DEAR ABBY: My eldest daughter, "Judy," who was previously loving, kind and considerate, has for the last year distanced herself from me. I have left messages on her answering machine because she won't answer the phone. I have sent her cards and letters, only to receive no response. We live a short distance of each other, but I haven't seen her in a year.
I am bewildered by this abrupt change in our mother-daughter relationship. I have pleaded for an explanation; there's never any response.
Judy is a well-educated individual, with several degrees and on her way to a master's degree. I know, too, that there has been considerable stress in her life -- but that shouldn't cause her to cut her own mother out of her life. I have had many sleepless nights over this.
I am at my wit's end. I feel she possibly needs help in some way. Judy seems to be angry at the whole world -- me, her siblings, her grandmother, and oftimes her friends are her "enemies." Help! -- SLEEPLESS IN UTAH
DEAR SLEEPLESS: If your daughter had distanced herself only from you, I would guess that she was punishing you -- nursing a grievance she wasn't ready to air. However, because she has suddenly cut herself off from everyone, declaring that they are her enemies, there is indeed cause for concern. She could be suffering from depression or paranoia.
Please don't wait. Go to your daughter so you can see for yourself what is going on with her. She may need medical or psychological intervention.
DEAR ABBY: I have a question that affects just about every household in America sooner or later. What do you do to dispose of unwanted family photographs?
I have albums filled with pictures of parents, siblings, aunts and uncles. I can understand saving a few -- but when you are at the "end of the line," so to speak, and there is no one to pass them along to, what's an appropriate method for disposal? -- DOWNSIZING IN SOUTH JERSEY
DEAR DOWNSIZING: I'm glad you asked. Offer them to your county or state historical society. Those pictures of your relatives could provide interesting snapshots of the time in which they were taken. Your local library might also want them.
DEAR ABBY: My sister and I want a dog, but our mother won't let us have one. When we asked her why not, she said, "Because dogs poop, pee, get things dirty and bark."
We told her, "We will train it, feed it, clean up after it. We'll even pay for it." We really would, but she still says, "NO!"
What should we do to convince our mom to let us get a dog? -- SON AND DAUGHTER IN ALBUQUERQUE
DEAR SON AND DAUGHTER: I can't claim this advice as my own. It was penned by Jeff and Bil Keane, the noted cartoonists. They said, "The best way to get a hamster is to first ask for a pony." That logic might also apply to a puppy.
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