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Dear Abby: Adopted teen resentful of birth mother

Dear Abby: I am almost 13 and I’m struggling with a lot of different things. I was adopted when I was a baby, so I never lived with my birth mother. I am having angry feelings toward her, and those are also being directed at friends and family members. I’ll think I have forgiven my birth mother for what she did, and then, all of a sudden, I realize I never really did. I don’t want to grow up being bitter, so do you have any advice?

– Needs Help in Indiana

Dear Needs Help: Yes. It is important for you to understand that birth mothers love their babies very much. When a woman places her child for adoption, there can be legitimate reasons for it. She may have been too young to raise a child, without the means for proper support or addicted to drugs or alcohol. Your mother may have wanted you to have a better life than she had and felt that another family could give it to you. When you’re older, you can do a search for her and find out the reason for yourself. But in the meantime, stop blaming her – and you, your friends and family will be happier.

Help for friend with dementia

Dear Abby: My longtime friend, now 91, is healthy but suffers from dementia. Her frequent fearful thoughts are centered on (imaginary) intruders who lurk somewhere upstairs or in the garage and are robbing her.

I try to tell her that this is only in her mind and that they are not real, but to no avail. What else can I say or do? Her son comes three times a week to clean her house and cook good meals for her, but he doesn’t live there.

– Concerned Friend Out West

Dear Concerned Friend: Talk with her son and find out whether he knows what she has been telling you. If he has removed anything from his mother’s house, he should remind her. If he hasn’t – and nothing is missing – then his mother’s doctor should be made aware that she is anxious and fearful and may be having hallucinations; there may be a medication that can calm her.