Life Advice



Ask Amy: Abuse survivor wants to set record straight

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

It is unfortunate, though not surprising, that you still care what these family members think. You carry the guilt of hard-won survival.

The truth is the truth, and you might as well tell it.

You should not tell the truth to persuade others that your father and/or mother were monsters but to simply own your personal history.

Understand that people who stay in abusive family systems sometimes develop selective amnesia over painful events. This is a survival tool.

You can assume that your family members are entrenched in their own narrative. They may not believe you. They may blame you.

I hope that your life in adulthood is rewarding, and that your career in the military has given you a sense of belonging to a deserving family-of-choice.


If you decide to share your truth, approach this from a place of strength and confidence.

Dear Amy: My husband and I have adult children in their mid-20s to early 30s, all of whom are doing well. We both work full time, and all our kids (thankfully) are gainfully employed.

For the last 10 years, we have had at least one child living with us during that post-college looking-for-work phase, or during various times when they have needed a place to crash.

The pandemic brought two of them home for over a year.


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