September 20, 2020
Dear Annie: When my older sister and I were children, we were sexually abused by our stepfather. We are both now in our 50s. We have three younger half-sisters who did not experience this abuse from their father. They loved and adored him until he died four years ago. Before he died, he apologized to us for the abuse.
My mother was told about the abuse years ago while we were teens, but chose not to do anything about it. She also put the blame on us, saying we dressed provocatively. These days, Mom still says she knows he was wrong, but that we share responsibility because we dressed in shorts and halter tops.
Neither my sister nor I had therapy, and now my sister wants our younger siblings to know the truth. I'm not so sure about this. I love my mother and already have a strained relationship with her. This could completely destroy our family. What should I do? — Forty Years in Deep Depression
Dear Depression: If Dad were still alive and a potential threat to grandchildren, we would definitely tell you to inform your half-sisters. But doing so now would likely cause an estrangement, and the only benefit would be that everything is out in the open. It's up to you whether that's worth it. Your real problem is your mother, who has never accepted her own responsibility for the abuse. She brought this man into the home and did not protect you. Worse, she blamed you and still does. It is never too late for counseling. Your sister seems to have a great deal of anger. You both can go for counseling together, and if possible, bring your mother along. She needs to understand and accept her part in this.
Dear Annie: I recently had a job interview for a teaching position. I drove four hours for this interview and was willing to relocate for the position. I was told they would be making their decision within 24 hours. Only two candidates were interviewed.
I waited all day and the next to hear from the school, and didn't hear a peep. I was heartbroken. I would think that a call or an email to say, "We're sorry, but we are hiring someone else," would have been justified.
This is not the first time that I haven't heard back. I interviewed for a different job two weeks earlier and still haven't heard. These interviewers are supposed to be professionals. Please tell your readers that a short note or email would be greatly appreciated. — Ohio
Dear Ohio: This is a common complaint and we, too, do not understand why companies that take the time to interview prospective employees won't take a few seconds to say, "Sorry, but the position has been filled." It requires very little for an interviewer to have a couple of standard rejection letters on file. All they then need to do is fill in the person's name and email (or regular address). It doesn't take much effort and it means a great deal to the recipient. And providing constructive feedback with reasons why the person did not get the job would be enormously helpful and greatly appreciated.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2015. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.