Dear Abby

Dear Abby: Teen gets a distant feeling from closest family members

 

Dear Abby: I’m 14 and for as long as I can remember, my family has never really been “together.” We exist with each other physically, but have never connected in a loving way. I can’t remember my father ever smiling at my mom or being happy. There seems to be an undercurrent of hostility or resentment in our relationships with each other. The lack of love in our house is palpable.

I wonder sometimes what it’s like to eat dinner together at night, and what it’s like to see parents kiss because they love each other — not a stressed, distant, obligated contact.

I finally asked my mother, “Why don’t you ever hug me?” Her answer was, “Because I can’t remember the last time you tried to hug ME.”

I’m crying as I write this. Why doesn’t my mother understand that kindness is necessary and should not be conditional?

Troubled Girl in Florida

Your mother may have been raised in a loveless home and not know how to easily demonstrate affection. Or her marriage to your father could be so unhappy that she has shut down.

You are a perceptive girl, and it is understandable that you are “troubled.” But the only person who can answer the question you have asked me is your mother, who appears to need to receive kindness and affection before she will be able to give it. Make an effort to hug her more and the situation may improve. How very sad.

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

  • Jodie Foster weds artist Alexandra Hedison

    LOS ANGELES (AP) – Jodie Foster is a married woman.

  •  
Khuly

    Pets

    Pets column: Dog feels pain; she just shows it in a different way

    Q: Our 6-month-old Lab puppy, Bella, was spayed last week. Afterwards, she acted like nothing was wrong. I expected her to be a little sluggish, but she was super-active! I had a similar surgery last year and couldn’t walk for a week. Do pets feel pain the way we do?

  •  
Mama Sass

    Mama Sass

    Mama Sass: Teaching my daughter to drive

    When I first got my learner’s permit, my mother took me to our high school parking lot and let me putter around in her pea-green Ford Pinto wagon. On one empty stretch, a giant object that looked like a brown paper bag sat in the middle of the road.

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