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Friend Takes Offense at Never Being Asked About Her Past

DEAR ABBY: Six months ago, I got back in touch with a childhood friend who married at 17 and moved away. She has lots of family drama, much of it caused by her alcoholism (which she says is a result of PTSD).

Recently, she told me I have hurt her and I'm a terrible friend because since we've reconnected, I have never once asked her about her past and the ordeals she's been through. Abby, she talks about herself constantly. I never thought it was necessary to ask her about the past because she never shuts up about it. I have tried to be a good listener, but I don't think she has made the best life choices, and I don't want to confront her with my opinions on how she has messed up her life.

I don't question people about their past, truthfully. I feel if they want to discuss it, they'll bring it up themselves. Was I wrong for not asking her to dredge it up? Now she won't even talk to me. -- FRIENDLESS IN FLORIDA

DEAR FRIENDLESS: Be grateful the woman no longer speaks to you. You have done nothing wrong. The person you describe needs to feel wronged and be the focus of your conversations, which to me seems self-centered. Consider yourself fortunate that this troubled individual has moved on, and concentrate on relationships that are healthy -- and mutual.

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