Dear Abby: When I was in grammar school 50 years ago, I was molested by two boys. I recently learned that they are now both dead.
I wrote to the sister of one of them and told her what her brother had done to me. I’m glad that he is dead, and I told her so.
She responded, calling my letter sad and bitter for bringing up the matter after so much time has transpired. In the ’60s the norm was not to tell anyone for fear of being spanked or beaten or called a liar. I am a female, and the standard was so different in those days. Please print my letter.
– Confused In California
Dear Confused: If this was something the sister was unaware of, you shouldn’t be surprised that she responded as she did to your bombshell.
I agree that we have become more open about discussing sex and sexual assaults than we were in the ’60s. And I hope that somewhere along the way you received counseling. If you haven’t, please contact RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. Its toll-free number is 800-656-4673.
Dear Abby: I have been dating the most wonderful man, “Art,” for almost four years. He’s strong, caring and he treats me like a princess. I’m sure that Art is “the one,” and I would marry him in a heartbeat. My only worry is that we’ll end up like my parents someday.
Dad always seemed like he was trying too hard to make Mom happy, while she either was indifferent to his affections or dismissed his efforts. I have mentioned my fears to Art and he has told me not to worry. How can I keep the past from repeating?
– Unlike My Parents
Dear Unlike: Your mother may have been attempting to control your father by withholding affection and approval as he tried to please her. But you don’t have to follow in her footsteps. Children don’t always grow up to emulate their parents. If you and Art are able to discuss your differences and reach a consensus when problems arise, you should be fine.