Dear Abby: Man’s history of sexual abuse hidden for years
Dear Abby: During my teenage years, I was repeatedly raped by my brother. The emotional and physical damage has left my life broken. He is now in a long-term relationship. Should I tell his girlfriend about the abuse? When I confronted him about it years ago, he denied it. If you were his girlfriend, wouldn’t YOU want to know?
— Holding a Secret
Dear Holding: Yes, I would want to know. I’ll bet your parents would have also wanted to know. As would your teachers or school counselors, so your brother could have been reported as a sexual predator and stopped. By all means tell the girlfriend, particularly if she has a daughter.
P.S. Because what your brother did has left lasting scars, please seek counseling with a licensed therapist with expertise in treating victims of sexual abuse. Contact RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) for more guidance. You will find it on the internet at rainn.org.
Dear Abby: I have just been diagnosed with cancer. I doubt that I will live another 10 years. My wife is arguing with me because I want to draw down my 401(k) over the next 10 years so I can enjoy the savings I have accrued during my long career. We are talking about a LOT of money, Abby — expensive cars, expensive second homes, extravagant vacations.
How can I convince her that I deserve this after having worked for 40 years, and that we should enjoy these savings for the period of time left for me on Earth?
— Wants to Enjoy Life Now
Dear Wants: I’m sure your diagnosis has been frightening for both you and your wife. She may be worried that if you plow through all the money, there will be nothing left for her after you are gone. Although you are dubious about it, there is also the possibility that you may live 10 more years and beyond. That’s why this is an important subject you and your wife should discuss with a financial adviser.
Dear Abby: I work in an office where people occasionally bring in treats to share with co-workers. Usually, we place the goodies in a common area and let others know there’s food available and they’re welcome to it.
The problem I’m having is that one particular co-worker brings in treats and shares them only with her favorite office buddies. She’s not discreet about it either. She struts around the office and makes a big scene delivering her homemade treats to her friends, right in front of the people she has chosen not to include. Should she be confronted and told she’s being rude and inconsiderate, or should her behavior just be ignored?
— Missing Out
Dear Missing Out: What your co-worker is doing is rude. This is a lesson in politeness and consideration for others that children in grammar school usually learn. (Perhaps she was playing hooky that day.) That said, if there’s no rule in your office against it, I do not advise confronting her. Turnabout is fair play, and perhaps you should discuss a “delicious” solution with the rest of the unfavored few.
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