Abby: Woman, kids not thankful leaving home for holiday
Dear Abby: My fiance, “Allen,” and I have dated for almost three years and have lived together for three months. When we met, he had been divorced for more than two years. Allen has a 13-year-old son and a 19-year-old daughter. His kids learned about me after we dated a year. His daughter, “Jen,” attends college out of state. When she visits home, she stays only with her mom.
Last summer, Allen and I decided to buy a house together, found the perfect one, and went to make an offer when Jen said if we lived together before August, after she returned to school, she wouldn’t have anything to do with him. He told me I couldn’t live with him until August.
I was devastated, but I didn’t have a choice. Now we have a house together, Jen said she wants to spend time on Thanksgiving here at the house without me or my kids. She cried to her dad, saying if he doesn’t do this he’s excluding her and choosing my kids and me over her. This will be my first holiday with my fiance, and I was really looking forward to it. We were having friends and family over. But now he wants me to leave for a few hours in the morning.
I’m torn. I feel like her behavior is extremely rude and he shouldn’t give in to her, but she said she’ll only see him under these conditions. Do I leave my house for a few hours on Thanksgiving?
Disrespected Out West
Dear Disrespected: It’s time for you and Allen to have a serious discussion. Jen’s demand is unreasonable. Have you set a wedding date yet? Does he plan to allow his daughter to control both of you once you are married?
You and your children should not have to vacate your home for her to visit with her father. If she prefers to avoid the reality of your existence, it’s her choice. Her father could visit with her elsewhere the day before or after Thanksgiving.
Dear Abby: I’m 17, and a friend of mine who lives out of state, “Jane,” told me she has dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder). I don’t know how I should behave around her now because large parts of our history correlate to her various identities. Some have come onto me; others seemed to hate me.
Do you know where I can find help for dealing with a person afflicted by this? She doesn’t want to tell her psychiatrist, and so far, only I and another friend know about this.
Worried How To Behave
Dear Worried: If your friend’s psychiatrist doesn’t know that she has dissociative identity disorder, I would hesitate to accept her self-diagnosis and so should you. The kindest thing you can do for her would be to urge her to fully disclose any symptoms she’s been experiencing to her doctor, because if what you have written is accurate, she has not been doing that. Other than that, treat her as you always have, but do not allow her to abuse you.
Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.