DEAR ABBY: My sister "Thea" has distanced herself from the family. I understand why she did. Our parents were mentally, physically and emotionally abusive while we were growing up, with one who instigated the issues and the other taking it out on us kids.
I feel stuck in the middle of chaos. My parents have started to work on their behaviors and make amends for past conduct. It comes a bit too late for apologies, even for me, but I decided to give them a second chance since they seem sincere. Thea told them she wants nothing to do with them.
Recently, she contacted me asking me to suggest that my parents help out a family member who was in dire straits. I told Thea I would suggest it, but I couldn't guarantee what their response would be. Their response was that if she wanted something from them, she needed to ask them herself and not through an intermediary.
I'm at a loss as to how to tell both sides that I'm tired of being the middleman, as this has become an emotional thing between all parties involved. I'm also not sure how to open the discussion for them to air their differences whether they reconcile or not. Help! -- STUCK IN THE MIDDLE
DEAR STUCK: Thea has cut herself off from your parents for good reason. You are no more "in the middle" than you want to be. Tell your sister that if a family member is in trouble, that person should approach your parents and ask for help, not do it through you or another intermediary.