DEAR ABBY: I love my mother, but our relationship has been awkward since I came out to her when I was 13. After I told her I was gay, she grew more and more distant. She went into full grandma mode for my sister and her sons and, in my eyes, neglected me.
She was seldom home, and when she was, we would argue about everything. It got so bad that I left and moved in with my aunt, who was like a mom to me. My sister told me she thinks Mom is in denial because every time my sister would want to talk about it, Mom would clam up.
Mom and I have NEVER talked about it. I clearly recall the day I came out. When I told Mom, she said she already knew. Then she added, "It's just a phase."
I'm sad that even after 12 years she still hasn't accepted that this is who I am and who I have always been. It upsets me that she doesn't know all of me. Should I have a sit-down talk with her like the adults we are? -- SAME SON AS ALWAYS
DEAR SAME SON: Only you can make the decision to have that important conversation with your mother. Before you do, I'm advising you to contact an organization called PFLAG. PFLAG helps to build bridges of understanding between families and their LGBTQ members. You can find it by going online to pflag.org. If your concern is that your mother's position may force you to end your relationship with her, prepare in advance by making sure you have a loving support system around you.
DEAR ABBY: I am the caregiver for my 88-year-old mom and 89-year-old dad. It has its challenges. It would help if doctors would provide written instructions, diagnoses and directions rather than rely on me to follow through. I take notes, but my parents hear what they want to hear. Without an actual note from the doctor, they tend to dismiss my notes as "that's not what he/she said." I'm sure I am not the only caregiver with this problem.
Recently, Mama's gynecologist advised her to see a urologist. It took me more than a month to convince her that it was what he said, and now we are looking at a urinary tract infection, which is not a good thing for an older woman.
My parents are not at the point where I can simply kidnap them. I realize doctors don't get paid enough for their time by Medicare, but it sure would help us keep our elders healthy. -- NOTE TAKER IN GEORGIA
DEAR NOTE TAKER: May I offer a suggestion that might prove helpful? When you take your parents for doctors' visits, record what you are told on your cellphone (in notes/memos). That way, you can replay the doctors' words verbatim regarding any diagnoses, instructions, etc. to your parents as necessary.
DEAR ABBY: When my daughter and her husband eat in a restaurant, he insists they order the same thing. If he thinks her plate looks better, he switches them. This baffles me. Does this happen to anyone else? What do you think of this? -- BAFFLED IN ILLINOIS
DEAR BAFFLED: I think your son-in-law has no consideration for your daughter's feelings, and that people who are greedy and inconsiderate about food are usually the same about other things. (He could also be controlling and/or have OCD.)
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