'll (maybe) read after you're one.

L3: I swear I didn't write this, but I totally agree wit the letter writer, and after that column, Amy should have been fired.

***

In LW1's husband's defense: This was HIS home, too, for 20 years. I can imagine he's having trouble letting go of what used to be his/their house, and can't quite accept that it's no longer his home. I wonder why he's snooping around. Is he looking through closed doors/cabinets/drawers? Or does he just wander through the house, looking to see if she's made any changes?

I also don't like LW's assertion that his "mood disorder" ruined their marriage. More likely, his inability or unwillingness to manage whatever it is led to the breakdown of the marriage. Or her inability to continue to ignore it/look past it.

Maybe she can get her ex to stop doing this by Referencing the kids: "Look, it makes Joe and Jack feel weird when you're going through my personal things, and they don't feel like they can make you stop." He is going to know that his kids told on him. It doesn't matter, really.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

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#3
Mar 12, 2013
 
1 See your lawyer ASAP before you change locks, etc. The only piece of good advice Amy gave was to be home when the ex picks up the kids.

2 Sure, dump it on your grandkids you moron. It was your responsibility to deal with what happened to you...did you?

3 Amy should be fired. She basically states she is infallible in the response.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#4
Mar 12, 2013
 

Judged:

1

1 Yeah, the tone of your letter says all that needs to be heard. My guess is that you interrogate you kids as to their fathers actions when he is there and you made this up.

2 If you were molested by these peeps, they are probably pushing up daisy's by now. Get it off your chest and show them how it really was.

3 Sometimes -- often, really -- I think you are an idiot.

LOVE IT!! And lamy continues to be one.

“Licensed to Ill”

Since: Aug 08

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#5
Mar 12, 2013
 
LW1: What Amy’s intern said.

LW2: Why dump that on them now, when you've not told anyone your whole life?

LW3: Amy is a moron.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#6
Mar 12, 2013
 
LW2 raises an interesting question in a larger sense. Lots of people kept journals or diaries and recorded things that would be shocking or upsetting when seen from afar and out of context. I am not sure what happens to those journals when someone dies. Do you find a box of mom's notebooks in the attic detailing her steamy war time exploits?

As far as LW's question,unless it was a defining incident in his life, I would not include it. It will overshadow much else. I aslo would not name teh perps at this point. What good would it do? They are either dead or so old as to be no longer a threat. They have "gotten off scott free" for 60+ years and can't defend themselves. Say it happened if you must but leave it at that.

It has been more than 20 years since it became publically acceptable to acknowledge being a victim of childhood sex abuse. LW should not try to do from the grave that which he was not willing to do in life. Yesterday we talked about not speaking ill of the dead. Same thing holds true to day.

I a of 2 minds whether this is an impulse for vengence, catharsis or an excuse for his own behaviors.

“Derecho”

Since: May 09

United States

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#7
Mar 12, 2013
 
1- It slays me that people ask Amy when they should ask a lawyer (or a doctor or their spouse, or whoever else.)

2- I agree you should not drop this on them now. I'm surprised you even still remember what happened when you were 9 and 13.

3- She took that pretty well. She must be used to being callled an idiot....

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#8
Mar 12, 2013
 
LW1: Just be there when he's coming to pick them up.

LW2: I think that you should tell your life story. You don't have to sensationalize the molestation, but it would not be an honest account of your life if you left them out.

LW3: Tell us something we don't know.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#9
Mar 12, 2013
 
PEllen wrote:
As far as LW's question,unless it was a defining incident in his life,...
How could it not be? It would have affected everything in their life, whether they realized it or not.

Who knows, when the family finds out, it may explain alot about the LW's behavior. <mimishrug>

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#10
Mar 12, 2013
 
LW1: "This is definitely a violation of your privacy"
I suppose. But its human nature. The owned this place and lived there for how many years?

"but (the way I read your query) it is also trespassing."
Then you need to take a remedial reading class, moron.

LW3: I love it. Amy called out as an idiot.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#11
Mar 12, 2013
 

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squishymama wrote:
<quoted text>
How could it not be? It would have affected everything in their life, whether they realized it or not.
Who knows, when the family finds out, it may explain alot about the LW's behavior. <mimishrug>
Just because something bad happens to you does not necessarily make it a defining moment in your life.Otherwise the victim mindset would be much more prevaleent. That holds true whether it is sex abuse, physical abuse, divorce of your parents, witnessing a bad accident, being in a bad drunk driving accident, etc

Since: Mar 09

United States

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#12
Mar 12, 2013
 
L3: LOL! One of us HAD to have written that (not me!).

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#13
Mar 12, 2013
 
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>Just because something bad happens to you does not necessarily make it a defining moment in your life.Otherwise the victim mindset would be much more prevaleent. That holds true whether it is sex abuse, physical abuse, divorce of your parents, witnessing a bad accident, being in a bad drunk driving accident, etc
The first incident happened at 9 years of age; it affected their whole life. Perhaps not define it as you say, but it had to influence the person they grew up to be.

“FD&S is no way to be.”

Since: Feb 13

Huntingdon, TN

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#14
Mar 12, 2013
 
1. Yep, letter from lawyer. Keep the kids out of the middle of it.

2. Sorry lady, but that is not the kind of information you disclose for the first time in a goodbye card. Either tell them before you croak or take it to the grave.

3. Listen everyone, she said it's not debatable. If that doesn't resolve it, what will?

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#15
Mar 12, 2013
 
Sam I Am GEAM wrote:
.
3. Listen everyone, she said it's not debatable. If that doesn't resolve it, what will?
Well I kind of liked soemone's suggestion of Superbowl Squares for who is going to be the next Pope.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

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#16
Mar 12, 2013
 
LW1: I can't imagine what your ex is expecting to find; but you could buy a locking file cabinet and put anything that you don't want him to see in there.

LW2: This is totally up to you. I have mixed feelings about it. My first thought was leave it out and focus on your positive and inspiring experiences and accomplishments. I think it would make your children and grandchildren very sad to read that. On the other hand, it is the unvarnished truth and part of your journey.

LW3: Clearly, no jury would convict the young man.

Since: Oct 09

Wagner, SD

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#17
Mar 12, 2013
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
"but (the way I read your query) it is also trespassing."
Then you need to take a remedial reading class, moron.
LW3: I love it. Amy called out as an idiot.
While she's taking the remedial reading class, she should also take basic classes on what constitutes rape and alcoholism, since a man can't have sex without her screaming that it's "rape" and someone can't take two sips of a flipping drink without her screaming that it's "alcoholism". And yes, she really IS a flipping, flaming idiot.
liner

Delray Beach, FL

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#18
Mar 12, 2013
 
L1: I'll echo what others have said, make sure you're home when he's expected. And yes, change the locks.
L2: Why burden your heirs? Write it all down, burn it and throw the ashes into the ocean/river/lake/drainage ditch near your home.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#19
Mar 12, 2013
 
Why do you consider it a burden? To me learning that your ancestor was molested is not a burden, perhaps an inconvenient truth, like learning they were a slave or slave owner.
liner wrote:
L2: Why burden your heirs? Write it all down, burn it and throw the ashes into the ocean/river/lake/drainage ditch near your home.

Since: Jan 10

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#20
Mar 12, 2013
 

Judged:

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RACE wrote:
Why do you consider it a burden? To me learning that your ancestor was molested is not a burden, perhaps an inconvenient truth, like learning they were a slave or slave owner.
<quoted text>
I think that's YOUR take, but others would find it to be a burden. Especially finding out their ancestors had owned slaves.

I saw a documentary on the descendents of the largest family of slave owners in U.S. history. The women took it harder than the men. Then they were given a tour of the slave quarters in the Caribbean (slaves were held in the Caribbean until prices in the U.S. were at a certain minimum, meanwhile they were put to work growing sugar cane and making rum, which then was used to buy more slaves in Africa).

THat's where the men changed their tune, from "This has nothing to do with me, I didn't do any of these things to slaves from Africa," and "It was how the times were, I'm not going to judge my great-great-great grandfather for doing something he didn't even realize was wrong," to "Wow, my ancestors had to know this was evil." From one tour of the slave quarters.

It. was. Fascinating.

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