DEAR ABBY: I have never written you before, but I have a big problem.
My best friend of 26 years got drunk at my 50th birthday party. I begged and pleaded with her, asked her for her keys, and offered to have her spend the night at my house -- or let me drive her home. The only alternative was to get physical and forcibly take her keys. That wasn't an option.
My friend is 61 years old and a great-grandmother. She got a DUI that night. She blames the DUI on me! I offered to loan her $2,000 for the lawyer because we have been friends for such a long time. One day I was her best friend and received a beautiful birthday card and gifts. The next day I was the world's biggest heel.
My friend reads your column. Please comment on this. I decided not to talk to her anymore because I feel betrayed. This isn't the first time she has gotten drunk and driven her car. It's just the first time she got caught. I am very hurt. -- BEST-FRIENDLESS
DEAR BEST-FRIENDLESS: There is a term for your former best friend's behavior. It's called "displaced anger." What it means is that your friend is unable to direct her anger at what happened where it belongs -- at herself for her foolish judgment and refusal to admit she has a problem with alcohol. Therefore she is aiming it at you. For the sake of a 26-year friendship, I hope she recognizes the unfairness of her actions. Right now it's easier for her to blame you than to blame herself. You have my sympathy.