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Column

Molestation memories cloud the future

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips.

Dear Abby,

I’m almost an adult now, starting to think about having children and a good marriage of my own. But I have a disturbing childhood memory I have never been able to erase.

When I was 6 or 7 and staying at my grandparents’ house, and my grandmother would go outside to check the mail or water the flowers, my grandfather would try to put his hands on my private parts. He wouldn’t speak a word to me ever, even if she was around. In fact, I’m quite sure I never witnessed him say anything at all to anyone. But as soon as Grandma was out of sight, well, that was his chance to put his hands on me, then laugh when I tried to wiggle away.

Recently, after I remembered those episodes again, I tried to bring this up with my mom in order to get her support. Abby, she reacted as if there was something really wrong with me or that I was lying!

Not surprisingly, I don’t want that man around my future children. I have no real relationship with him. I know this memory isn’t something I just imagined or made up “to embarrass the family.” What should I do in reference to Mom’s response?

– Moving on From
the Past

Dear Moving on,

In reference to your mother’s response when you told her her father molested you when you were little, conclude that the same thing likely happened to her. You should also conclude that, if that’s the case, she knew what he was capable of and did nothing to protect you. For that reason, your grandfather should not be allowed to be around your children – or any children, for that matter.

Because of the seriousness of what happened to you, it would be a good idea for you to contact R.A.I.N.N., the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. Its website is rainn.org and the toll-free phone number is 800-656-4673.

Dear Abby,

My elderly mother lost her husband and will be moving in with me. The problem is, Mom is one of those people for whom nothing is ever good enough. One of my siblings has already informed me that Mom told her my house, my neighborhood, my town, our hospitals, etc. are not good enough for her. I’m worried that after she moves in and I hear her complain every day, I’ll lose my temper. Do you have any words of wisdom for me?

– Dreading It
in the South

Dear Dreading,

I sure do. Ask your mother now, before she relocates, if what your sibling said is true. And if it is, do not let her move into your home.

Dear Abby,

Is it rude for someone not to cash a check you have written to them within a certain time period? I think it is, but maybe I’m wrong. Because I keep track of my banking online and not in a traditional checkbook, I end up having to try to remember to adjust my available balance to include the check’s amount. What do you think?

– Check’s in the Mail

Dear C.I.T.M.,

I agree that it’s rude. When a canceled check does not show up – sometimes for months – it makes reconciling the giver’s checkbook a pain in the neck and sometimes lower.

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 DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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