DEAR ABBY: My mom has not been herself ever since her boyfriend beat her. For example, we were baking a cake. I accidentally bumped into her and she got really mad. We used to just laugh about things like that.
As a matter of fact, she doesn't laugh at all anymore.
I miss the mom who would play games with me or blast up the music when we were in the car together. She used to dance with me, or make me soup and crackers even when I wasn't sick. Sometimes Mom would make hot chocolate with marshmallows, and we'd sit on the porch and talk about everything. All my friends thought she was the coolest, and they wished their moms were like her.
Now she's caught up with her boyfriend and college and never has time for me. We don't talk and she doesn't dance with me anymore. I miss her so much. What can I do? -- FEELS LIKE AN ORPHAN
DEAR FEELS: It's time to talk to your mother. No one has a right to raise a hand in anger against another person, and that includes her abusive boyfriend. She needs to know about the help that's available from the Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-7233.
I sincerely hope your mother sees the light, and that you get your loving, fun-filled parent back soon. From your description, it appears the joy has gone out of her life, too.