Dear Abby: Mom Feels Powerless To Cure Adult Daughter’s Ailments
DEAR ABBY: My daughter is in her early twenties. When she was younger she was happy. She socialized, had friends and had fun. She had several boyfriends, but unfortunately nothing happened.
She thinks the only way to be comfortable or worth anything is to have a guy by her side. I think she’s doing it the wrong way. She has few friends now and rarely goes anywhere other than to work. She experiences periods of depression and says she is afraid of rejection, which prevents her from socializing. I try to encourage her to get out of her comfort zone and experience life, but she gets defensive and thinks I’m saying it’s mean, when I offer her something of value. .
Abby, I’m doing it out of concern and out of love. I don’t know how else to help him. I am very worried about her. I’m afraid if she doesn’t change her lifestyle it will only get worse and she will regret it. These should be some of the best years of his life. Can you offer him any suggestions to help him get through these dark times? – WORRIED MOM IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR MOM: I have one. The most important step a person can take to solve a problem is to admit that there is one. Pointing out that someone seems depressed and isolated is not mean; this is what caring parents (or friends) do when they see someone they care about is in trouble. When counseling your daughter, make sure your tone is seen as loving, not critical. Then point out that the fastest way for her to get her life back on track would be to talk to a licensed mental health professional.
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DEAR ABBY: I got married while stationed in Korea. Over the years, I have put drugs, alcohol, and friends before my family. I still regret it today.
I have four children and two of them are from the same woman. My oldest son and I chat almost daily via Messenger. This is the first time since my retirement that I have been so far from them.
My daughter and youngest son do not communicate with me in any way. I texted both of them but got no response. I learned a few days ago that my daughter had been married for almost three years.
I miss my family dearly and want to talk to them both. Is it hate and lack of forgiveness that I feel from them? It tears me apart inside. I would feel better with any type of response. What else can I do? – REACH IN ILLINOIS
DEAR ACHIEVE: There is nothing more you can do to get a response from your daughter and your youngest son. You put drugs, alcohol, and friends before them when they were young, and that’s the predictable answer to emotional neglect.
Not knowing them, I cannot say for sure that they “hate” you. However, they seem indifferent and ruthless and moved on with their lives. You have no choice but to accept it and move on while enjoying the relationship you have with your oldest son.
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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 PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.