DEAR ABBY: I’m a teen girl having some trouble right now. I was in an abusive family. Most of my life, I was bullied because I separated from them because they were doing drugs. I have serious depression, and my foster family hasn’t noticed. I have given them plenty of signs (I have trouble talking about my feelings), but they ignore them.
I had a best friend who helped me through the pain, but she started showing her true colors and turned out to be a jerk. I am also having trouble finding someone who will love me, because I want to be in love.
Everyone treats me like a little kid, even though I’m the oldest. Sorry for dumping all my problems on you, but I really need help. It’s not fun crying myself to sleep every night. — DEPRESSED GIRL IN IOWA
DEAR DEPRESSED GIRL: I am sure it’s not fun. You have had some hurdles to climb, but you are in your teens and not a “little kid.” You should not be keeping your sadness bottled up inside. That’s why it’s important you find a trusted adult you can talk with about your feelings. If you are in school, a counselor or teacher you trust may be able to provide the support and understanding you are looking for.
While most people want to find someone to love who will love them back, I think you would be wise to put that on the back burner until you are stronger emotionally. If you can do that, you will make better choices in the future.
DEAR ABBY: I committed a sin with my husband’s brother many years ago that I have regretted ever since. I have confessed to God, but I need to tell someone. (I know you cannot absolve my mistake.)
My husband was not very affectionate, but we went on to have a family and many good years together. I guess I don’t feel I deserved all those blessings. How can I get rid of this feeling of guilt for what I did? — EVIL LADY IN THE SOUTH
DEAR LADY: Because you won’t allow me to absolve you from the “one sin you committed many years ago,” please discuss it with a religious adviser. If you are afraid to do that with your own priest, pastor, rabbi, etc., make an appointment to talk with one in a different community. While you may be racked with guilt, believe me, nothing you confess is something they haven’t heard before. I hope it helps you to stop flogging yourself.
DEAR ABBY: Please clear this up for me. My mother recently passed away. My family and I miss her every day. Her funeral was prepaid, so there were no additional expenses for my family. In the funeral notice, we asked that people give memorials of money to the charity listed, or a charity of the donor’s choice.
My co-workers collected money and gave it to me. Was the money intended to be a charitable donation from them in my mother’s honor, or was it meant for me personally? I’m confused. — CONFUSED IN MINNESOTA
DEAR CONFUSED: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your mother. Because your co-workers didn’t specify otherwise, assume they followed the guidelines in the obituary and the money is for charity. Thank them for their generosity and leave it at that.
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.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)