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by Abigail Van Buren

Sister's Fantasy of Father Is a Far Cry From Reality

DEAR ABBY: I have a half-sister with whom I share a mother. Her father and my mother were married for almost 10 years. This man, I believe, had some mental issues. He would quiz me about my sexual relations with my boyfriend at the time, wanting details. He would often fly off the handle and argue with my mother for no reason. There are too many other examples to list. Quite frankly, he was a horrible husband and father.

This man died two years ago. My half-sister has since immortalized her father into someone he was not. She even tattooed his initials on her wrist.

Abby, how is a person supposed to deal with a relative who is living in fantasyland about a parent? His widow has sent her emails telling her the kind of man he really was, but she continues to act as if he was the world's best father even though he wasn't. -- KNOWS THE TRUTH

DEAR KNOWS THE TRUTH: Either your former stepfather was the greatest father in the world to her, or your half-sister needs the fantasy she's clinging to for her emotional well-being. Let her have her fantasy if it comforts her. If she raises the subject of good old dad with you, just tell her you'd prefer not to discuss it. If you do that, you'll both be happier.

Read more in: Death | Family & Parenting | Abuse | Mental Health