Dear Abby: I moved with my family to Germany and don’t fit in here

Student keeps feelings bottled up while being ridiculed at school.

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DEAR ABBY: I recently moved from the U.S. to Germany. It has been a big change, and I honestly don’t know how to handle it. A lot of the kids at school make fun of me and call me names.

My family plans to stay here another two years. My parents say that when/if we move back to the United States, we won’t return to our hometown. I find this very hard to accept because it was the only home I’ve ever known. I tried asking them if I could live with a friend there, but they always brush me off.

I don’t want my family to worry about me since my mom is working hard going back to college, but keeping my feelings bottled up inside seems like the wrong choice. Should I tell them honestly how I feel or keep crying into my pillow every night? — LOST AND DEPRESSED

DEAR LOST: Crying in your pillow every night isn’t productive. You should ABSOLUTELY tell your parents everything you are experiencing — that you are being bullied at school and made to feel you don’t fit in, and that you miss your old hometown terribly. They might want to consult with the school administrator about it.

Geographical distance does not mean you must lose relationships forever. While moving back to the town you left may not be practical, you can keep in touch with your friends online and may eventually be able to visit them.

DEAR ABBY: A beautiful flower arrangement was delivered to me at my home today. While on the phone, I told my friend about the thoughtful gift and mentioned that my two cats wouldn’t leave it alone. She said, “I hope there aren’t any lilies in it!” There were, Abby — white oriental lilies. I Googled it and discovered they are very poisonous to cats, although not to other animals. When I called the florist, they claimed not to know. Thought your readers should! — LOVES MY FELINES

DEAR LOVES: I agree. And thank you for sharing that information. I learned from my own Google search that lilies are not the only flowers that are poisonous for pets. Azaleas, daffodils, amaryllis, chrysanthemums, tulips, oleander, hyacinth, English ivy, sago palm, cyclamen, autumn crocus, widow’s thrill, hydrangea, aloe vera, caladium, pothos, philodendron, lily of the valley, castor bean, poinsettia, asparagus fern, peace lily and corn plants can be lethal as well. Kitty lovers, be warned!

DEAR ABBY: Is it possible for a single woman (me) to continue a neighborhood friendship with a widower who is now dating a woman? He shared homemade soup with me weekly, leaving it at my door, and occasionally we would have tea together on our decks. I feel awkward; he does not. Should I go with my gut? — STUMPED IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR STUMPED: It would be a shame to lose a good friend. Talk to him about the awkwardness you are feeling. Perhaps it can be resolved. However, if it can’t, then follow your instincts and step back.

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.

To order “How to Write Letters for All Occasions,” send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby — Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.

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