DEAR ABBY: When I was 17, I was engaged to a serviceman. I broke the engagement because my mother disapproved. I was young, naive, had no job or money, and I had never disobeyed my mom.
Big mistake! I have paid for it for more than 50 years. I have raised a family, but my heart is still with my young military man. I wake up in the middle of the night thinking of him. I've dreamt about him all these years. I still cry and feel I can hardly breathe sometimes. I still love him. Thoughts of him are consuming my life. I wonder if anyone else has had these feelings this long.
I don't want to risk disturbing two families by contacting him in another state to apologize. Please advise me about what to do. -- SEEKING CLOSURE IN THE SOUTH
DEAR SEEKING CLOSURE: There is no magic wand I can wave to make those feelings go away. I can, however, point out that your memories of that young man are from the perspective of a 17-year-old girl with little life experience. Viewed from that perspective, the life (and person) you have idealized may be far from reality.
Because these thoughts have become obsessive, it would benefit you to talk them through with a licensed mental health professional. Please don't put it off any longer, because it's clear from what you have written that you are hurting and need professional help.