Q. Dear Abby: My daughter was repeatedly date-raped at the age of 16. Her predator threatened to kill her if she ever told. It was a very scary time in her life, but with the help of counseling she is working through it.
By Jeanne Phillips By JEANNE PHILLIPS
The problem is, while visiting with my in-laws it was pointed out to us that my mother-in-law had made a collage of pictures and included in it the person who raped my daughter. In all, there are five pictures of him in group settings. When my husband asked her to remove them, she refused. She says it would punish the other grandchildren if she removed the pictures, and it would “ruin her collage.”
We have asked her three times, but she refuses to budge. She says we all need counseling and that the request is completely out of line. — Appalled in Illinois
A. Dear Appalled:Was your mother-in-law aware of what this person had done when the collage was created? If so, her reaction is bizarre and unbelievably insensitive.
Approach her once more and ask if she would take down the collage when your family visits. However, if she won’t, I wouldn’t blame you if you went there very rarely, if ever.
Gracious in nonbelief
Q. Dear Abby: What do you say to people when they tell you they will “pray for you” when you’re dealing with an illness or other life tragedy if you are a nonbeliever? Statistics say that 34 percent of Americans are nonbelievers, so please address this to the 34 percent who share my feelings of appreciation for the sentiment, but feel like hypocrites for playing along. — Nonbeliever, But Grateful
A. Dear Nonbeliever: When someone offers to pray for you, it’s usually because the person cares about you. Accept it for what it is, and say thank you rather than tell the person that what they offered is, in your eyes, worthless. That’s called being gracious — regardless of your religious or nonreligious convictions. © 2012 Universal Uclick 12/28