Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Daughter Dreads Holiday Visit to Mom in Diminished Health

DEAR ABBY: I gave birth to a baby girl two months ago. I have a wonderful husband and my in-laws are incredible. We live far away from both sides of the family.

My mom is a former cocaine and prescription pain meds addict. Her addiction diminished her mental capacities, and it's difficult to relate to her because the only things she can talk about are her health issues and all the medications she's currently taking.

Mom recently came to visit us. I hadn't seen her in two years, and when she did, I realized we have nothing in common. She and my dad are still happily married, and Dad has yet to meet my child. I'm supposed to visit them for the holidays, but I'd rather spend the time with my in-laws. Any suggestions? -- NOTHING IN COMMON IN HAWAII

DEAR NOTHING IN COMMON: Yes. Sometimes it's important to do things we would rather not because they are the right thing to do. Your father is trying to make the best of a difficult situation, and your mother is working to overcome a serious illness -- which addiction is.

Make the scheduled visit you committed to, and give your dad the chance to meet his grandchild. If, after that, you decide to permanently distance yourself from your parents, it will be your choice, but you may change your mind.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Addiction | Holidays & Celebrations