By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Dear Abby 10/20
Girl with modesty issues wants to respond to jests
Placeholder Image
    DEAR ABBY: I'm private about my body. I'm not comfortable being nude in front of anyone except my sister, my best friend or, of course, my mother.
    At slumber parties, most of the girls are very casual about undressing in front of each other. Because I am not comfortable with it, I change in the bathroom. (I'm the only one who does.)
    Some of them let it be my business, but others make fun of me about it, which I find humiliating. I don't want to stop going to slumber parties because of this. How should I respond to their comments? It doesn't harm them, so shouldn't they just let it be my business? — MODEST IN THE SOUTHWEST
    DEAR MODEST: Of course it should be just your business. You have a right to march to a different drummer if you wish. However, the more you rise to the bait when being teased about being modest, the more it will happen. My advice is to smile and say, "OK, so I'm old-fashioned — deal with it!" (It also couldn't hurt to grow a thicker skin.)
    DEAR ABBY: I'm a 15-year-old girl in Indiana. My mom recently got out of an abusive relationship and I moved in with my friend. When Mom found a place to live, I joined her.
    Now my friend is mad at me for leaving, and she's taking it out on my animals that are still over there. What should I do? — SCARED IN BEDFORD
    DEAR SCARED: The most important thing you should do is recognize that the relationship you have with this "friend" is also abusive. She is abusing your animals in an attempt to control you in the same way your mother's abuser tried to control her.
    You must find another home for those poor animals as soon as possible. If that's not feasible, notify the animal rescue group or the nearest SPCA so your pets can be placed in a safer environment.

    DEAR ABBY: I have a dear friend, "Karen," whose daughter grew up with mine all through elementary and high school. They are now both in their 20s. Karen's daughter, "Trish," decided to become a stripper and left home to live with an abusive boyfriend. She is now back home to get away from the man, and Karen told me that Trish had to strip a few more times to pay off some traffic tickets or she'd lose her driver's license.
    Abby, Trish has been calling my daughter and has been over to my house a few times since her return. I told her and her mom that I don't want her over here because her boyfriend has been threatening to harm her and anyone who is with her.
    Now Karen is upset with me! She says I am "insane" to think he would harm me and my family. She said if he tried to harm Trish it would be at the club where she dances. Abby, I lived through violence as a child, and I know you can never predict which ones will follow through on a threat like that. I don't want to lose my friendship with Karen, but I cannot allow that kind of scene back in my life. What can I do? — TORN IN FLORIDA
    DEAR TORN: Stand your ground, that's what. Your friend Karen is dreaming if she thinks she can predict the actions of a sociopath or a psychopath — and that, in my opinion, is what an abuser is in most cases.
Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter