DEAR ABBY: I am a 24-year-old single mother of an amazing 3-year-old girl. I have had more than my share of turmoil with her father. We are no longer together, and he isn’t in the picture. Abby, I feel damaged. I’m afraid I will never love again or find anyone to love me the way I need.
My daughter is my shadow. We are literally joined at the hip. She’s lonely, always around adults and has no one her age to play with.
I really want to have another child. While I may never have the right man to father one, I’d like to save a life and adopt another daughter and playmate for my little girl. Some people may see me as too young or unable to do it. But the love, care and providing for my child exceed anything I’ll ever do in my life. What do you think? — MATERNAL MIDWESTERNER
DEAR M.M.: To adopt a child for the reason you have stated would be a terrible disservice to an innocent child. If you want your little girl to learn to make friends with other children, then enroll her in day care, where she will be exposed to some.
As to your feeling that you are damaged and will never find love again, many women feel as you do after a bad breakup. Most of them heal, learn from their experience and go on to have fulfilling lives. In your case, it may take the help of a therapist to find your self-confidence again. But trust me, it can be done. Another child is not the answer to what’s ailing you right now.
DEAR ABBY: My 35-year-old sister accompanied me to see the doctor because I told her I have been having thoughts of harming myself. While we were there, the doctor expressed concern about the amount of strong prescription painkillers I have been taking. He brought up my record, and it showed I have picked up this medication four times in the last month.
Abby, my sister has been getting these pills, not me! In the past, she ordered them and picked them up for me when I was unable to do it myself, but I had no idea she has been collecting more in my name until today. I didn’t want to get her in trouble, so I didn’t admit the truth to the doctor, but then he started to insist that my sister keep any medications I have under lock and key “in case I decide to harm myself.”
I don’t know what to do. She made me promise not to tell anyone, and I don’t want to get her into trouble. (She’s training to be a nurse and this could get her kicked out of the course.) Please help. — ANXIOUS IN ENGLAND
DEAR ANXIOUS: Straighten this out with your doctor immediately! Do not try to “protect” your sister. There are programs for health care workers who become addicted to drugs, and she needs to get into one right now.
If you need medications, you will have to arrange for someone other than your sister to dole them out — another relative, a friend, pharmacist, whomever. Your doctor may be able to suggest someone.
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