DEAR ABBY: I am a 15-year-old sophomore in high school. Last year I got into trouble for ditching school and had to go to summer school to make up for my lousy attendance. I thought I would feel differently about things this year, but I don't. It's hard to get out of bed in the morning. I never feel like doing anything.
My parents are having trouble, too. Rumors about my dad having an affair were swirling around town, and at a party, some friends told my mom they were true. They struggled to keep their marriage going, but they couldn't. My dad left.
Abby, my entire family seems to be in deep water with no sign of shore. Is there help for us? -- IN DEEP WATER IN ILLINOIS
DEAR IN DEEP WATER: Divorce is painful, but it is not the end of the world. Tiredness and an inability to concentrate are signs of depression. Please show this letter to your mother. Both of you could benefit from medical and psychological help during this difficult period. If your mother is too distracted to help you, confide in a trusted teacher at school. There IS a light at the end of this tunnel for both you and your mother. You'll get out of the darkness faster with professional help, and please tell her I said so.
DEAR ABBY: My son, "Frank," is happily married. His wife, "Irene," seems to idolize her extended family. Every occasion we celebrate at their home includes Irene's parents, her "Uncle Craig" and "Aunt Lucy" and her cousins.
The problem is, while I was shopping at a mall recently, I encountered Uncle Craig with his arm around a revealingly dressed young woman. His hand was under the back waistband of her jeans. He acknowledged me with a red-faced nod and kept walking.
I haven't disclosed what I saw to anyone other than my husband, but ever since that encounter, we've avoided the celebrations at Frank and Irene's because we know Craig and Lucy will be there. We're running out of excuses, but I don't think Frank and Irene would believe me if I told them the truth.
I have three grandchildren under the age of 9, and I really miss seeing them. What should I do? -- SAW TOO MUCH IN NEWARK
DEAR S.T.M.: Don't allow the fact that you caught Uncle Craig with his hand in the cookie jar (or whatever) to separate you from your grandchildren. Go to the family get-togethers and enjoy yourselves. Be civil to Uncle Craig, but keep your distance. Time wounds all heels, and I'm sure this one will be no exception.
DEAR ABBY: I have been seeing a girl for nearly a year. We are getting serious. She comes over to my house all the time and has met my parents. We all get along really well. The problem is, she will not allow me to meet her parents. I feel as if I am a big secret. What should I do? -- TEEN IN LOVE IN TOLEDO
DEAR TEEN IN LOVE: Be direct. Ask her why you haven't been introduced. You may discover you are not the secret, and she is worried that if you meet her parents, you won't like her anymore. Or she may be dating without her parents' permission. In other words, the problem may not be YOU.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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