Annie's Mailbox: Brokenhearted Mom
Dear Annie: I have a 30-year-old son. "Brad" was the perfect child, loving and affectionate, until the age of 16. That's when I divorced my drug-addicted husband. I sheltered the children as much as I could from what their father was doing.
When I transferred Brad to a public school, he got involved in drugs, quit school, became verbally abusive, did a stint in jail and more. I remarried a wonderful man who showed Brad nothing but love. Any disciplining was done by me.
When I found out Brad was doing drugs at age 21, I kicked him out of the house. He abused steroids and who knows what else. He blames me for the way he is because I kicked him out. He claims no mother would do that. I told him it's called "tough love" and that I refuse to watch him destroy himself.
I have not spoken to Brad in five months. Christmas and my birthday have come and gone with no acknowledgment. My heart is just so broken. Should I reach out to him or let him figure out life on his own? Do I wish him a happy birthday next month? I don't know what to do anymore. -- Brokenhearted Mom
Dear Brokenhearted: Tough love can also be tough on the parents. You did nothing wrong by expecting your adult son to move out of the house. Even kids who are not abusing drugs ought to leave the nest by then. Brad finds it easier to blame you for what is wrong with his life than to accept responsibility for his own actions. Until he figures it out, all you can do is wait and hope. But you can send him a birthday card and also find support from others in your situation through Because I Love You at bily.org. Good luck.
Dear Annie: I was saddened by the letter from "L.H. in Montgomery," the 82-year-old woman who has been searching for love for 40 years.
My husband and I are senior citizens, 75 and 80 years old. We have been dancing (ballroom style) in senior centers and other dance organizations for 25 years. It is amazing how many friendships and relationships are developed between us "old people" when we're dancing. Of course, none of us feels old.
Please tell L.H. to check out local senior centers or those in other towns nearby. She also could check for social dance clubs (ballroom style dancing, country dancing, etc.) in her area. One of our area senior dancers teaches line dancing, which is a great way to dance if you don't have a partner. Dancing is great social interaction. I hope she can find something in her area. -- Suisun City, Calif.
Dear Suisun City: Thank you for the suggestion. There are many excellent activities for people of all ages who are looking to meet others. Trying to find someone online is OK as far as it goes, but nothing beats meeting folks in person who are also participating in an activity you enjoy.
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2015. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.