Billed If They Do, Billed If They Don't Dear Annie: My sister-in-law and I exchange babysitting for our young children. I have three under the age of 5, and she has two. It is mutually beneficial except for one thing: If the kids break something at her house, she demands that I pay for it.…Read more. The Eyes of Hackers Are Upon You Dear Annie: Last week, I was watching a YouTube video, and suddenly a man's face appeared on my screen. He was watching me. I immediately turned off my computer. Apparently, through apps or hacking into computer signals, people can watch you through …Read more. Establishing Ownership Without Estrangement Dear Annie: My sister, "Ellen," bought my mother a car when Mom moved in with her. Ellen promised it would belong to Mom when she paid her back. Mom has made payments for three years. But she and Ellen had a fight, and not only did my sister kick …Read more. Turn Off the TV and Get Your Volunteer On! Dear Annie: Two years ago, at the age of 62, I was forced to take early retirement from my teaching job. My pension is miniscule, and despite trying to find full-time work, I have only been able to string together part-time jobs. I have been …Read more.more articles
Bipolar Sister Saw Suicide as the Only Solution
Dear Annie: Recently, my 49-year-old sister committed suicide. She lived with my partner and me for the last 18 months. I find it harder each day to understand why this happened. I am upset, angry, troubled and confused.
My sister was bipolar and on medication. She had attempted suicide before, but tried to fight the self-destructive thoughts, admitting herself to the hospital when necessary. We assured her that she could live with us forever and that we loved having her with us. She was so good with our dogs, and they seemed to be a comfort to her.
We never had a clue what she was planning, and she had it all planned out two weeks ahead. She bought a gun, cleaned her room, did her wash and left a letter explaining that this was the only way to ease her pain. She waited until after midnight and went to a nearby nature preserve. She was found within two hours.
My sister often said that she hated her life and had no friends and thought when she died there would be few people at her funeral. But the funeral home was so crowded that there wasn't even standing room. Do people who commit suicide know how much pain they leave behind and how much we struggle to accept it? I will always wonder what I could have done differently. Please help. — Miss My Sister
Dear Sister: We can tell how anguished you are, and our hearts are breaking for you. Your sister was mentally ill and obviously in great pain. She could see no end to it and believed suicide was her only way out. You sound like a loving sister, and you created a warm and supportive home. Now you could use some support, too. Please try Survivors of Suicide at survivorsofsuicide.com.
Dear Annie: "Mike" and I are in our 60s and have been married seven years. We each have children from previous marriages, all of whom are grown and out of the house.
Recently, I noticed that Mike friended his ex-wife on Facebook.
Mike was divorced for eight years when we met, but I have always felt that his children resent me. Today, I saw a receipt for tickets to an out-of-state amusement park where he is planning to go with his daughter and grandchildren. I noticed a receipt for another person (a senior). It's not for me because I have to work. I believe this ticket is for his ex-wife. I asked if she would be there, and he said he "didn't think so." He claims he can't stand her.
I am considering divorce because the trust is gone. I get along with my ex, but would not jeopardize my marriage by going on an out-of-town trip with him. Am I jumping the gun? Is this just a family outing? — Not Worlds of Fun for Me
Dear Fun: You are jumping the gun. You don't know that the ex-wife is going or who invited her. And if she's there, it doesn't mean he is cheating. Get the details from your husband, and explain your concerns. If his responses aren't satisfactory, tell him your marriage is at risk and ask him to come with you for counseling.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Sherman Oaks, Calif.," who dropped her friend "Jill" because she wouldn't stop gossiping.
She should have told Jill, "I have told you I don't like the way you gossip about your friends and I don't want to hear it. Please change the subject." Repeat as needed. She might change her behavior if she is interrupted at the moment of offense every single time. — St. Maarten
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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