Dear Annie

Annie Lane, syndicated columnist

Dear Annie: After reading the letter from “Unable to Open Up,” the gentleman who was unable to articulate his thoughts to his therapist, I wonder if writing down his thoughts would help. Sometimes we can’t bring ourselves to speak up for fear of being chastised, laughed at or embarrassed.

I always encouraged my daughters to write down anything that was bothering them just to get it out of their mind, and sometimes it didn’t look as bad once they got it out.

He could take the paper(s) to his therapist or just tear them up and throw them away. Either way, I wish him well and much success as he tries to heal himself. — Mom of Two Girls

Dear Mom of Two Girls: writing things down is very powerful. Either through journaling and keeping your journey to yourself or writing a personalized letter to the person.

Dear Annie: Reading the story from “Happy Adult Daughter,” whose mother was suffering from a mental illness, was like reading my own. I suppose my mother could be mentally ill, but I look at her as severely damaged from her own upbringing. She had no family to rely on, so she married young, and maybe once upon a time was hoping to treat her children better than she was treated.

And while from the outside it didn’t appear to be a horrible marriage, I can honestly say that I never saw my mother happy, I mean truly happy, for more than a few minutes. I have two siblings, one older and one younger.

Of course, the older sibling was on a pedestal that I could never reach. The younger had health problems that at times could be a distraction and other times I could be blamed for. I also married young to escape, but all I did was start a new cycle.

Though I originally had not planned to have children, I did have one. I then realized I married for the wrong reason and left to give my child a better life. I moved to another state and eventually remarried.

I did not have any other children. I tried to do better than my mother and not hit or name-call. But I was damaged; I had no loving family foundation. My family growing up was five individuals that lived under one roof. The word “love” was never uttered in our house.

After a long time, I finally forgave myself and my family for everything, but I doubt we’ll ever be a true family. I wish them no ill will and hope they wish me the same.– Better Days Ahead

Dear Better Days Ahead: Thank you for your letter. You sound like a wonderful person who has used the power of forgiveness.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology — featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.


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