KATHY MITCHELL AND MARCY SUGAR | Annie's Mailbox She stopped during attempted suicide
Dear Annie: A year ago, just after my 16th birthday, I attempted suicide. My life at that time was a complete mess. I won't go into the dark and demented details, but I fell apart and began slitting my wrists with a paper clip. When I reached for a kitchen knife to finish the job, I realized what I was doing and stopped. I never told anyone what happened.
I am now a happy, active 17-year-old girl, planning for college. A few days ago, I had a serious talk with my father about teen suicide and came close to telling him my secret, but I didn't think he would understand. My parents are the most wonderful people in the world. Will it make things worse if I tell them that I tried to end my life? Or, do they have a right to know? Help me out, please. Torn in Wisconsin
Dear Torn: You sound like a caring and loving daughter. Please talk to the school counselor about your dilemma. He or she can help you decide the best course of action. While you don't want to worry your parents, your suicide attempt obviously has been weighing heavily on your mind. You ought to be talking to someone about it, and discussing it with a professional will help lift the burden.
Dear Annie: My sister, "Velma," and I have always been close, and we usually talk to each other every day. Although Velma lives quite comfortably, she is extremely tight with her money. I have never let this bother me, because I love her so much.
Velma and I recently took a trip together to visit her daughter. I did all of the driving -- four hours each way. The gas alone cost me $115, not to mention the wear and tear on my car. Velma gave me $20, as if she were a passenger on a ferry. I became angry and told her she was cheap. Now she is not speaking to me.
I have tried to "kiss and make up," but she hangs up as soon as she hears my voice on the telephone. How can someone who was so close shut the door on our relationship? Hurting in Iowa
Dear Hurting: Velma is embarrassed and offended that you called attention to her miserly behavior. Plus, she still ought to pay you for half the cost of the trip and may be reluctant to part with the cash.
It is not worth losing your relationship with Velma for an additional $37.50. Write her a letter or an e-mail, or put a note in her mailbox and tell her that you are sorry about the fight, you love her dearly and hope she will call you soon. Promise not to mention the trip again. Once Velma's feathers are smoothed, let's hope she realizes how much she misses her sister and will get in touch.
Dear Annie: I have been married to "Joe" for 10 years. A distant relative has been doing some online genealogical research into his family, and Joe offered to help.
Last week, I was on the computer and found my husband's family tree. I was upset because Joe did not include me in his family. Under "wife," he listed his ex-wife, along with the date and place of their marriage. My name is nowhere to be found.
I haven't confronted Joe because I cannot think straight. I don't want to throw away our 10-year marriage. I love him, and he is a good husband. However, I don't know if this means he is still emotionally attached to his ex-wife. They have a child together. What should I do? No Branch in Stamford, Conn.
Dear No Branch: Don't make a federal case out of a minor error. It's likely Joe thought he needed to list his ex on the family tree because they have a child together. However, most genealogical software programs have space for additional spouses. Tell Joe what you discovered, and ask him to correct it. Case closed.
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