“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Feb 11, 2014
DEAR ABBY: My best friend of 20 years, "Claire," has suffered bouts of depression ever since I have known her. She recently confided to me that her brother had repeatedly sexually abused her as a child.

When she went to her mother for help, her mother told her she needed to "thank God that it was happening because it would make her a stronger person." Her mother is dead now, but her father is still alive. I am furious at him for allowing the abuse to happen under his roof.

Abby, the family acts like it never happened! Claire invites her dad to events we plan together like birthdays. How do I attend knowing what I know? I don't want to sit across a table from him.

My husband is an abuse survivor and feels even more strongly than I do. It has made get-togethers miserable for us. Should we just smile and pretend we don't know because we can't fight my best friend's fight for her? How do we get over the anger?-- CONFUSED IN OKLAHOMA

DEAR CONFUSED: Years ago, someone explained to me that depression is anger turned inward. Your friend is enduring these bouts of depression because she was never allowed to express her anger where it belonged -- at her brother and her mother. Whether the mother ever told her husband what was going on, or whether it was the continuation of a long family tradition of sexual abuse, is something we don't know. But if you haven't suggested to Claire that she could benefit from counseling, you should.

As to you and your husband participating in these family gatherings, my advice is to stop doing it. Celebrate special occasions with your friend right before or after these occasions; many people have pre- or post-birthday get-togethers, and that's what I recommend in a case like this.

DEAR ABBY: I recently became involved with a longtime female friend of mine when she was in town. I have always loved "Miranda" as a friend, but now I also feel attracted to her as a potential perfect match.

The problem is she lives far away. We keep in touch almost daily. I love that, but it makes me miss her, and I end up thinking about her all day, which doesn't help. She says she has feelings for me, too, but "the timing isn't in our favor."

What can I do to go about my day without letting thoughts of Miranda rule my brain? I am 27 and haven't felt like this about anyone before. We'll see each other in a couple of months and the time couldn't be crawling by any slower.

Abby, are long-distance relationships even worth trying?-- ANXIOUS IN COLORADO

DEAR ANXIOUS: Of course they are. As the saying goes, "nothing ventured, nothing gained." Years ago, couples who were separated by distances courted via the mail. In fact, some of them wrote beautiful poetry and love letters that are classics.(Check out the letters of Victorian writers Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning.) Couples separated by war before the invention of the Internet also managed to nurture relationships that led to marriage.

So consider yourself lucky that you and Miranda can be in touch every day, even though at this point it's frustrating. As to the problem of her dominating your thoughts all day, a way to deal with it is to stay busy.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#2 Feb 11, 2014
1 Therapy for the whole lot of ya! Next birthday invite a shrink and have an intervention.

2 Oh, cry me a river. If you want to be with her, then look for a job where she lives, or one for her where you are. But your still stuck in the town you grew up in, so dont plan on that happening.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#3 Feb 11, 2014
Lw1: not your battle and you have no idea if father knew.

Lw2: what race said. Or go have some one night stands. Or hookers.
Blunt Advice

Saddle River, NJ

#4 Feb 11, 2014
Team Race on both letters. I know an abuse survivor whose egg donor knew and enabled the step father. She had been and maybe still is a mentor for a support group for incest victims. But lws friend is an adult who can make her own decisions. If the party guests are going to bother you, don't go.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#5 Feb 11, 2014
LW1: Oh, just stop going then! You can find some other way to celebrate with your friend. Who needs some serious professional help, by the way.

LW2: Train for a marathon or go to the gym. Anything other than mope about after this girl. It will make you very unattractive to her in the long run.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#6 Feb 11, 2014
L1: Claire needs counseling and the friends needs to encourage that. Straight out ask Claire if she feels her father knew and how she feels about that. An open dialogue is something Claire hasn't been able to have and probably should. If you really feel the way you do about her father, why do you continue planning the events with her when you know she's going to invite her father?

L2: "Timing isn't in your favor" to me means she might have someone else she's dating. She didn't say distance was the issue.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#7 Feb 11, 2014
"Years ago, someone explained to me that depression is anger turned inward. "

Yep.

L1. This is not your fight. You don't know if her dad knew and your friend is not ready to disavow him.

Since it really sticks in your craw, make alternate plans, develop 24 hour stomach flu that morning or something.

L2 Months?. No car to go visit? Not enough money for a Greyhound ticket between the 2 of you?

Need instructions on how to set up Skype?

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#8 Feb 11, 2014
LW1: Let your friend deal with it. It's not really your problem. Just be there if she needs ya.

LW2: They can work if you both want it to and you both make it work, but it sounds like you are much more enthused than she.

She told you the timing isn't right. That's a clue. So, I'd temper your expectations if I were you. I think you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#9 Feb 11, 2014
Ha! Sounds like something the "Magic 8 Ball" would say!
Toj wrote:
L2: "Timing isn't in your favor"
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#10 Feb 11, 2014
1: Man, how do families get so disgustingly screwed up? It goes against my democratic soul, but morons should be identified and sterilized early on.

2: Spend lots of timr with her and the glass will shatter...it's the "what if" that torments you.
Julie

Chicago, IL

#11 Feb 11, 2014
LW2: She says she has feelings for me, too, but "the timing isn't in our favor."
Go to the store and buy a clue, genius. She ain't interested, and she's trying to let you down easily.

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