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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I am glad you agreed with Grandma! Her 11-year-old grandson and 8-year-old granddaughter should not be sleeping with their father -- or each other.

When I was 10 years old, my 12-year-old brother and I were forced to sleep together in one bed at a cousin's house. In the middle of the night I found my brother on top of me! He molested me until I was 17 years old, and to this day I have not told a soul -- including my husband, and we have been married for nearly 20 years.

I am so ashamed of it, that even now if I think of it for a few minutes, it makes me physically ill!

Please, parents, friends, relatives -- don't let this happen to children. I came from a very respectable family, and I am sure that nobody would believe that this happened to me. But it did! -- KEEPING MY SECRET

DEAR KEEPING: Please, don't keep your secret any longer. Contact your local rape crisis center and inquire about counseling and support groups for people who have kept this kind of secret for years. You have nothing to be ashamed of -- you were a victim. Victims should bear no guilt.

In counseling, you will learn that in order to heal, you must confront your brother after all these years and tell him how much pain he has caused you. With counseling this can be accomplished. Trust me. Please get counseling, then write again and let me know how you are. I care.

DEAR ABBY: I've read your column for years and have never seen a problem quite like the one I have. It all started when my son bought one of those video cameras. Since he bought it, he's been driving everyone crazy sticking that camera in their faces.

He wants me and my ex-wife (his mother) to act like we're a lovey-dovey couple before his camera, so my granddaughter (his daughter) can watch it someday and see her grandma and grandpa when they were "happy" together.

Abby, we were divorced 14 years ago because of her infidelity, and the thought of pretending to be civil with that woman is more than I can stomach. Of course, she's all for it, so now I'm the bad guy. Normally, we can't stand the sight of each other, and I think the idea of pretending is ridiculous.

Both of our current spouses have said they wouldn't mind. Any suggestions? -- RETIRED IN SAN DIEGO

DEAR RETIRED: Unless both you and your "ex" are Academy Award-winning performers, you'd be foolish to act like you're a "lovey-dovey" couple before a camera. I agree with you -- the idea of "pretending" is indeed ridiculous. It is also dishonest to attempt to rewrite history.

CONFIDENTIAL TO IN LOVE IN HOUSTON: Send your married man back to his wife and children, and tell him to stay there. You can't build happiness on the misery of others. And by the way, nobody "falls in love" with a person who is married; they either kick the fence down or climb over it.

To get Abby's booklet "How to Write Letters for All Occasions," send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)

4900 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64112; (816) 932-6600