Dear Abby: the error of my parents decades ago cost me a lot

Dear Abby: For 30 years, human ash has been destined for Hawaii

LOVE ABBY: When I was in high school, I sustained a neck injury (at school) that damaged my spinal cord. I have largely recovered from that, but I have residual weakness in my right side and severe neck pain. I was able to work until I had to go to 57 with a disability. That is why my financial situation is more difficult, more and more now that my wife is retiring.

At the time of my injury, my parents did not sue the school, although the school was clearly responsible. I was too young and certainly unable to handle the situation.

A lawyer approached my parents at the time and my doctor stated that my injuries would limit my long-term employment opportunities and drastically affect my life. My parents knew that I would have limited working years, which would affect my financial situation. I feel anger towards them because of their inactivity with regard to my injury and not suing the school.

I see them once or twice a week and I wonder if I should present this to them now. They are in the mid-80s, but are quite lively and take care of themselves. It consumes my thoughts every time I visit them, but I didn’t say anything. Do you think I should submit this to them? – INJURY IN TENNESSEE

WON: Yes I do. You deserve to know why they were so apathetic in looking after your well-being – and they need to be made aware of the impact it has had on your life. It may be too late to sue the school for what happened to you, but at least you have some answers.

LOVE ABBY: I suffer from postpartum depression while trying to reconcile with my husband, “Derek.” He had various emotional issues during my recent pregnancy, as well as after I gave birth.

His parents attacked me about the postpartum. I spent a week in the hospital for it, but they said it was an act. Recently his mother texted him saying that he should use my mental illness as a reason to divorce me. I texted her and asked her to stop attacking me that way. She responded, calling me a devil and saying she always hated me. Now she is turning his whole family against me and spreading malicious lies. She even accused me of trying to sleep with my father-in-law, who Derek knows is ridiculous.

I asked Derek to address the situation, but what else can I do? I no longer feel comfortable with his parents or do not send my children around. I don’t want Derek to be in an uncomfortable position, but it’s not fair for me to be attacked with malicious lies because of her jealousy – especially 12 years later. Please help. – EXPECTED IN ILLINOIS

BEST DISTINCTIONS: You may suffer from postpartum, but your mother-in-law seems to have more problems than you. I do not envy you because you are her target, or that your husband has to buffer you.

It may be helpful if the two of you consult an accredited mental health professional to find out how to deal with her if possible. And Derek should not waste time telling the rest of the family that nothing his mother says is true.

Dear Abby was written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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