Dear Abby: I find myself sometimes wanting to commit the most heinous of crimes. The desire to do this has been with me my entire life. I was sexually abused by my mother and oldest brother. While that’s no excuse, I understand why I may be the way I am. At 51, I have never committed any act against a young girl, but the desire is clearly there for me. The issue before me is that if I seek help for this problem, those who can provide it are required by law in this state to report me.

How am I to overcome these urges when no matter what I do I am considered guilty?

Anonymous in America

Dear Anonymous: You should be discussing these feelings with a licensed mental health professional. If fear that you will be arrested is what is holding you back, please be aware that if the urge or feeling is not directed at anyone in particular, a therapist is not required to report what you are confiding. However, if there is a direct threat toward a specific individual, it must be reported, even if it has not yet occurred.

Dear Abby: I have attended many events where the national anthem has been sung by an invited guest and many where it has been pre-recorded. When the national anthem is being sung live, is it disrespectful to the performer to sing along?

Some people who sing along are off-key or sing so loud they drown out the performance for the unfortunate attendees seated near them.

Audrey in Arizona

Dear Audrey: Our national anthem is notoriously difficult to sing, as many professionals have discovered to their embarrassment when they tried to perform it publicly. At large events during which the anthem is played, it is not uncommon for many of the audience members to be so filled with patriotic fervor that they join in. If memory serves me, the volume is usually so loud that no one can hear what’s coming out of their mouths.

To the best of my knowledge, no rule of etiquette forbids anyone from singing along with Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Garth Brooks or Renee Fleming — if they have the nerve to try.

Dear Abby: I have 18-year-old twin sons who are seniors in high school and more mature than most at their age. My husband and I raised them with responsibility and manners, and people comment on how well they behave.

My problem is neither one seems interested in socializing. They don’t date and never have friends over. They tell me people their age are “morons.”

The boys are very close. They still share a room, and want to attend college together and major in the same field. I’m worried that they are TOO close and need to separate from each other and get out more. I worry that they aren’t experiencing the life of typical teenagers. Should I be worried about this or wait and see what college brings them?

Mother Of Twins

Dear Mother: Your boys may be responsible and mannerly, but they appear to be socially immature. The time to have separated them and encouraged them to develop their individual personalities was when they entered their teens.

While it is normal for twins to share a special closeness, the fact that they don’t socialize, don’t date and consider their contemporaries all to be morons IS something to be worried about. If you are going to contribute to their college educations, it might be helpful to insist they go to different schools.

But before you do, consult a licensed counselor for guidance because it may be traumatic for them.

Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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