Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Sisters abused by stepfather now blame mother

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

-- E

Dear E: If you could have resolved this by yourself, you probably would have done so already. It is significant that you have been able to forgive your abusive stepfather, and yet you hold onto bitterness and resentment toward your mother.

You might assume that the fearsome man that beat you with a leather belt also frightened your mother into submission. She couldn't make eye contact with you because she was afraid and ashamed.

Physical abuse threatens and intimidates the entire family. This is why cruel punishers often want others to witness what they do.

It is better for you to risk cracking open your mother's heart a little, allowing everyone to express their truth, versus extending an estrangement. You and your sister will get further with her if you don't gang up on her or overwhelm her. If all of you are desperate to have a relationship, commence the process with a determination to listen, try to understand, lean into forgiveness and love each other through it.

Dear Amy: Is it just me, or does everyone interrupt?

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I can be talking to anyone -- even family members -- and they'll interrupt me or talk over me.

Even cable news panels talk over each other and interrupt.

Is this new? Where are everyone's manners?

Why doesn't anyone care about what I say?

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