Dear Abby: I’m depressed over a loss, but mom says I shouldn’t be
Mother says that because her daughter has a boyfriend, there’s no reason she should be despondent about the death of her twin.
DEAR ABBY: I have had a serious boyfriend for six months. He’s wonderful, a dream come true. But I find myself more depressed and suicidal than ever. Mom tells me I don’t have any reason to be depressed since I have a boyfriend. It’s like she thinks I have no right to still be despondent over my twin’s death because I now have a significant other.
My eating disorder and self-harm have gotten worse, too. I feel like I’m holding in so much sadness I’m not allowed to show that I’m turning it all inward in self-destructive ways. Although I love my boyfriend, I almost feel like breaking up just so everyone won’t expect me to be Pollyanna anymore. The third anniversary of my twin’s suicide is coming, which is making everything more unbearable. I just don’t know what to do. I just want to disappear. — THINGS AREN’T OK
DEAR THINGS: If your mother truly believes a death in the family (particularly a twin!) is something that can be “fixed” by having a boyfriend, she is deluding herself. You need professional help and right away. There are support groups for survivors of a family member’s suicide, and you are three years overdue for finding one. I urge you to contact the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Someone there can help you to locate a support group for the survivors of a loved one’s suicide. To find them, go online to afsp.org.
If you are feeling suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and tell a counselor about what’s going on. If you do, you can be directed to a licensed therapist in your community who can help. The toll-free number to call is (800) 273-8255. PLEASE do not put it off.
DEAR ABBY: My daughter and I have been estranged on and off for many years, most recently for the last 22 months. At that time, she angrily took her 8-year-old daughter and left our home, where she had been living since another eviction. She said she was going to tell everyone I kicked her out. Then she blocked me on Facebook and removed my access to my granddaughter’s classroom progress reports and my name from the school emergency card.
I had no idea where they went. My poor granddaughter was in tears. She had been upset moving back in with us again, and told me she wished her mom would get a job so they could stay in one place for real.
After no contact, I have been told my daughter is being married. “Save the date” cards have gone out. I have no desire or intention of going to a wedding of someone who has spent half her life being cruel to me, lying, ignoring me, being jealous at her sister’s wedding and so on, with never an apology for her horrible behavior. She’s a Jekyll and Hyde.
We live in the same community, and I do all I can to avoid seeing her. I’m happy for her and delighted my granddaughter will finally have a bedroom of her own, but I have no intention of playing happy family to someone who regularly sharpens knives in my back. How do I answer any inquiries that may come up about the wedding? — CAN’T TAKE ANY MORE
DEAR CAN’T: Do not engage in a litany of complaints and accusations. You can get the message across to anyone who asks about the wedding by saying that you are not involved in the planning of the wedding and questions should be directed to your daughter. You do not have to discuss it further. It’s short and sweet and gets the message across.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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