My mom is a recovering alcoholic. Her alcoholism has caused emotional distress and damaged our relationship to the point that I am aloof and terse toward her.
She's six months sober now, receiving help and making an effort to repair the hurt and pain she has caused. But I'm struggling in moving forward.
My mom is generous, kind, loving, and has always been supportive. I feel guilty for the ambivalent part of me that couldn't care less about fixing the issues she caused in our relationship. It saddens both of us that I have a hard time being kind and loving toward her. Any advice?
- Stubborn Teen in South Carolina
DEAR TEEN: Alcoholism is a disease that affects not only the drinker, but also those close to her (or him). That your mother is receiving help and working to remain sober means she is trying as hard as she can to get better and remain that way.
Forgiveness isn't automatic. It is a conscious choice on the part of the injured party. To think you are alone in this situation would be a mistake. There's a support group for younger family members of alcoholics called Alateen. If you attend some of the meetings, it may help you to be kinder and more loving toward your mother. Alateen groups are everywhere. To find one, visit al-anon.org.
Values sleep over work
DEAR ABBY: Recently, I was late to work because I slept in and my boss was upset about it. But the thing is - it's really none of his business, is it? What I do on my own time isn't the business of my employer. I don't ask him what he does when he isn't here.
This has happened a few times and I know it might present a problem, but I don't think it's his place to tell me what to do outside of work. How is that legal?
I need the extra sleep in the mornings because I like to stay out late at night, which is my right as an American. If I need extra sleep in order to perform my job at a higher level, then isn't it better for the company that I sleep in? I'm hearing blame when I should be hearing, "Thank you."
- My Business in Indiana
DEAR MY BUSINESS: Forgive me if this seems harsh, but your boss' business is his business. Businesses have regular hours of operation, which are usually stated in the employee handbook you should have read when you were hired. It's the duty of an employee to show up on time and ready to work.
I'm not surprised your boss is upset. It's a natural response when an employee who's relied upon acts irresponsibly, which is what you have been doing. Because you prioritize your social life above your work life, consider looking for a job that starts later or has flexible hours. You may need it.
DEAR ABBY: What is the purpose of high school graduation announcements? To whom should they be sent, and what are the expectations surrounding them?
My son is graduating, so we are preparing announcements, but I'm not sure who to send them to, and I don't want anyone to think we are asking for a gift. We have received several announcements from my son's friends who live out of state. Should I send them gifts?
- Wants to Get It Right