Dear Abby: My grandmother died when I was 7 years old. She was my favorite person, and I loved her. She played with me when no one else had time, taught me how to cook, told me stories and didn’t care that I was playing in the dishwasher while she was trying to wash the dishes.
I always knew that before marrying Dada, she worked as a cook in an American Indian boarding school in America, now I know how cruel, evil and hateful those places were. They practiced cultural genocide by the government and the church and were places where children were sexually and emotionally abused.
Although I love my grandmother, I am ashamed, angry and disgusted that she worked in one. If it was church-related, I know she would have ignored any abuse, even if she had witnessed it. How can I get over my anger and hurt someone for something they did a lifetime ago? He has been dead for over 40 years.
– Hurt the granddaughter
Dear Hurt: From your description, your grandmother was a loving, caring, hard-working woman who was trying to feed (and possibly raise) the children at boarding school. It was probably the only work she could find to support herself. While terrible things happened there, they weren’t his fault.
Child abuse is not limited to any religion. Today, many religious people in many denominations cannot bring themselves to believe that such evil exists among them. If your grandmother had faults, forgive her for them and move on with your life. Dwelling on negative feelings for someone who was good to you and is long gone is not healthy for you.
Dear Abby: My wife passed away two years ago. After a while I met a woman. We dated for a year, shared similar interests and were very intimate. We were inseparable. Now, after a year of marriage, we do nothing together, and he has put on 30 pounds. His three daughters, who I believed were independent at ages 20, 22 and 24, are actually partially supported by him. His 15-year-old son lives with us and plays on his computer in his room. He is delivered food and does no work.
I make $250k a year. She works and makes about $50k, and I give her an allowance to help pay for her son’s private school and whatever else she wants.
It’s obvious that I’m not number 1 in his life. Since she just got back from a girls’ weekend (which I sponsored), I might not even be #2. My friends say I should run, that she is a gold digger who took advantage of me. I can’t believe I was so wrong, and I’m always giving it “one more chance”. Also, if I get near her cell phone, she freaks out. As I write this, that seems to be what is happening. Am I being taken advantage of in a big way? Could I be missing something?
— Low ranking in North Carolina
Dear Rating: Not knowing your wife, I cannot judge for you whether she is a gold digger. This I do believe, however: you are being taken advantage of more than you want to be. If you have any desire to save this marriage, tell your wife that you are unhappy and offer her the option of counseling. If she refuses, consult a lawyer and thank your lucky stars that your marriage was short-lived.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jane Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby. DearAbby.com.