Dear Annie: Earlier this year, I was caught up in a liability issue with my high school track coach. I had a knee injury and was being treated by a sports chiropractor, with the full approval of the superintendent of the school district. My coach, however, rejected the note from the chiropractor and caused me horrible stress and anxiety with the unnecessary demand that I see an internist. The principal said I had to do it.
The internist said that the school and the coach were being ridiculous. Several months later, I am still thinking about everything that happened, and I sometimes become so obsessed with it that I suffer horrible anxiety. Every time a friend asks what happened, I become emotionally and mentally unstable and relive it.
This former track coach treated my parents and me with hostility, and I am worried about returning to school. How can I move on? My mind is taking a beating. — Still Reliving the Misery
Dear Still: Any trauma can lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which causes the sufferer to relive the event over and over. You need to find a way to break the loop in your thinking. If you can do this by imagining a different, more empowering outcome, great. It's also possible that once school starts, your coach will simply ignore the incident, and you can do the same. Or you could approach him in a mature fashion and ask to put this behind you. If he mistreats you, report it to the principal. If you are still traumatized, please consider short-term counseling. High school doesn't last forever.
Dear Annie: Last week, I walked into our computer room to see my husband trying desperately to hit the delete button and get rid of an email he did not want me to see. I managed to glance at the woman's name, however, and asked him who it was. Well, she is the one I suspected he hooked up with at his 50th class reunion. There were about five hours during the weekend that he could not account for.
His 95-year-old mother knows this woman and says, "She's such a nice girl and married. She would never do such a thing." And she says the same about my husband. I don't believe this. My husband suddenly can't keep his hands off of the waitresses at our favorite restaurant, and he ogles every woman who walks by.
I won't be going to my 50th class reunion. I can't leave him alone for a second, and I certainly don't want him running off with one of my classmates. I don't want to go out of my house anymore. What should I do? — Humiliated Wife
Dear Wife: Your husband is in his late 70s. In some instances, as a person ages, early signs of dementia start to show up, and one of them is the loss of inhibition. Unless your husband has exhibited such behavior during your entire marriage, we believe his problem is age related. This doesn't make it less irritating or worrisome, of course, but it's possible he could be helped by seeing his doctor. Insist that he make an appointment, and go with him. If the doctor is not experienced in this area, ask to be referred to someone who is.
Dear Annie: My sympathy for "Shady Family Business," who wants to change his name because some of his family was engaged in not quite legal doings.
It is very likely that the majority of us have forebears who have engaged in activities that would humiliate and horrify us. Even those who discover that they are related to the rich and famous could easily uncover shameful doings in those illustrious backgrounds.
Let the dead past lie. If your family has done things of which you are not proud, your lifetime can show that the bloodline is also capable of good. — Life Is a Mixed Bag
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. 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.