Dear Abby: Parents don’t know sibling abused me, want us to reconnect

The childhood sexual abuse survivor isn’t sure whether to tell them about the 10-year ordeal.

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DEAR ABBY: I was sexually abused by a sibling for 10 years during my childhood. I never told anyone what happened to me until I confided in my fiance after we were engaged. I have gone through counseling sessions and am at a place in my life where I am happy and healthy.

Currently, I have a relationship with my parents, but not with my sibling. My parents often express their wish for me to have a relationship with my sibling, but I always refuse. I feel that telling them what happened at this point would only cause hurt for them. But I also feel that if I tell them, I can stop getting asked uncomfortable questions. What do you suggest? — SURVIVOR IN SOUTH DAKOTA

DEAR SURVIVOR: I suggest you tell your parents everything. It’s something you should have done years ago. Do not worry about hurting them. Once they have all the facts, they will understand why you want nothing to do with your sibling and stop pushing you to have a relationship with your abuser, and that’s the goal.

DEAR ABBY: I have been in a relationship with a man for five years, and we are deeply in love. We want to spend the rest of our lives together, but it bothers me that he wants to go into the military for three to five years. He says he wants me to wait for him, but three to five years seems like a lifetime to me. I can’t help but feel like he is prioritizing his desire to serve his country over me and years of our life together. — CIVILIAN IN THE EAST

DEAR CIVILIAN: It would be interesting to know how old you and your boyfriend are. I assume you are both young and graduating from high school.

This is not necessarily a question of where his priorities lie. While three to five years seems like a large chunk of time, the military may provide your boyfriend with the chance to decide what he wants to do career-wise with his life. It would also provide benefits that could positively affect his future — and yours — once his term of service is finished. If you feel unable to wait for him, you should let him go.

DEAR ABBY: My mother is 88 and in a nursing home. While cleaning out her apartment, I found her will. With it there was a handwritten note stating that my son should get my mother’s diamond ring. The ring is unique and special. The note specifically said that my sister’s kids should not get the ring because they didn’t act like they loved her, while my son did. The note instructed my son to give the ring to his wife.

I have not shown the note to my sister because I know she will be upset. I want to give the ring to my son. I know my sister will see the ring on my daughter-in-law’s finger and know it was my mom’s. My sister will wonder how she got the ring. What should I do? — HURT IN OHIO

DEAR HURT: Do not approach your sister with this information until you have spoken to an attorney. Show him or her the will you found in your mother’s apartment and the note that was with it. If your mom is able, have the ring details added to the will. In order to avoid any misunderstandings and a possible rift in the family, your sister should be given a copy of both. After that, take your lead from the attorney.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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