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Annie's Mailbox (Dear Ann Landers replacements..advice column)
www.creators.com ^ | November 17, 2005 | Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar

Posted on 11/18/2005 8:18:34 AM PST by Sonny M

Dear Annie: I am in my late 20s and have been happily married for over five years. Here is the problem:

My parents divorced when I was little, and my father is an alcoholic. Ever since I can remember, he would call me on the phone, drunk and rambling so much that by the end of the call, I would be in tears. The past couple of years he's gotten worse. He is verbally abusive, calling me names and telling me how stupid I am, but in the same breath, crying that I am the only thing in his life.

I have tried to stand up to him, and it only has made things worse. He tells me that his miserable life is all my fault and that he doesn't have a drinking problem.

Annie, this is killing me and my marriage. I am ready to start a family, and I do not want Dad to have any contact with my future kids until he can get sober. I have tried the help groups and have had counselors talk to the rest of my relatives. I don't know what else to do other than to move away from my family. -- Sober Only Child

Dear Sober: You cannot change your father's behavior, but you can work on changing your reaction to his emotional abuse, and if that means keeping your future children away from family gatherings where Dad is present, then don't be afraid to do it. It sounds as if your family has been enabling Dad long enough.

We don't know which help groups you have tried, but please look into Adult Children of Alcoholics (adultchildren.org) at P.O. Box 3216, Torrance, CA 90510.

Dear Annie: I have three sisters and one brother, and we all live in the same retirement community. We all are in our 70s, and our spouses are living.

This place has many activities. You can do most anything whether or not you are skilled at it. We play golf, even though we are terrible at it, we go to the swimming pool, even though we don't really swim, but we all have a great time, and all activities are free.

However, one sister refuses to participate in any activity, whether or not her husband joins us. "Bessie" always has an excuse -- she's not feeling well, it's too hot, too cold, too windy. We only have a few years left, and we would love to get her to spend more time with us. Do you have any ideas? -- Miss Her in Tampa, Fla.

Dear Miss Her: Has Bessie always been reluctant to do these activities? Might she be embarrassed to be seen as clumsy or foolish? Is it possible she has a physical problem and is trying to hide it? Could she simply enjoy having those moments to herself? One of you can ask her directly, "Bessie, we are concerned about you. Why do you refuse our invitations?" If she won't confide in you, there's not much you can do. Perhaps she simply doesn't enjoy physical activity and would prefer sharing dinner with you. That, too, is a nice way to visit.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Once Bitten, Twice Shy in New York," whose in-laws' dog tried to bite her 2-year-old daughter. The in-laws refused to keep the dog away from the girl.

Dogs that are accustomed to being around adults are unpredictable around young children. Sudden movements and squeals so typical of children having fun can trigger an attack by a normally docile animal. I was working in the ER when a 4-year-old child was brought in with a severe head injury from a dog that had never been aggressive toward anyone before.

Shame on the grandparents for jeopardizing the safety of their grandchild. It's sad that little girl will grow up knowing their dog was more important than she was. -- Nanna in Louisiana

Dear Nanna: We agree that one should never allow a situation where a child is at risk, and these grandparents have their priorities out of order. Thanks for writing.

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2005 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: advice; chitchat; humor
For your opinions and responses.
1 posted on 11/18/2005 8:18:36 AM PST by Sonny M
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To: Sonny M
Ever since I can remember, he would call me on the phone, drunk and rambling so much that by the end of the call, I would be in tears.

Advice: Don't answer the phone.

2 posted on 11/18/2005 8:20:32 AM PST by frogjerk (LIBERALISM - Being miserable for no good reason)
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To: Sonny M

Please ask this to be moved to chat.


3 posted on 11/18/2005 8:21:02 AM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (Rush agrees with me 98.5% of the time!)
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To: Sonny M

Why?


4 posted on 11/18/2005 8:21:39 AM PST by lilylangtree
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To: lilylangtree

Because we are waiting for REAL news - like what Paris Hilton has been up to!


5 posted on 11/18/2005 8:23:18 AM PST by mlc9852
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran
Will do, I would have, but when I posted, I didn't see it as an option (granted I may have missed it).

How would I post it as a chat?

6 posted on 11/18/2005 8:23:18 AM PST by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
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To: lilylangtree
Why?

Pet Peeve.

I've grown annoyed at some of these so called advice columns and the influence they have and I think its time, they, along with the rest of the media, got some critique.

7 posted on 11/18/2005 8:24:57 AM PST by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
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To: Sonny M

Click on General/Chat on right side and post there.


8 posted on 11/18/2005 8:25:08 AM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (Rush agrees with me 98.5% of the time!)
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran

Yeah, I kept reading because I figured the had to be a "punch line" coming.


9 posted on 11/18/2005 8:26:02 AM PST by Emmett McCarthy
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To: Sonny M; dead
If men did this column

Annie, this is killing me and my marriage. I am ready to start a family, and I do not want Dad to have any contact with my future kids until he can get sober. I have tried the help groups and have had counselors talk to the rest of my relatives. I don't know what else to do other than to move away from my family. -- Sober Only Child

Dear Sober Only Child...What? I wasn't listening. Oh now I remember. Your father drinks because you are a horrible excuse for a child. I'd drink to if you were my kid. As a matter of fact, grab me a beer while you're up.

However, one sister refuses to participate in any activity, whether or not her husband joins us. "Bessie" always has an excuse -- she's not feeling well, it's too hot, too cold, too windy. We only have a few years left, and we would love to get her to spend more time with us. Do you have any ideas? -- Miss Her in Tampa, Fla

Dear Miss Her... Take a hint. Your sister hates you and for a good reason. You are a whiner and a controlling shrew. And no, I don't care about your "needs". Now show some concern for MY needs and get me a beer.

10 posted on 11/18/2005 8:26:46 AM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: Sonny M

Whatever forum you're browsing is the forum to which you post. If you want to post to "Chat," click on "General/Chat" under the "Browse by Forum" section to the right of the article headers.

Hope that helps!


11 posted on 11/18/2005 8:27:04 AM PST by scott7278 (Before I give you the benefit of my reply, I'd like to know what we're talking about.)
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To: Sonny M
Ever since I can remember, he would call me on the phone, drunk and rambling so much that by the end of the call, I would be in tears.

"Do not call me again until you're sober." < click>

Some folks labour under the mistaken notion that they must remiain on the phone as long as the party on the other end wants to "talk". That's just not true.

Don't be afraid to just hang up.

12 posted on 11/18/2005 8:27:32 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: AppyPappy
Shame on the grandparents for jeopardizing the safety of their grandchild. It's sad that little girl will grow up knowing their dog was more important than she was. -- Nanna in Louisiana

Dear Nanna...The dog will never get pregnant and soil the family name. The child tasted good. That's worth something. Beer me. Now.

13 posted on 11/18/2005 8:28:48 AM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: frogjerk; Sonny M
Don't answer the phone and change your number. He'll keep treating her like a doormat as long as she allows it.
14 posted on 11/18/2005 8:28:51 AM PST by Millee ("Life is just one damned thing after another" - Elbert Hubbard)
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To: Sonny M
Change your phone number to unlisted

Write the SOB OFF...your loyalty is to your husband first and children second...

I was divorced when my children were very young...by the grace of God I am not a drunk nor would I abuse my kids because of my problems...which are my problems not theirs

Get on with your life and forget the people who want to
take you down...you cant save someone who not only doesn't want to be saved but are really out to take you down with them...

Forget the old bastard and get on with taking care of your family and yourself.

The guy is a spiritual plague carrying pariah...and will hurt you, your husband , and children...and that is the proper way to perceive him and then act accordingly.

If he ever straightens out his act and is contrite and asks you for your forgiveness then perhaps for your own sake (not his) forgive him...but always keep him at arms length...lest he revert.

Protect your marriage and your kids and yourself for they
need you sound and whole not flaky and mentally crippled.

imo
15 posted on 11/18/2005 8:29:03 AM PST by joesnuffy
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To: AppyPappy

The all-purpose answer to any question for the advice columnist: "Shut up and get me a beer!"


16 posted on 11/18/2005 8:31:17 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: scott7278
It does, and thank you.

I didn't know what to put this under but I didn't want this under serious news.

17 posted on 11/18/2005 8:32:12 AM PST by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
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To: All

Do people really read that slop?

Those two should be run out of town for their terrible advice to the people who don't seek real help. It is out there for anyone - even those who cannot afford it - and yet people actually write strangers for their advice?

I find it dangerous - two women playing at what genuine practitioners spend years at studying and who are licensed and follow guidelines mandated by their state and federal government.

These people are no better than the card readers at a circus.


18 posted on 11/18/2005 8:33:11 AM PST by imintrouble
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To: Sonny M
Fox & Friends was talking about a new book about late night TV this morning and showed a clip from Steve Allen (black & white era).

Steve Allen was pretending to be an advice columnist. A woman tells him that her husband has been dead for 25 years, but when she goes into the living room, she still sees him sitting by the fire. What should she do?

Steve Allen's advice: bury him.

19 posted on 11/18/2005 8:35:19 AM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: imintrouble
two women playing at what genuine practitioners spend years at studying and who are licensed

You hold those genuine practitioners in pretty high esteem. Many of them are worse than card readers at a circus.

20 posted on 11/18/2005 8:40:54 AM PST by ladyjane
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To: AppyPappy
am ready to start a family, and I do not want Dad to have any contact with my future kids until he can get sober.

Dear Sober, you want to have kids when you can't even hang up on phone calls from an obnoxious old drunk? Daddy's right. Concentrate and try real hard....

21 posted on 11/18/2005 8:58:14 AM PST by xJones
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To: xJones
am ready to start a family, and I do not want Dad to have any contact with my future kids until he can get sober.

Dear Sober, you want to have kids when you can't even hang up on phone calls from an obnoxious old drunk? Daddy's right, you are stupid. Hopefully, not too stupid to find my beer. Concentrate and try real hard, because I need it REAL bad....

22 posted on 11/18/2005 9:01:55 AM PST by xJones
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To: Sonny M

If you start a ping list, please add me. Now I can laugh at the moonbats without wading through their filthy language.


23 posted on 11/18/2005 9:13:15 AM PST by Krodg
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To: ArrogantBustard
Don't be afraid to just hang up.

If you want to be polite, don't hang up while they are talking. Hang up while you are talking - then don't answer when they call back.

24 posted on 11/18/2005 9:26:03 AM PST by PAR35
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To: Krodg
I honestly don't know how to start a ping list.

I know I've been a member for awhile, but I never quite learned how the ping list works.

25 posted on 11/18/2005 9:33:30 AM PST by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
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To: PAR35

Don't forget to tell him that he is a drunk.


26 posted on 11/18/2005 9:42:51 AM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: Sonny M
I used to have a list of names for PMs...I made a word doc. with each name separated by a semicolon. Each time I wanted to send something, I pulled up the doc. highlighted and then pasted the info in the To: box.
27 posted on 11/18/2005 10:29:11 AM PST by Krodg
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To: Krodg

Thanks, I'm going to use that....and start me first ping list.


28 posted on 11/18/2005 10:31:43 AM PST by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
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To: ladyjane

I happen to believe the majority of people practicing behavioral and mental health counseling after at least eight or more years of study have much more to offer than two women writing for a newspaper column.

I hope they seek help from outside sources, and of course many of those sources would be licensed professionals.

Do you believe in practicing behavioral and mental health counseling without a license to do so?

As with all disciplines professional or trade, there are bad apples. I would no more trust a newspaper column to give advice to anyone I care about.

It is entertainment, and if they give a "lead" to someone in trouble, I would expect that someone to seek professional assistance.


29 posted on 11/18/2005 4:43:47 PM PST by imintrouble
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To: imintrouble

No question - newspaper columns offering help really provide entertainment.

I agree also, counselors with eight or more years experience are probably pretty good.

I gave a flip response. A licensed psychologist or social worker with experience is without doubt probably pretty good. Once in a while however you can get a clunker - like all professions!


30 posted on 11/18/2005 8:56:13 PM PST by ladyjane
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