DEAR ABBY: I am a 13-year-old girl, and I know I am not wanted. One night I heard my mom talking to her new boyfriend about wishing she had no kids so she could do things without having to sneak around. I don't know what to do.
Is it my fault that she doesn't want me? Please help me, Abby. You help so many other people -- please start with me. -- UNWANTED IN OTTUMWA, IOWA
DEAR UNWANTED: None of this is your fault, and if your mother knew what you overheard, she would probably want her tongue amputated. I am sure she loves you very much. However, adults sometimes speak in "shorthand" -- and what she MAY have been trying to communicate to her boyfriend was that, overwhelmed with parental responsibilities, she was longing for the relative freedom of her youth.
Clip this column. Show it to your mother and let her explain the specific details to you -- after she apologizes, that is.