DEAR ABBY: My mom is a recovering alcoholic. Her alcoholism has caused emotional distress and damaged our relationship to the point I am aloof and terse toward her.
She's six months sober now, receiving help and making an effort to repair the hurt and pain she has caused. But I'm struggling in moving forward.
My mom is generous, kind, loving, and has always been supportive. I feel guilty for the ambivalent part of me that could care less about fixing the issues she caused in our relationship. It saddens both of us I have a hard time being kind and loving toward her. Any advice?
— STUBBORN TEEN IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR TEEN: Alcoholism is a disease that affects not only the drinker, but also those close to her (or him). That your mother is receiving help and working to remain sober means she is trying as hard as she can to get better and remain that way.
Forgiveness isn't automatic. It is a conscious choice on the part of the injured party. To think you are alone in this situation would be a mistake. There's a support group for younger family members of alcoholics called Alateen. If you attend some of the meetings, it may help you to be kinder and more loving toward your mother. Alateen groups are everywhere. To find one visit al-anon.org.
DEAR ABBY: What is the purpose of high school graduation announcements? To whom should they be sent, and what are the expectations surrounding them?
My son is graduating, so we are preparing announcements, but I'm not sure who to send them to, and I don't want anyone to think we are asking for a gift. We have received several announcements from my son's friends who live out of state. Should I send them gifts?
— WANTS TO GET IT RIGHT
DEAR WANTS: Graduation announcements are usually sent to close family and friends. Recipients are under no obligation to send a gift. Your congratulations should be enough.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.