Life Advice



Ask Amy: Adult survivors of abuse must be heard

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I am a mom with two grown children, “Charlie,” 26, and “Liza,” 23.

Liza recently let me know that she and her brother were molested for many years throughout their childhood by my sister-in-law.

I am terribly sad that my children thought they could not come to me and tell me this when it was happening. My heart breaks for them that they endured this alone.

My daughter has been in therapy for a while now and is dealing with it.

My son, however, has been using hard drugs for several years now.

I would like to tell him that I know what happened and offer to get him help.


I am torn, because this is obviously something that he does not want me to know. Should I respect his privacy, or should I tell him that his sister told me?

I am afraid if I say the wrong thing his drug use may spiral out of control again.

– Heartbroken Mama

Dear Heartbroken: You should be honest with your son. Please do not let his addiction control your willingness to face this heartbreaking challenge openly. You cannot control how he will respond, but I hope you will hold fast and stay in his corner.


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