DEAR ABBY: I am a 17-year-old girl who lives with my mother and my mother's boyfriend. This man has changed my world, and not for the better. The one person I ever cared about has practically turned against me.
My mom tried killing herself for this man and chose him over me after she was released from the institution. She threatened my boyfriend with the police if he ever spoke to me again after we broke up. She has turned into this person I hardly know, and it's because of her boyfriend's influence.
I feel so alone. I honestly do want to kill myself. I have tried talking to her. She won't listen to me. What should I do?
- Hopeless and Alone in Florida
DEAR HOPELESS AND ALONE: Because you honestly do want to harm yourself, contact a doctor who can help you. The level of conflict in your home is not healthy. If you are still in school, discuss this with a trusted teacher or school counselor. In one more year you will be 18 and able to make decisions for yourself, but they shouldn't be based on your mother or her boyfriend. They need to be about what is truly best for you.
DEAR ABBY: I hate funerals. I need to keep my grief and my faith private in order to heal. I prefer to remember the good times with the loved one, not the passing. My way of honoring that person is to keep my happy memories untainted.
Am I wrong? Selfish or lazy? Weird or crazy? Please let me know because at my age I'm sure more of these events will happen.
- Keeping My Distance in Washington
DEAR KEEPING YOUR DISTANCE: You are none of the above. People grieve in different ways. An appropriate way to express your respect for the deceased and your support for the survivors would be to write a condolence letter expressing those feelings and sharing a happy memory with the grieving widow, widower or child. No rule of etiquette demands that you show up to a funeral - unless it happens to be your own.