Distressed Daughters Dear Annie: My father has always been especially unkind to my sister, "Portia." She always has had behavioral problems, not to mention she is a bit paranoid and has a ferocious temper. Portia also drinks too much and continues to contact her abusive …Read more. Scratching Out a Friendship with Red Pen Dear Annie: After living and working for 35 years in a large city, my husband and I were able to return to our hometown to help care for our elderly parents. I reconnected with a high school friend who asked me to work part-time in her large, …Read more. Happy Fourth of July! Dear Readers: Happy Fourth of July! Here's one of our favorite pieces, originally written in 1955 as a public relations advertisement for the Norfolk and Western Railway company magazine (now the Norfolk Southern Corporation) and updated in 1976. …Read more. Too Young for Marriage? Dear Annie: I recently broke up with my boyfriend of two years. I had been having doubts for a few months and one night he took me out for a surprise picnic. On the way to the picnic, I thought he was going to propose and the only thought I had was: …Read more.more articles
Annie's Mailbox®, February 28
Dear Annie: I have been married for two years. The problem is my daughter. "Melanie" was diagnosed as bipolar when she was 12. She has wild mood swings, and we've had to call the police on her more than 20 times. She has been convicted of domestic violence twice and has been hospitalized to try to deal with her disease.
Melanie will be turning 18 soon, and my husband has given me an ultimatum — kick her out or we will be divorcing. I would do this if Mel had someplace to go, but she doesn't, and I can't throw my child out in the street. My husband has no children and doesn't understand why it is so hard for me.
Mel's tantrums are geared mostly toward me. She barely speaks to my husband. I can ignore her outbursts because they will pass, but my husband cannot. Mel sees a psychiatrist on a regular basis, and we have changed her medication a thousand times. I know we will eventually find a combination that works.
We have been to family and marriage counseling, but my husband refuses to budge. I don't want to have to choose between my child and my marriage. Both the counselor and I have tried to explain what it means to be bipolar, but my husband doesn't believe it's a true illness. He thinks she can just change her behavior if she wants to. What can I do? — At My Wits' End
Dear Wits' End: It's a shame your husband doesn't have a better understanding of this debilitating illness, but we know your situation has been exhausting to deal with, and he undoubtedly wants the problem to go away.
Melanie is going to be an adult and must eventually learn to be independent. Talk to her psychiatrist about the possibility of helping her find her own apartment. If you don't think she can handle a roommate, consider subsidizing her housing arrangements.
Dear Annie: Is it necessary for a man to remove his hat at the dinner table if it's a baseball cap? — Pat
Dear Pat: Yes. The only exceptions are illness and religious reasons. In nicer establishments and at home, there is no other excuse to keep a hat on. But we are not holding our breath waiting for a man in a fast-food place to remove a baseball cap, charming as that would be.
Dear Annie: I read with interest the letter from "Just Wondering in Southern California," whose sister-in-law is obsessed with bleach. I was grateful that you included the poison help number (1-800-222-1222) in your response. However, I want to clarify a small but increasingly important point: The National Capital Poison Center is actually only one of 60 poison centers across the U.S. that can be reached through that number.
If the woman who wrote called that number, she would have been connected to one of the centers within the California Poison Control System. As state budgets get tighter and tighter, identifying the poison center as a "national" system can actually undermine each center's importance at a time when many are arguing for their very existence. Thanks. — Jessica Wehrman, Communications Manager, American Association of Poison Control Centers, Alexandria, Va.
Dear Jessica Wehrman: Thanks for making sure our readers understand that the national toll-free number connects to various state poison control centers that serve their local communities. We need each and every one of them.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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