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Dear Abby Dear Abby, You won’t believe this

April 10, 2013

I recently read this letter to Dear Abby

Dear Abby: My daughter is mentally ill, homeless and on meth. A year ago, she asked whether I would take her 3-year-old daughter, “Lucy,” so she could get herself together. Unfortunately, she went the other direction.

It was fine when I thought that the arrangement was temporary, but when I realized I would be raising Lucy as a single parent at 49, things got hard.
My so-called friends have abandoned me. But what is actually killing this is that I get no respite. When I don’t have my “recharge” time, I tune Lucy out, and the next thing I know she has cut up the curtains.
I know if I had time for my own mental health, I could be a good surrogate mother to Lucy, but if I can’t, I’m starting to think I may have to give her up, and that breaks my heart.
— End of My Rope

Dear End: If you feel that you might harm her, it would be better if you placed her for adoption or in foster care.

I think it is safe to say I found “Abby’s” advise…lacking. I warn you, my nonexistent reader, that I may be bit more opinionated that Ms. Phillips, and definitely longer winded.

End of My Rope, let me start by saying I offer no judgment of you or your daughter based on her current situation. As a parent myself, and a former daughter-with-questionable-decisions, I know we are all doing the best we can with what we have and sometimes we need to travel some very dark roads to find our path in life. With that said, I would like to congratulate you on raising a daughter who in the face of mental illness, drug abuse and what I can only imagine to be a self-centered chaotic lifestyle, had the prudence and bravery to make a very difficult choice. I cannot imagine how hard that decision had to have been for her but I imagine it didn’t even compare to the pain of having the conversation with you, her own mother. To have to face your mother and own up to the fact that you cannot adequately care for your own child, has to be soul breaking. I applaud her for that!

Shame on your friends! Either they are shaking their pompous little heads in judgment or secretly praying their own little bundles of disappointment don’t try and make an example out of them. Regardless, now you know. However, I would not discourage you from picking up the phone and giving a little reminder to your select few besties that you could really use their love and support right now. You cannot expect to get what you are not willing to ask for. Worse thing they can do is what they are doing already, nothing.
Now, You are facing a very tough decision. But it is a decision that I think you already know the answer to. You know raising children is not for the weak of heart. They require a lot of attention, love, discipline and structure. More importantly, this little girl, Lucy, deserves a loving safe home. A warm place to land when the pain of her mom’s choices start to weigh on her little shoulders. Can you give her what she deserves to have? And before you answer this with “I want to!” I know you do. I do not doubt that for one second. The question is CAN you.

No matter what you decide, there will be sacrifice. You will either choose to sacrifice your own independence and freedom (and sanity at times) or your pride and ego. You have a very tough choice to make but as I said before, I think you already know what you have to do.
I wish you the absolute best in the future and I know you will do what is best for Lucy.

With all my support,
Me

 

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