DEAR ABBY: I was a single mom for most of my teenagers' lives. We have never been financially stable, and lately things have hit an all-time low.
I am prone to bouts of depression. I remarried last year, and my husband unfortunately does not understand or tolerate the depressions. He feels I should just "get over" things. He also doesn't believe in anti-depressants. It got so bad I attempted suicide last weekend.
My husband said my doing that was abusive to him. Had the pills I took not made me throw up, I would have happily waited to die.
There are six people on my medical aid, and the available funds are more than half used up. For me to see a psychiatrist will take a huge chunk out of it. I am caught between a rock and a hard place. If I do it, my family will miss out on medical care should the need arise later in the year. Is it selfish to try to hang onto what is left of my sanity? -- ON THE EDGE IN JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
DEAR ON THE EDGE: That your husband chooses not to recognize that depression is an illness -- one that's treatable -- is a reflection of his ignorance. That he would tell you your attempted suicide was abusive to him suggests that he is more concerned with himself than he is with you.
You have teenage children who need their mother. Trying to hang onto what's left of your sanity and get the medications you need isn't selfish -- it's sound thinking. If not for your sake, please seek help now for theirs.Read more in: Money | Family & Parenting | Mental Health | Marriage & Divorce
DEAR ABBY: I'm pregnant with my first child and live 800 miles from my parents, who are retired. We have a good relationship now, but growing up I had major emotional issues my parents didn't handle well. Years of therapy in my early adulthood helped to fix them.
My parents have just told me they have been approved to be foster parents and will be caring for an emotionally disturbed teenager soon. While I know I should be happy for them, I'm extremely upset. I feel they were ill-equipped to handle my emotional issues growing up, and they should be more concerned with their grandchildren in retirement than taking in strangers.
When I heard the news, I tried my best to sound supportive, but they could tell I was upset. How can I handle these feelings? Would it be beneficial to tell them how I feel? -- MOMMY-TO-BE IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR MOMMY-TO-BE: A way to handle your feelings would be to view the situation from the perspective of an adult, not a jealous child. That your parents will foster this teenager doesn't mean they will love their grandchildren any less.
On some level they may be trying to make up for the mistakes they made in your upbringing. Because they were ill-equipped to recognize your emotional problems does not mean they won't be wiser now. I suggest you wait to discuss this with them until you're feeling less resentful.Read more in: Family & Parenting
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 12-year-old girl trying to live a simple life. I read your column every day. I have one small question. I really wanna know why girls don't like each other that much. Many girls at my school are really mean. I wish I knew the answer to why girls are like that. Do you know why? -- CONFUSED
DEAR CONFUSED: Girls your age are mean to other girls for a variety of reasons. Some o£ them may be acting out because they are having problems at home. They may do it because they are jealous or to make themselves feel more important (a power trip).
Girls like this have never been taught to respect the feelings of others. They behave this way because they haven't matured enough to have developed empathy, an ability to be sensitive to the feelings of those they are hurting.Read more in: Abuse | Friends & Neighbors
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)