Dear Abby: I have spent a portion of my life incarcerated, starting when I was a teenager. I’m now 22 and doing time for selling drugs. I have never been able to find a decent job, although I have my GED. Selling drugs seemed to be the only way to make enough to support myself. I’m tired of my crazy lifestyle and want to settle down. How can I go about finding a decent job?
Serving Time in Pennsylvania
I admire that you have decided to change your life. A place to start would be to talk to the prison chaplain. Some religious groups have programs to help inmates transition back into society.
The Pennsylvania Prison Society ( prisonsociety.org) provides a four-day job readiness workshop that teaches the skills necessary to find and keep a job. Pre-registration is recommended at 215-564-6005, ext. 117. . If they don’t serve the community into which you will be released, they will know an organization that does.
Dear Abby: I had my first boyfriend when I was 16. The relationship lasted 13 years and we had a child. Now that it’s over I don’t know what to do. It has been nine months and it seems like my heartache is getting worse. It hurts even more because he started dating immediately after the breakup. I cry every day. I can barely watch or see couples without getting depressed and breaking down. I need to see some type of light. Do you have any advice?
Deprived of My Mouth
Nine months is a long time to cry daily. You are grieving for your lost relationship, and because this was your first and only one, you never learned how to handle a broken romance. A counselor can help you get through this and build the social skills you need to move forward. Please don’t put it off — for your own sake and that of your child.