DEAR ABBY: I am so mad! My husband doesn't understand my feelings and told me to write and ask for your opinion.
We threw a swimming party for our son's fifth birthday. We invited a few of his closest friends from kindergarten, along with their parents, and his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
I went inside to change my clothes and ran smack into a burglar. He tied me up with cords from the window blinds; then he used one of my husband's ties to gag me and left me squirming on the floor. I was bound so tightly I couldn't work my way out of the room.
I figured someone would come looking for me. I am an extrovert, and I was sure my absence would not go unnoticed. I wriggled around for what seemed like an eternity before anyone came looking for me. In reality, it was 45 minutes of misery before my husband walked in, trailed by our children.
My family and our guests had not noticed I was missing for all of that time! Abby, I was crushed. They have tried to explain it away, but I am mortified. I can't seem to get over this. My family thinks I am making too much of it, but I find myself breaking down in tears all the time. What do you think I should do to get over this and get my life back on track? -- ALL TIED UP IN PALM SPRINGS
DEAR TIED UP: You have my sympathy, and there is a name for what you are experiencing: It is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It often occurs in people who have survived a disaster, such as an earthquake, flood, car accident or being a victim of a crime. The feelings of anger you are aiming at your family and friends should appropriately be aimed at the burglar who invaded your home, hog-tied you and violated your sense of security.
Before any more time elapses, I urge you to ask your doctor to refer you to a psychotherapist who specializes in PTSD. Please don't wait to make the call, because it's the quickest way to resolve your anger and feel better.