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LifestyleColumnistsAsk Amy

Woman estranged from Dad overher tale of sex abuse

DEAR AMY: My "dad" is not my biological father but he raised me. He and my mother divorced nine years ago. My dad has been a "party animal" since his kids have all come of age. Five years ago, my dad, my older sister and I were at a bar with our dad's first cousin. Dad left the party early and my older sister left me with the cousin. I felt safe with him at the time. At the end of the night the cousin needed a ride back to his hotel. I drove him there but did not feel safe driving back home. I thought it would be OK to stay the night at the hotel. I went to sleep on the spare bed. I woke up with him lying on top of me, kissing me. I was terrified and ran out of the hotel. I did not go to the family reunion the next day. Ever since this incident (I feel it was molestation) happened, I have kept my distance. I told my dad what happened. My family has told me that he doesn't believe my story. He continues to fly to Vegas to party with his cousin multiple times a year. I am tired of being hurt that he chooses his perverted cousin over the daughter he raised. How can I heal these open wounds before I decide to cut him off forever?

Super Sad

DEAR SAD: Based on your account it seems that you already don't have all that much to do with your father. Backing away further should be a choice you make for your own sake -- not to make a statement to him, because he may not notice or care what you do.

Unfortunately your dad's priority seems to be to keep his lifestyle going, and he is choosing to spend time with the person who tried to molest you -- because it's easier.

Don't assume your dad will work hard to make this right. DO communicate with him (and the cousin who did this) and be completely truthful about what happened and how you feel about his response. To truly heal you will have to face this honestly, stand up for yourself (don't brush it under the rug) and then work hard to recover and move on.

DEAR AMY: Today, while shopping in the produce section of the grocery store, I saw a man pushing a shopping cart. He pulled out a handkerchief and gave his nose a big, productive blow with both hands. Without stopping to de-germ his hands, he proceeded to push the cart over to the lettuce section and handled several heads of lettuce, with both hands, before selecting the one he wanted. I was disgusted. Not only did this man touch the shopping cart handle with his germy hands (a cart that others would use throughout the day), but he also touched food that other customers, including myself, were going to buy. I wanted to say something to him but didn't know if I should. Would you have said something? If so, what?

Disgusted Shopper

DEAR DISGUSTED: I would not say anything. Regardless of this particular incident, I generally assume that shopping cart handles are germier than the inside of a toilet bowl.

If the thought of that grosses you out, YOU are the one who should be decontaminating or "de-germing" the handle and yourself before (and/or certainly after) touching one.

Supermarket produce is exposed. From the field to the market, it is being touched, sniffed and thumped by all sorts of people before you bring it home.

Take this as further reason to wash your produce thoroughly before you consume it.

DEAR AMY: "Dejected" said she needed her husband to compliment her once in a while. Well, if she wants or needs something, she should ask for it! I had to train my husband to compliment me. And now he does.

Complimented

DEAR COMPLIMENTED: "Dejected" tried this, but her husband doesn't seem particularly trainable.

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