Be Safe; Get Tested

By Annie Lane

April 17, 2020 5 min read

Dear Annie: In a future column, please stress that when someone is cheating (or being cheated on), they should be tested, along with everyone else involved — and the sooner the better. — JP

Dear JP: Great advice. I hope this isn't a lesson that you had to learn the hard way. Being cheated on is bad enough.

Readers can visit gettested.cdc.gov to find nearby facilities that will conduct testing free of charge.

Dear Annie: Your referral of the International OCD Foundation to "Outside the Bubble" for treatment options regarding OCD that manifests itself as religious scrupulosity was well directed. I highly recommend them, as someone who has attended their annual conferences and whose family member has used their references, materials and member services. OCD manifests itself in many forms to prevent "normal living" activities. Religious scrupulosity as OCD goes further in preventing the victim from experiencing the truth, beauty and peace offered by their faith and can affect people of all faith traditions.

Your letter writer was Catholic, and therefore I would recommend further an organization called Scrupulous Anonymous. They are run by a Catholic priest, Father Thomas Santa, CSSR, and offer comforting and good advice through newsletters, retreats and workshops. He does not hesitate to advise victims to seek professional therapy when it is called for. They can be reached at ScrupulousAnonymous.org.

There is hope and healing available, and I encourage anyone serious about their Faith to seek it out. — Family of an OCD Survivor

Dear Family: Thanks for sharing your experience and these additional resources. I heard from others who thought I was too hasty to take on the letter writer's point of view, and I'd like to share some of that feedback in the interest of examining the whole picture.

Dear Annie: I was surprised and disappointed at your response to "Outside the Bubble." The writer of the question appears to me to be looking for reasons for excusing his/her attitude toward the Catholic Church, into which he/she was raised, by finding fault with siblings who take their faith seriously.

What is wrong with religion becoming an all-important part of one's daily life? I believe that is what our faith is supposed to be. Catholics have an obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and on certain Holy Days, among other obligations. This might make it necessary, if one is traveling, to find a nearby Catholic Church to attend. This may be inconvenient, but I do not see that as "compulsive behavior."

If these siblings are intolerant of people of other faiths, that is not an attitude consistent with Church teachings, as certainly our Pope Francis has made clear. But as for our Church a "filling a void" in our lives or giving us "a spiritual high," isn't that what our faith is supposed to do? Especially, in the times we currently live in, with all our health uncertainties, we need more than ever for our faith to fill those voids.

If the writer feels that relatives are intolerant of her attitudes, she could try to find it in her heart to realize that her siblings may be acting out of love and concern for her. Perhaps she should find it in her heart to be a more loving and tolerant person herself. — Person of Faith

Dear Person of Faith: There are two sides to every story, and yours sheds some light on the flip side of "Outside the Bubble's" situation. Faith is indeed an essential part of life for many of us, and I'd never intentionally discount that. I appreciate your writing.

"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]

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