Digital Access

Digital Access
Access saukvalley.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, Daily including the e-Edition or e-Edition only.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more. Text alerts are a free service from SaukValley.com, but text rates may apply.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.
Column

Dear Abby: Teen struggling to rebuild connection to alcoholic mom

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,

My mom is a recovering alcoholic. Her alcoholism has caused emotional distress and damaged our relationship to the point that I am aloof and terse toward her.

She’s 6 months sober now, receiving help and making an effort to repair the hurt and pain she has caused. But I’m struggling in moving forward.

My mom is generous, kind, loving, and has always been supportive. I feel guilty for the ambivalent part of me that could care less about fixing the issues she caused in our relationship. It saddens both of us that I have a hard time being kind and loving toward her. Any advice?

– Stubborn Teen
in South Carolina

Dear Teen,

Alcoholism is a disease that affects not only the drinker, but also those close to her (or him). That your mother is receiving help and working to remain sober means she is trying as hard as she can to get better and remain that way.

Forgiveness isn’t automatic. It is a conscious choice on the part of the injured party. To think you are alone in this situation would be a mistake. There’s a support group for younger family members of alcoholics called Alateen. If you attend some of the meetings, it may help you to be kinder and more loving toward your mother. Alateen groups are everywhere. To find one visit al-anon.org.

Dear Abby,

Recently, I was late to work because I slept in and my boss was upset about it. But the thing is – it’s really none of his business, is it? What I do on my own time isn’t the business of my employer. I don’t ask him what he does when he isn’t here.

This has happened a few times and I know it might present a problem, but I don’t think it’s his place to tell me what to do outside of work. How is that legal?

I need the extra sleep in the mornings because I like to stay out late at night, which is my right as an American. If I need extra sleep in order to perform my job at a higher level, then isn’t it better for the company that I sleep in? I’m hearing blame when I should be hearing thank you.

– My Business in Indiana

Dear My Business,

Forgive me if this seems harsh, but your boss’s business is his business. Businesses have regular hours of operation, which are usually stated in the employee handbook you should have read when you were being hired. It’s the duty of an employee to show up on time and in condition to perform his/her job.

I’m not surprised your boss is upset. It’s a natural response when an employee who’s relied upon acts irresponsibly, which is what you have been doing. Because you prioritize your social life above your work life, consider looking for a job that starts later or has flexible hours. You may need it.

Dear Abby,

What is the purpose of high school graduation announcements? To whom should they be sent, and what are the expectations surrounding them?

My son is graduating, so we are preparing announcements, but I’m not sure who to send them to, and I don’t want anyone to think we are asking for a gift. We have received several announcements from my son’s friends who live out of state. Should I send them gifts?

– Wants to Get it Right

Dear Wants,

Graduation announcements are usually sent to close family and friends. Recipients are under no obligation to send a gift. Your congratulations should be enough.

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.

Loading more