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RAPE CONTINUES TO HAUNT TEEN

Dear Abby: I am a sophomore in high school. When I was 13, I had a party while my parents were not at home. I got drunk, and my boyfriend, "Jimmy Joe," raped me. I tried to kill myself afterward, but was unsuccessful. I told my best friend that Jimmy Joe and I had broken up because we never got to see each other.

Two years later, I had a mental meltdown and told her why I really broke up with Jimmy Joe. She said I should tell my father, since he and I are really close.

Daddy has always trusted me, and I'm afraid if I tell him, he'll lose trust in me because of the party I had when he and Mom weren't home. Because it has been so long since it happened, and I am over it now, is it even worth telling him about it?

-- Undecided in Kentucky
Dear Undecided: Giving the party was wrong, but the rape was not your fault. Tell your father what happened. He may be disappointed that you broke the rules, but he will also be concerned for your welfare. You may discover that by revealing what happened, you become closer to both your parents. It is never too late to get help, and if this episode were truly over, you would not be having "meltdowns." There are crisis centers for rape victims, and it would benefit you to visit one and tell your story. That's how healing begins.

Killing her with kindness

Dear Abby: I need help! I have this friend who insists on buying me gifts that I don't want, like or need. She buys me T-shirts that don't fit me, among other items. She's driving me crazy. She says she does it because I'm her best friend. (She's not my best friend.)

I have told her several times to please stop spending her money on me. She won't listen. Most of the gifts she gives me end up going to charity.

Why does she do this? How can I get her to stop spending and wasting her money? I don't -- and won't -- buy her anything.

-- Going Crazy in Portland
Dear Going Crazy: She does it because she wants to be your best friend and she knows she's not. She thinks that if she keeps on giving, it will persuade you to like her more. You can get her to stop by refusing to accept the gifts. Tell her you like her, but that being on the receiving end all the time makes you feel uncomfortable. A lot of people make that mistake. They give and give and give some more, and when they don't get what they want in return, they feel cheated.

To My Muslim Readers: Happy Eid al-Fitr!

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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