Dear Abby: I have been in what feels like a war with my grandmother. She always took care of me and my younger brother and sister. She was there when we couldn’t be with our parents. For a long time, I was troubled and into addiction. I admit I lost sight of who I really was. I had two sons I didn’t raise, but now that I’m back and a year and three months clean, I’m enjoying spending my time with the son I’m still in contact with. I have always lived with my grandmother.
Now that I’m taking control of my life and reaching the point where I’m ready to move away with my son, she’s fighting me. She has many bad things to say about my past and a lot of things to throw in my face. After all this time, I thought she would be happy for me. Instead, I am encountering outright disrespect and ugliness. I have always known my grandmother could be hateful, but now it’s turned up to full volume. Am I wrong for wanting to be with my son? I’m tired of crying all the time over this. — BREAKING THE CYCLE
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Dear Breaking: Because of your history, your grandmother may be fearful for the welfare of her great-grandson. However, if you are clean, sober and capable of caring for yourself and your child without her assistance, then it’s time to graduate to independence. Tell your grandmother you love her and are grateful for all of the care she has given you. Then proceed with the move WITHOUT BURNING ANY BRIDGES, if that’s possible.
Dear Abby: I have had a friend for 30 years whom I have helped with advice and money many times. He is often rude and short-tempered. I never expected anything in return, but I have often had to turn the other cheek because of his behavior. Recently he had a collection of auto parts he was going to sell. When I asked if I could buy a few of them, he refused because he wanted to sell the parts as a group. I was disappointed. It was the first time in 30 years I had asked him for a favor but, again, I turned the other cheek.
I recently learned that he gave away all the auto parts for free to his neighbors. I asked him about it but didn’t want to make a big deal out of it because I didn’t want an argument. He shrugged it off like it was nothing. I was shocked because he always has financial problems, so giving the parts away for free instead of selling a few to me was baffling. Should I overlook this or is it time to end the friendship? — DISAPPOINTED IN MICHIGAN
Dear Disappointed: The person you have described is not, and never was, your friend. He refused to let you buy the auto parts because he wanted to charge you more for the whole kit and caboodle. When there were no other takers, he dumped them on whoever would take them. You have been a supportive friend, and your reward was being treated rudely. By all means, end this one-way arrangement. The next time he asks you for something — and he will — feel free to refuse.
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.