DEAR ABBY: I am the military wife who signed my letter "Going Crazy in San Diego." I would like to apologize to you and all of your concerned readers for the worry I caused with my letter. Since I wrote you, I have been seeing a doctor and taking antidepressants, which have made a big difference. I will look into speaking to our military ombudsman as well.
I would like you and your readers to know I have never laid a hand on my child in anger, nor would I. Please understand that those were the thoughts of a scared, unsure and extremely exhausted new mother.
It's not easy to raise a new baby, but it's much harder when you're alone for months, far away from family and friends, and don't know if you'll ever see your husband alive again.
I have spoken to other new mothers in my situation and was relieved to discover I was not alone with my fears. My grandmother and an aunt are flying out to see me in a few weeks to give me a helping hand, and I'll be taking the baby to see them early next year.
My baby is doing amazingly well and sleeping through the night, which has been a big step in our happiness together. To ease her colic, I have discovered she enjoys being read to. So that's what we do together.
I have also found it's really nice to have a tiny person to cuddle, and that reading Dr. Seuss for long stretches of time is enjoyable when your audience is so enthralled by it.
Abby, I hope you and your readers can forgive the harsh words of a young mother who, in her time of need, turned to you for advice. We all make mistakes, and no child was harmed during mine. I apologize for upsetting so many people. -- NO LONGER GOING CRAZY IN SAN DIEGO
DEAR NO LONGER GOING CRAZY: There is no need to apologize and nothing to be forgiven for. It is never an imposition to reach out for help to me -- ever. No one is angry with you. The thousands of people who responded to your letter were deeply concerned –- as was I -– with your plight and wanted to offer support.
I am relieved that you took my advice, are now under a doctor's care, feeling better about yourself and your daughter, and better able to function in your role as a mommy. It is letters like yours that make my column so soul-satisfying. And I know my readers will be as pleased as I am that you took the time to write and let us know you are back in control and receiving the support you need from your doctor and your family. -- LOVE, ABBY
DEAR ABBY: I am a 13-year-old girl whose aunt has a special nickname for her. My aunt constantly calls me "Chubster"! She thinks it's funny and cute, but Abby, she doesn't know I'm self-conscious about my weight.
I know she doesn't mean to hurt my feelings, and it is supposed to be a loving nickname, but I can't help wondering why she didn't give that nickname to my older sister, who is a thin ballerina.
I don't want to insult my aunt, but this has to stop! Please help. -- ANOTHER ABBY IN FLORIDA
DEAR OTHER ABBY: Calling you "Chubster" may have been cute when you were a baby, but it is not appropriate now. It would not be insulting to tell your aunt frankly that the nickname she has given you is hurtful, and ask her to either select another one or call you by your given name. If she continues to call you "Chubster" after that, avoid her. Maybe then she'll get the message.
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