DEAR ABBY: My daughter is 17. When she was 1, she had leukemia. The treatments have left her with chronic pain as well as some disabilities that she deals with.
She's now a senior in high school, but looks like she's 7 or 8. She yearns for what every teen girl wants - a boyfriend. The problem is, no one wants to date her. It's not because of her personality but because of her size and her young looks.
My heart breaks seeing how depressed she is. I have told her she will meet that special person when she is supposed to, and she used to think that as well, but she doesn't anymore. What can I do to help my daughter through this?
DEAR HEARTBROKEN: Patience and the passage of time may bring a solution to the problem. In the meantime, if there is a name for her condition, go online and do some research to find out if there is a support group for survivors who also have it. If there is, your daughter may find what she needs there. Surely, others have had her experience, and perhaps they can help. One thing I know for sure - you can't find a date until you find a FRIEND.
Second chance at love
DEAR ABBY: Because I was sexually abused as a child, I have difficulty trusting men. My oldest sons have different fathers. While they were toddlers, I met the father of my youngest two sons. In the beginning, I wasn't in love with him, although over the years, I have grown to love him.
While I am now in love with him, because of the emotional, mental and physical abuse I put him through, he doesn't feel the same. He's a great father to all of my boys. My question is, how can I express that I'm in love with him and want a relationship with him now?
- A Second chance
DEAR SECOND CHANCE: If you haven't already, offer the poor man a sincere apology for the way you have treated him. Then, if he is unaware of it, explain your history and offer to get counseling if he will give you the second chance you are asking for. It's worth a try. That he would continue to be a "great father" to all of your sons tells me what a prize you may have lost.