Dear Abby

Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: When I was 11, my parents and I moved near my grandparents. One day, my grandfather offered to take me for a ride around the countryside, and we jumped in his pickup truck.

When we started our ride, he had me move over as close as I could to him. Then he popped open a beer and handed it to me to drink. I had never tasted beer before. As we traveled down the road, he slipped his hand under my shirt and proceeded to feel my breasts. This happened three or four times on different days. He then tried to move his hand down into my pants. I resisted. I never went for a ride with him again.

I have been through therapy to deal with this, but I have been unable to move on. My mom and her sisters think he was a wonderful father. She and two of her sisters have always had problems with men. I have always suspected that he abused them also. Should I confront them about this or just let it go? -- PAST BUT PRESENT IN FLORIDA

DEAR PAST: I do not think it would be appropriate to "confront" your mother and your aunts about what might have happened to them. I do, however, think you have every right to tell them what your grandfather did to you during those "joyrides."

When you talk to them, do not be surprised if they try to minimize what happened, but you may find it therapeutic to speak openly.

DEAR ABBY: I have some friends -- a married couple -- who are very dear to me but who drain me emotionally. The husband has been disabled for well over a decade. Although they have a home care nurse, the wife is his primary caregiver.

I have offered my help only to be refused. They won't let anyone help, yet the wife is always complaining that she has no help. The husband is very angry and nasty to her, and her behavior has become passive-aggressive toward him.

The only conversations we have anymore are about how horribly they are treated by the other one. It has reached the point where I dread talking to them. What should I do? -- EXHAUSTED IN THE SOUTH

DEAR EXHAUSTED: It's time to tell these unhappy people what you told me. They may not like hearing what you have to say, so be prepared.

Suggest the wife join a caregiver support group. The other members will relate to what has been happening and may be able to offer her some suggestions. The husband is angry because his life hasn't turned out the way he had planned, but that doesn't mean he has a right to abuse her.

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