THE TIMES LEADER www.timesleader.com
TUESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2012 PAGE 5C
Daughter could use counseling to cope with her controlling mother Dear Abby: I’m 23, the only child of a controlling, paranoid, mother and a peace-loving, passive father. I graduated from college last year. Shortly after, my boyfriend and I accepted dream jobs in the same town several hours away from my parents. Mom was appalled. She “warned” me that I wouldn’t last and would come home. Mom is at her wits’ end. When I mentioned that my boyfriend had recorded a movie for me, she said he was controlling me via technology. If I tell her about a project at work, she says my employer is taking advantage of me. Mom pays for a landline in my
DEAR ABBY ADVICE apartment that I don’t want, but she insists because she’s convinced that cellphones cause cancer. She calls me constantly, and if I don’t answer she leaves frantic messages about how “disrespectful” I am, and how she and Dad are “praying for my soul.” This has gotten out of control. I try talking to her, but she won’t listen and laughs at the idea of counseling. My father agrees that her behavior and approach are wrong, but says she has good intentions and I need to “work with her.” Abby, I don’t know what to do. She’s becoming increasingly control-
ling and worried about my soul. I’m worried that my distance is affecting her health. Some advice, please! — Wants a Healthy Relationship With Mom Dear Wants: If you return home because you’re afraid asserting your independence is negatively affecting your mother’s health, you will never have a life of your own. Because she laughs at the idea of counseling doesn’t mean that YOU shouldn’t get some in order to help you separate yourself from her constant efforts to manipulate you. Her dependence on you is not normal. That’s why you should enlist the help of a mental health professional. If you try to “work with her” without that help, she will suck you in and
you will never be free. Dear Abby: I have very nice neighbors who believe in leaving the wild and natural growth on their property. They have posted a sign that claims it to be a “certified natural habitat.” They never weed or cut anything back. It has become an eyesore. I have tried to grow border plants to hide the mess, but nothing seems to help. I believe it affects the value of our home. My husband doesn’t want me to say anything. They’re nice people, but we don’t live in a rural area where this might be more acceptable. Have you any suggestions? — Thorn in Our Side Dear Thorn: Yes. Who certified your neighbors’ yard as a “natural habitat”?
The city? If so, call City Hall and find out if their yard still qualifies. What you have described may be a fire hazard, so some investigation may be in order. If there is a homeowners association in your neighborhood, it should also be contacted to ensure their house is in compliance with the codes, covenants and restrictions. If necessary, someone who is close to these neighbors should volunteer to “help” them with their yard. A natural landscape can be beautiful, but only if it’s properly maintained. To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable — and most frequently requested — poems and essays, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby’s “Keepers,” P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
HOROSCOPE BY HOLIDAY MATHIS
GOREN BRIDGE WITH OMAR SHARIF & TANNAH HIRSCH PREVIOUS DAY’S SOLUTION
ARIES (March 21-April 19). You may feel out of sync with the people around you. You like people, but social connections are not your main source of happiness. Solitude has a way of centering you. TAURUS (April 20-May 20). If you expect yourself to be an expert right out of the gate, you’ll only set yourself up for disappointment. False starts and reversed directions are a key part of your learning process. GEMINI (May 21-June 21). You’ll be critical to the success of a team. You will be motivated by intangible rewards. Being recognized for something you do well may be an even better reward of your efforts than money. CANCER (June 22-July 22). You’ll be at ease when considering other people’s viewpoints, a sign of maturity and sophistication that won’t go unnoticed by equally mature and sophisticated individuals. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). A touch of restlessness might put you in a shopping mood. You will be much better off consolidating what you have instead of buying more. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). The group won’t seem to know what they are doing, but the collective intelligence of the group is higher than you think. Besides, going solo may be a good way to get lost today. So stick together. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). In order to stay abreast of the competition, you’ll figure out what your competitors are doing. It’s also a good time to seek new technologies for improving efficiency.
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HOW TO CONTACT: Dear Abby: PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069
SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). You’ll catch your loved ones doing something right and give spontaneous and enthusiastic praise. You’ll make someone happy while paving the way for the stellar results in the future. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). If you are tenacious enough, you will have a breakthrough today. If the first or second attempt fails, you’ll use what you learn, adjust the plan and go for round three. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). The more people you know, the luckier you’ll be. Smile and say “Hi.” Also, ask friends to introduce you to the people they know. New contacts will be the catalyst for a windfall or romance. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). No one develops alone. You’ll enjoy letting others know what you’ve learned from them. And you’ll continue to let new connections help launch and support your growth. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). Look for the good news hidden in the bad. Maybe it will only amount to a speck of sunshine, but that’s enough to illuminate other pieces of goodness and change the way everyone sees things. TODAY’S BIRTHDAY (Jan. 17). Your personal life blossoms as you assert yourself. Refuse to be put on the spot. Give yourself plenty of time and space to make major decisions. You’ll advance projects having to do with communication and closing the gaps between people. March features domestic upgrades. You’ll win money in June. Cancer and Virgo adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 40, 12, 22, 6 and 19.