DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend (I'll call him Harry) and I broke up recently, so now I'm a single mother of a 3-year-old daughter. Harry gives me no money for our little girl and refuses to help me pay off the bills we accumulated together on my credit cards.
He immediately moved in with the girl he cheated on me with during our relationship. He was unfaithful from the beginning, abusive at times, and was never able to hold a job.
So, why do I feel like I still need him? Harry gave me herpes. That's why. Deep down I feel like no one else will ever want me.
I just don't know what to do anymore. Although Harry moved out months ago, and even though I hate him for what he did to me, I'm still making excuses for him. Please help me. I'm ... LOST IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR LOST: Harry is not the answer to your problems; he's the reason you're in this fix. It's time to rebuild your self-esteem and stop making excuses for a man who wasn't much of a man in the first place.
Since Harry is a deadbeat and the credit cards were yours, face the fact that you'll get no help from him. Focus on your daughter and paying your bills.
As for no one else ever wanting you, that's not necessarily so. An estimated one in five people age 12 and older in this country (approximately 40 million to 50 million) have genital herpes, so you are far from alone.
For a packet of information on herpes, write the Herpes Resource Center, American Social Health Association, Dept. PR85, P.O. 13827, Research Triangle Park, N.C. 27709, enclosing $1 to cover postage and handling. ASHA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to stopping sexually transmitted diseases.
Please write again in six months and let me know how you are. I care.