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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman Wants to Believe Sex Offender's Claim of Innocence

DEAR ABBY: You frequently say children are not responsible for their parents' divorce.

My grandmother said my parents married because my mother was pregnant with my sister. They divorced because I was born. What do we say to our parents, knowing they divorced because Mom didn't want us? (I have met her only twice, and she's not around to defend herself.) I am 25 and have had self-esteem problems my entire life. -- STILL FEELING SAD, MESA, ARIZ.

DEAR STILL FEELING SAD: I'm sorry you have had so little contact with your mother. Had it been otherwise, you might have discovered that your parents' divorce had nothing to do with you as a person and everything to do with her and your father's level of maturity at the time and the quality of their marriage.

I strongly suspect that other factors in your mother's life made her unable, rather than unwilling, to nurture. If it's possible for you to contact her, you should do so. And if not, discuss this with a therapist who will help you put any questions about your self-worth to rest once and for all.