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by Abigail Van Buren

Girl Who Cuts Herself Can Get the Help She Needs to Heal

DEAR ABBY: Last Saturday night, my boyfriend, "Jimmy," and I went out, like always. When he brought me home, I invited him in for a glass of wine. Dad had gone to bed, and Mom was still up and watching TV in the den.

When I was in the kitchen pouring the wine, I overheard Mom tell Jimmy how "handsome and sexy" he looked. I was startled, so I peeked into the den and found my mother and boyfriend in a liplock.

I saw Jimmy run his hand down Mom's body and under her nightie. I was shocked! When I returned with the drinks, I didn't let on what I had seen, and they acted like nothing had happened.

Jimmy often likes to drop by the house and say hello to Mom, but I never thought it was anything more. What should I do? Should I confront Mom and my boyfriend? My biggest concern is Dad. Should I tell him -- or should I keep quiet? -- DESPERATE FOR ADVICE IN ALBANY

DEAR DESPERATE: I see no reason for you to carry this burden in silence. Tell your mother what you witnessed and how it made you feel. Then, tell Jimmy that the relationship is over.

You have been betrayed twice, and you have every reason to feel hurt and angry. Counseling can help you deal with your feelings. It would be helpful if you and your mother attend some sessions together. Your father should be told, but don't do it until you have had some sessions with your counselor.