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by Abigail Van Buren

Drug-User Hopes His Cries of Pain Reach Teens' Ears

DEAR ABBY: I am a 25-year-old white male who, until recently, thought I had everything going for me. I had a wonderful girlfriend, a good-paying job, a nice apartment and a nice car. Then I began to use intravenous drugs and before I knew it, a year had blurred by. Today I have lost everything, everything!

I began to burglarize homes for money to buy drugs. I have lost all that was dear to me and am currently serving time in prison for burglary. While incarcerated, I lost my father to cancer, and the hardest thing I've ever had to do was walk down that church aisle to pay my last respects to my father -- escorted by two guards and in shackles and handcuffs! Dad was always there for me, but I couldn't be there for him in his last days.

Also, I found out that I have AIDS from using someone else's needles, and I don't know how much time I have left.

I want to run to every teen-ager, grab them and scream at them, "NEVER, NEVER TOUCH DRUGS!"

If I survive my incarceration (2 to 4 years), I want to tour schools and try to teach some of these kids before it's too late by telling them what I have learned. I can also tell them what they will miss as I'm finding out now: I can't have a normal, healthy relationship with someone I care for, for fear of infecting her. I will never know the joy of fatherhood because the AIDS virus could be transmitted to my child. There is so much in life I will miss -- and all because of drugs. -- TOO LATE FOR ME

DEAR TOO LATE: If you never get to "tour schools," you will have performed a valuable service by writing this letter. As you can see, I have printed your letter in full. God bless you, young man.

DEAR ABBY: Please tell me if I am right or wrong. My daughter-in-law's brother, "Bob," was married last week, and I was invited to the wedding. It was a big social event, and one of the most beautiful weddings ever held in our cathedral.

My daughter, "Lisa," was not invited, and now she's mad at me because I went. She thinks I should not have gone because she wasn't invited. Abby, there is no reason why Lisa should have been invited -- she's not related to Bob, and I am related only through marriage. Also, she's never even met the bride. Do you think she's justified in being angry and insulted over this? Now she hates me because I attended the wedding.

Lisa is in her 50s and I am in my 80s. -- HURT IN BROOKLYN

DEAR HURT: Lisa's behavior is childish and unreasonable. Do not permit your daughter to lay a guilt trip on you. If she "hates" you for attending a wedding to which she was not invited -- it's her problem, not yours.

Hot off the press -- Abby's new booklet, "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)

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