DEAR ABBY: I grew up invisible in a household with three siblings, one of whom got by far the most attention. To this day, my older brother's picture is displayed in our parents' family room -- only his.
Two of my siblings were manic-depressive. There was never much calm, but that was no one's fault. My biggest complaint is that Dad ran out on us, taking work in another town. Although he had the option to stay, he left Mom and me to cope with the remaining brother who suffered from that horrible disease. It was hell.
I am still angry at my father, even though he is old and frail and doesn't have much time left. My wife says I need to sit down with him, explain why I am angry, clear the air, and also ask him to hang pictures of all of his children. I say, some wounds are better left scabbed, if not healed. I feel that the absence of photographs speaks of an attitude that cannot be changed. What do you think? -- FORGOTTEN SON, BOZEMAN, MT.
DEAR FORGOTTEN SON: I think I agree with your wife. Although you may not be able to change your father's attitude (or priorities), it might be beneficial for you to give him a chance to explain why he left -- one adult to another. And as to why only one sibling's picture is displayed, it could have less to do with the amount of affection as much as the level of preoccupation. Please talk to your father before it's too late. It could lighten your load.