Dear Abby: I was bullied from second grade all through school. In junior high the abuse was both emotional and physical, and it happened on a daily basis. My parents’ response was that maybe I was the problem.
What would have been my 10-year high school reunion was two weeks ago. Needless to say, I didn’t go. Since the reunion, I have received more than 30 messages via Facebook from former classmates. Everyone apparently wanted to apologize to me.
– Lost For Words
Dear Lost For Words: You do not have to say anything to any of these people, and you do not have to be “nice.” Silence sends a strong message. Understand that by apologizing they are trying to make themselves feel better. It’s also possible that maturity has caused them to realize what they did was wrong. However, you are not obligated to accept their apologies if doing so will make you feel worse.
Struggling with daughter
Dear Abby: I am a single mother struggling with my 12-year-old daughter. For the last three months she has been withdrawn, uncommunicative, rude, mean and treats me with contempt. We have been in counseling and are going back again.
– Single Mom in Canada
Dear Single Mom: Any abrupt change in behavior should be regarded as a red flag. Your daughter should be evaluated by her pediatrician to be sure there isn’t an underlying cause. Could she have been molested, be using drugs, pills, alcohol, etc.? Do her friends act this way? Does she HAVE friends? Changes like this don’t usually happen overnight.