Thursday, April 2, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

What should I do about my abusive half-brother?

By
From page C4 | February 10, 2013 |

Dear Annie: I am 39 years old. For the past 20 years, I have had ongoing therapy to recover from the sexual abuse I suffered as a child. My abuser was my half-brother. When I finally said something at the age of 13, my family did not believe or support me. Since then, family gatherings have been especially difficult because my family expects me to attend when my abuser is present. I can’t even tell you how difficult it is to be around him. The flashbacks are unbearable. Five years ago, with the support of my counselor, I decided I didn’t need to subject myself to that kind of torture and stopped going to these family functions.

The problem now is that no one mentions the abuse, especially to his wife and two daughters. His wife, who is clueless, sends me Christmas and birthday presents, which makes me extremely uncomfortable, especially when I see his name on the card. Is it OK for me to ask her to stop? I don’t want to insert myself into their lives or cause problems, but I can’t deal with this. — Still Healing

Dear Healing: Is there a risk that your half-brother would abuse his daughters? If so, it is imperative that you inform his wife so she can protect her children. It is OK to ask your sister-in-law to stop sending gifts and cards, or you can send a letter to your half-brother, asking him to please cease all communication. If you cannot bring yourself to write to him directly, please ask a friend to do it for you.

Dear Annie: I am retired and am trying to unburden myself of possessions. I recently contacted a niece to ask whether she would like some cashmere sweaters. They are clean and in good condition. She said yes, so I mailed them to her. I also included a few blouses with the price tags still attached and a wool coat. I didn’t hear back.

Several weeks later, I emailed her to ask whether she had received the package. After a month with no reply, I sent another email asking whether she liked the clothes. Still no reply. I finally wrote her mother, explaining the situation and asking that she find out from her daughter whether she liked the clothes. Mom didn’t reply, either.

I get along well with my niece and her mother. I will be talking with my brother soon and would like to ask him what to do. The last time I sent his girls something and didn’t hear back was 10 years ago. When I mentioned it to my brother, he interpreted it as a judgment that he wasn’t raising them right.

The niece is now 29, and you’d think she would know better. What do you recommend? Should I ask my brother, albeit carefully? Without a doubt, I will not be offering this niece anything again. — Disappearing Connections

Dear Disappearing: Your niece is amazingly inconsiderate. There is no excuse for not communicating about the package you sent.

This is for you: Please stop asking whether she liked the items. We understand that you want to know, but while your niece should thank you for your thoughtfulness, she is not obligated to reveal her preferences. Repeated questioning will get you nowhere. Let it go, and consider it an unpleasant lesson learned.

Dear Annie: Your answer to “Distressed in Duanesburg,” the overwhelmed high school senior, was kind and helpful. I would like to add that a little breathing meditation goes a long way, too. Just 10 minutes a day will reduce her stress.

I used to feel overwhelmed, but then started to meditate. “Distressed” may think she cannot possibly add another thing to her schedule, but meditation actually brings space to our packed days. It isn’t emptying the brain of thoughts, as many believe. Breathing meditation is about learning to focus on just your breath and requires practice, like any skill. — Peaceful and Focused in New York

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Special police unit undergoes mutual aid training in Vacaville

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    College faculty shows solidarity as contract talks continue

    By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Pursuit of happiness may need makeover

    By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

     
     
    Pickleball decision stalls in Vacaville

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Energy saver workshop to take place in Suisun

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

     
    Authorities cite speed in rollover crash

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

    Il Fiorello schedules April cooking classes

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Lynch Canyon site of 7th annual Kite Festival

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Chabad of Solano County to host Passover Seders

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

     
    Fairfield police log: March 31, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

    Fairfield police log: March 30, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    Suisun City police log: March 31, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

    Suisun City police Log: March 30, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    .

    US / World

    Snowpack dismal as governor orders cuts

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Wrongful death trial slated in teen suicide case

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Trespassing woman believed to have jumped fence

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Man’s death linked to too much iced tea

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Arkansas governor backs away from bill called ‘anti-gay’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Districts seeking waiver from NCLB mandates

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    National park admission fees set for an increase

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Iraq hails victory over Islamic State extremists in Tikrit

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Double overtime: Faltering Iran nuclear talks extended again

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Alps crash: Bodies recovered, but families must wait months

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    .

    Opinion

     
    Aquino wants to make Philippines into Detroit

    By William Pesek | From Page: A7

    What’s driving you to distraction?

    By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7

     
    Maybe need more for airplane security

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

    Thank you for your help

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

     
    Clinton: Our 1st woman president

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

    Editorial Cartoon: April 2, 2015

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: April 2, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: April 2, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Horoscopes: April 2, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

     
    2nd-place wife needs to decide if she’s better off without husband

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

    .

    Entertainment

    Cynthia Lennon, first wife of John Lennon, dies of cancer

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Dish’s Internet TV, Sling, gets HBO service for $15 a month

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    Mark Wahlberg to produce Boston Marathon bombing movie

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    .

    Sports

    Chavez allows 3 hits in 6 innings as A’s beat Angels 4-1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Harden’s career-high 51 lead Rockets over Kings 115-111

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Miami, Stanford meet in NIT final matchup of banged-up teams

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Bumgarner outpitches Kluber as Giants beat Indians 5-2

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    AP Source: Kings to sign 1st NBA player of Indian descent

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Mullin: Trying to turn around St John’s an ‘obligation’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    California development for sports stadiums moves forward

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    St. Louis County pulls taxpayers from NFL stadium financing

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Letters from old Yankee Stadium fail to sell at NYC auction

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Serena Williams earns 700th win to reach Miami Open semis

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    US Senators want FIFA to move 2018 World Cup out of Russia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    NIT, MSG agree to 3-year contract extension through 2018

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reid ready for Houston Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    IndyCar’s new aero kits leave debris trail in season opener

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Will Indiana law force 2016 women’s Final Four to relocate?

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    William Dean

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

     
    Acencion “Ghenido” Zepeda

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

    Manuel D. Ramos Sr.

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Charles Bell

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9