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OPINION | DEAR ABBY: ‘Family failure’ refuses to enable sibling’s behavior

by Abigail Van Buren | September 1, 2022 at 1:00 a.m.

Dear Abby: I am the oldest of three. We grew up in an abusive alcoholic family. I’m considered the “failure” of the family because I don’t drink. I graduated from college, work full time, got married and have a pretty stable life.

Both of my siblings drink and use drugs, and their lives are in turmoil. The youngest sibling has said they will need to move by the end of this month and their current job has not paid them for several weeks. I dread that they will ask to stay at my house, which I cannot allow because of the drinking and drug use. I know they will be upset that they can’t stay with me. How do I protect my peace without feeling like I’m making my sibling homeless? — Bad Sister In California

Dear Bad Sister: Your reason for not wanting to host your substance-using sibling is sensible. State it kindly and do not feel guilty about it. You won’t be making your sibling homeless. Unless they are friendless, they will find another place to crash.

Dear Abby: My father recently passed from cancer. He was divorced from Mom, but she helped care for him in his last year. I’m having the baby blues (a 2- month-old) and grieving at the same time.

My mother has now announced that she’s taking a vacation with her friend. I think it’s too soon and I told her that. Am I wrong for trying to stop her from going? But at the same time, I know she deserves this vacation. — Right Or Wrong In Arizona

Dear Right Or Wrong: You have my sympathy for the loss of your dad. Considering your life changes, “needing” your mother is understandable. However, your mother needing a break at this point is also understandable, so please let her go.

Your baby blues may be happening because of the abrupt hormonal changes your body is experienced after birth. Tell your doctor, because there may be a medical solution. Please don’t wait.

Dear Abby: Please don’t think I’m misogynistic, but whenever I see females, they’re constantly talking or scrolling on their cellphones. It seems like it is all they do! They don’t seem interested in anything but their damned phones. They have no personalities or sex drive. They’re not even interested in men! Some even lose interest in shopping, which we know is a female addiction. It’s not cute. It’s not normal or sociable. In fact, it’s bizarre. Is there one “halfway” normal female left on earth, or should I move to another planet? — Ready To Bail In New Jersey

Dear Ready: Have you heard that men are from Mars? Your space shuttle departs in 20 minutes. It’s a one-way trip. Safe travels ...

P.S. I am not calling you misogynistic, but it will be interesting to see what my readers call you. Stay tuned.

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


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