DEAR ABBY: When I was in grammar school 50 years ago, I was molested by two boys. I recently learned that they are now both dead.
I wrote to the sister of one of them and told her what her brother had done to me and how I felt about it. I'm glad that he is dead, and I told her so.
She responded, calling my letter sad and bitter for bringing up the matter after so much time has transpired. In the '60s the norm was not to tell anyone for fear of being spanked or beaten or called a liar and living in kid hell. I am a female, and the standard was so different in those days. Please print my letter. -- CONFUSED IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR CONFUSED: If this was something the sister was unaware of, you shouldn't be surprised that she responded as she did to your bombshell.
I agree that we have become more open about discussing sex and sexual assaults than we were in the '60s. And I hope that somewhere along the way you received counseling to help you deal with the molestation, because talking with a qualified mental health professional about it can be therapeutic. However, if you haven't, please contact RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. Its toll-free number is 800-656-4673. You can find assistance there, and nothing will shock them.