Dear Abby

Dear Abby: Son in jail struggles to cope with dad’s cancer diagnosis

 

Dear Abby: I am in a county jail for parole violation. I am an addict, and accept full responsibility for being here. I read your column every day and find hope within it.

On a recent visit with my parents I learned my mother, who suffers from a variety of health problems, can no longer work. My father, who must work to cover the cost of her medical care, has been diagnosed with liver cancer.

This is very difficult for me. My father is my absolute best friend. I have to be strong for my mother. I want to scream and cry and sometimes lash out, but my inner adult (I’m 26) tells me that would be immature.

I don’t feel like I have come to terms with my father’s illness. Although I know what is eventually to come, I have yet to feel any emotion, good or bad. I’m not sure if I’m blocking it or if I’m being the strong-willed adult I was raised to be by my father and best friend. Am I repressing my emotions? And if so, is there anything I can do to start dealing with this?

Just another inmate in Pennsylvania

All people do not react to bad news in the same way — crying, screaming or lashing out. Some go numb for a period of time, until they are ready to process their emotions. Part of your problem may be that because you’re incarcerated, you feel helpless.

Not knowing whether psychological counseling is available for prisoners in your jail — or how effective it is if it’s offered at all — I’m recommending you discuss this with a chaplain. It would be a safe way to air some of the emotions you are struggling with. You have my sympathy.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Read more Lifestyle stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
A few months ago, the Desert Inn had a for-lease sign in front and looked abandoned. The restaurant has reopened under new management, and there are ambitious plans for the rest of the property.

    Yeehaw Junction

    Desert Inn to get a Wild West revival?

    Some men look at an old restaurant and ask: “Why?”

  • Southern Cross Stargazer for Aug. 31-Sept. 6

    At dusk Mercury is visible rising above the western horizon. About 8:30 p.m. a celestial triangle forms in Libra in the southwest. The moon floats beside westbound silver Saturn, above eastbound ruddy Mars. Huge Scorpius crawls toward the southwest. Antares, a red supergiant, is the heart beating in Scorpius. The stellar Teaspoon shimmers above the left handle of the Teapot.

  •  
Tallahassee is a rooted place with a sense of history, more genteel and dignified than any of the state’s other urban centers, and infinitely more Southern.

    Quick trips: Florida

    Visit Tallahassee for fine and funky food (and football)

    Boiled p-nuts. Sometimes “boiled” is spelled wrong, too. There are stands that dot the back roads of the rural Florida Panhandle, fronted by hand-lettered signs that tout the glories of the green peanut. The outskirts of Tallahassee are P-nut Central, the stands’ proprietors hunkered over burners at the back of rattletrap trucks in the hot sun. So you stop.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category