DEAR ABBY: I recently found a notebook of my mom’s. On the outside cover it said, “Disclaimer: Do Not Open Unless You’re Me!” Being the curious soul that I am, I opened it despite the disclaimer.
As I flipped through the pages, I learned many things about my mom that I didn’t know, like her faith in God and how the things that happened in her life molded her into who she is today. I stopped at the page titled, “The Summer of 10th Grade.” As I read it, I learned the truth about how I was conceived. Written in capital letters were the words “I WAS RAPED.” It felt like the world had stopped. I had no clue.
I’d always assumed Mom got pregnant at 16 because she made stupid decisions, but I was wrong. I could never imagine how my mom could get through a day without looking at me as a reminder of what happened to her.
Where do I go from here? Should I confront her about it? I have no one to talk to, so I hope you can give me some advice. — Child of Rape
DEAR CHILD: I’m glad you wrote, because it gives me an opportunity to point out that if you hadn’t been wanted, your mother had other alternatives. If you had no clue, it’s because you are the daughter she loves, and I’m sure you have been a source of much joy in her life.
If you feel the need to discuss this with her, then you should. Because she left the notebook in a place where it could be discovered, she may have subconsciously wanted it to be found.
Exes are very friendly
DEAR ABBY: At 24, I am fortunate to have loving, functional relationships with my mother, father, stepmother (of 15 years) and stepsister. I attribute my healthy childhood to the fact that my mom and dad have always acted as best friends when we’re together, despite having been separated almost my entire life.
However, lately I have been finding my parents’ relationship very inappropriate. They have been hanging out together often without me, and almost certainly without my stepmother’s knowledge. I have stumbled upon suggestive texts that imply a flirty relationship and probably more. I don’t know whether these are recent developments or if I have just stopped being naive.
I would never want my stepsister to discover anything about my mom and dad the hard way. I especially don’t want to see her hurt by becoming a child of divorce. Would I be overstepping my boundaries if I asked my mom and dad to spend less time together and restrict their relationship to being parents to me and that’s all?— Hurt Child-Woman
DEAR HURT CHILD-WOMAN: If you approach it the way you have written it to me, yes, I think you would offend both of your parents. If you are afraid your stepsister may be hurt if her parents separate, be there to comfort and support her, but do not insert yourself into what may or may not be an explosive minefield. This may be the way your mom and dad have always related to each other, your stepmother may be aware of it, and you could come across as extremely presumptuous.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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