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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom Says Wife Is to Blame for Son's Filthy Apartment

DEAR ABBY: I spent tonight in a parking lot, knowing I had no options. My husband of 25 years is an alcoholic and abusive. I have two teenage children at home. I'm in bad health and haven't worked in decades. I'm trapped.

I have the typical arguments with my daughter. My son is a gem who stays home because he doesn't want to leave us with his father. It's a sad situation.

While catching up on reading Dear Abby tonight, I saw a number for an abuse hotline where they will help me with a plan to leave. I have no money, no chance of getting a job. But that number gave me a glimmer of hope. It seems too good to be true, but I'll make that call. Thank you, Abby. -- BEATEN DOWN IN TEXAS

DEAR BEATEN DOWN: I'm glad you are making that call to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Part of the reason you feel so hopeless and "beaten down" is that for so many years your abuser chipped away at your self-esteem.

For any other reader who may have missed that column and needs the toll-free phone number, it is 800-799-7233.