DEAR ABBY: I'm 15, and my parents have fought constantly for years. Dad is an alcoholic. I guess you could say I have kind of given up on him. I'm involved in many sports, but rarely does he show up to support me, unlike my mom who is there at every game.
Dad has now left us. He still calls Mom just about every day, and he stops by the house to "check up" on things about three times a week.
Mom forced me to send him a "Happy Birthday" text. She wants me to start talking to him again and to build a relationship with him, but I think he has missed out on too much of my life already. (He even missed my first prom!) I don't feel I need him in my life, or that he deserves me in his. What should I do? -- LET DOWN BY DAD IN KANSAS
DEAR LET DOWN: Because you are close to your mother, you need to have her explain to you why she feels it is important for you to include your father in your life. If he is trying to quit drinking, she may have good reasons for wanting you to.
While I understand and sympathize with the fact that your father has disappointed you and that you are angry about it, carrying that kind of anger can be more destructive to you than it is to him. That's why it could be helpful to you to check out a support group called Alateen. It was started especially to help young people whose lives have been affected by the compulsive drinking of a family member or a friend. It offers a booklet titled "Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2011," which can be read on the Al-Anon website at � HYPERLINK "http://www.Al-AnonFamilyGroups.org" ��www.Al-AnonFamilyGroups.org�. If you would like to order a postage-paid free copy, direct your request to � HYPERLINK "mailto:wso@Al-AnonFamilyGroups.org" ��wso@Al-AnonFamilyGroups.org�, or mail a request to Al-Anon Family Groups, 1600 Corporate Landing Parkway, Virginia Beach, VA 23454-5617.