DEAR ABBY: My husband passed away two years ago. I hope you can give me some advice on how to deal with my 53-year-old daughter who never left home. We generally get along well. She does freelance art, but doesn't earn much. She contributes only $30 a month. Also, she has a driving phobia, so she doesn't drive. She expects me to drive her to various places.
She only has cyber friends. She wants to travel, but doesn't want to go alone and keeps pushing me to go with her, although I don't really want to. I have suggested group tours, but she hesitates to go alone. I feel pressured to keep peace and go along with her desires. How should I handle this? -- PULLING BACK IN NEVADA
DEAR PULLING BACK: You have protected and enabled your daughter far too long. Tell her that her dependence on you has become too much. She must overcome her driving phobia (or at least take advantage of public transportation) and her fear of travel without you. Unless you have provided for her financially in the event of your death, how do you think she will survive living as a virtual shut-in with no employment and life skills? There are psychotherapists who specialize in ridding people of phobias. While she's there, your daughter should also get help to gain a degree of independence, even if it's about 30 years late.