DEAR ABBY: Six months ago, my best friend's fiance raped me. He is a man I've known for many years, and I didn't see it coming. I became pregnant but had a miscarriage two months later. I recently had to have a hysterectomy from damage incurred from the rape and the miscarriage.
I never went to the police or pressed charges, and very few people are aware of the whole horrific experience. I have been beyond traumatized by what happened.
My best friend knows nothing about it, and I have been unable to face her since that awful night. We text now and then, and she keeps asking why I have suddenly dropped out of her life. I don't know if I can tell her the truth. We were as close as sisters, and I honestly miss her like crazy, but I can't be part of her life if this monster is in it.
Do I tell the truth? Or do I just shut her out of my life? This has taken a physical and emotional toll on me. Please give me some advice. -- MISSING A FRIEND IN CANADA
DEAR MISSING: Gladly. Find the nearest rape and sexual assault treatment center in your province and make an appointment immediately! You need more help than anyone can give you in a letter, and the people there can counsel you not only on what to do, but also what your options are at this point. Your friend should absolutely be informed about what she's getting into if she marries your rapist, but I do not recommend that you tell her until you have strong emotional support beside you.Read more in: Friends & Neighbors | Mental Health
DEAR ABBY: Our married son and two young children live in Kurdistan, Iraq. They are volunteering for a charity that helps Syrian refugees. While we admire their noble efforts, we struggle with the daily sacrifices this brings to our whole family.
We work full time and could save up to visit them, but because we are not comfortable with their choice to live in this dangerous part of the world, we continue to refuse their invitation. What do you advise? Are we being self-centered? -- SO FAR AWAY
DEAR SO FAR AWAY: No, you are being rational and self-protective. Not only do I not think you are self-centered, I'm suggesting you keep them in your prayers and use Skype or video chatting to stay in contact.Read more in: Family & Parenting | Health & Safety
DEAR ABBY: Recently a friend invited me to a sex toy party. The saleswoman hosting the event is a distant acquaintance.
What is the most polite way to ask her if she has informed her family of her profession? Is it OK to attend if she hasn't told her relatives she sells sex products? If I refuse her invitation, would it be polite to enclose an order for some of her products? I prefer to buy from a reputable saleswoman rather than some anonymous website. -- AWKWARD IN ILLINOIS
DEAR AWKWARD: I don't think it would be appropriate to ask your hostess whether she has informed her family about her career, although I suspect she has made them aware of it. And if you prefer to decline the invitation, I'm sure enclosing an order for her products would be fine with her -- and possibly the start of an ongoing business relationship.Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)