DEAR ABBY: About 20 months ago, after I found out I was pregnant, I was abandoned by the father of my child. My mother had passed away a month before. So I was grieving, shocked to discover I was pregnant and devastated when I was left for another woman. I went through my pregnancy alone, gave birth alone and am now a single mother.
While my child and I are blessed – I have a good job, Momma left me some money that has helped me buy a home, and my friends are supportive – my heart is broken.
My son's father pays child support, but his priority is the woman he left us for. Everyone tells me I need to be the bigger person, accept the situation and give my son a chance to know his father. I understand all of that, but I am so angry. I feel rejected and debased. I cry all the time. I try to keep a positive face for my son, but sometimes I break down. My son's father and his lady make fun of me and flaunt how happy they are together while I am alone raising my child. The woman enjoys pointing out how hard I have it and how alone I am.
My son is my joy and I love him dearly, but why am I not allowed to be angry at his father and that woman? Why must I be the one who accepts the hurt and difficulty, while my son's father and his lady have their cake and eat it, too? I would really appreciate your thoughts. -- HURT MOMMA IN THE EAST
DEAR HURT MOMMA: While you have every right to be angry, has it occurred to you that you may not only be grieving for your mother, but possibly be suffering from postpartum depression as well? Discuss this with your doctor and ask to have your hormone levels checked. It might also benefit you to join a grief support group.
Your ex-boyfriend and his "lady" may appear to have their cake and eat it, too, but it's not true. They have each other, and both of them appear to be miserable people. For the sake of yourself and your son, please stop allowing them to make you miserable, too. You have your beautiful child, and endless possibilities lie ahead if you will open yourself to them. If necessary, find a licensed therapist to help you let go of the negative and get your priorities straight again. Once you succeed in doing this, you'll be fine.
DEAR ABBY: We used to display a wide variety of family pictures on our living room walls. Before repainting, we took them down. Because some of them include our children's former and current relationships, we can't decide which ones we can comfortably "redisplay" without offending anybody.
We have remained on good terms with former in-laws and the children from prior relationships, but the "new" and the "old" never speak of each other, much less enjoy seeing pictorial reminders hanging in our home. Some of our grandchildren are blood relatives; others are not. Our children have moved on to other relationships. This is OUR home, but we don't want to offend any of the people we welcome into it. Any advice? -- PICTURING IT IN ARIZONA
DEAR PICTURING IT: You are a sweet and sensitive person. Talk to your children. Ask how they and their children would feel if you "edit" the collection, and which ones they would prefer you retire. And be sure to offer the outtakes to them rather than toss them.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.