DEAR ABBY: I am an 11-year-old with a serious problem. I don't trust my parents. I doubt I ever will. I just can't tell them things. I end up praying to my dead grandpa -- that's OK, but he doesn't give me any answers.
I trust my sister more than I could ever trust Mom or Dad. It feels wrong sometimes. I don't like to be around people. I have no way of knowing whether I can trust them. There is part of my life that only my sister knows about.
I feel bad about not trusting my parents. Is there any solution to this problem? Should I talk to them about it? -- NO TRUST IN PLANO, TEXAS
DEAR NO TRUST: I am concerned for you, and I hope you will take what I say seriously. Your parents brought you into this world and are there to protect you. Confiding in your sister is a good thing, but if you are in trouble -- and I suspect you may be -- she may not be experienced enough to give you the guidance you need.
If you want things to get better, it is very important that you tell your parents or some other adult who is close to you -- a relative or school counselor -- what has caused you to lose trust in people. That in itself will be a giant first step in solving your problem because you need more help than you can get in a letter.
DEAR ABBY: I was recently given a gift that I have reason to believe was made from stolen materials, on company premises, using stolen time. The item is of a religious nature, although the business itself is in the field of manufacturing.
The person who gave me the gift is aware that I value integrity and honesty above all things. I wonder if he is trying to challenge my principles.
At any rate, I'm at a loss as to what to do with the gift. I do not feel comfortable keeping it, but for reasons of family harmony cannot return it. Any suggestions? -- ROLE MODEL IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR ROLE MODEL: In a non-confrontational way, ask the person who gave you the gift how it was made or acquired. Then, if you feel you have accepted stolen property, return it to the giver and explain why. By doing so you will demonstrate that you don't give in to temptation when presented with an ethical challenge, and it may be an important lesson to someone who may need to hear it.
DEAR ABBY: My older brother moved from the East Coast to Wyoming 20 years ago, which put him in a different time zone -- two hours behind me. He died in June of last year.
I am planning to get a tattoo memorializing the date and time of my brother's passing, but have reached a dilemma. My brother died June 12 at 11 p.m. in Wyoming, but it was 1 a.m. June 13 here in Connecticut.
Which date should I use? I have asked friends who say I should go with what feels right to me, but others have told me to use the date on his death certificate. Which is correct? -- DAY LATE AND TWO HOURS SHORT
DEAR DAY LATE: The date on your brother's death certificate. However, tattoos are very personal, and if you choose to use the time and date in Connecticut of his passing, no one should criticize you for it.
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