DEAR ABBY: “Lynn” and I were friends since we were teenagers. We are now in our late 40s. We had a successful business together, but I decided to leave it to pursue my dreams. She didn’t understand and our relationship was the casualty.
We didn’t speak for two years. I attempted a reconciliation, but it failed. We’re both bitter regarding the settlement of the business, and I’m not sure it can ever be resolved.
There is a high school reunion coming up and I’m not sure how to handle it. Sitting down and talking with her isn’t an option. She’s not reasonable, and she’s prone to sudden outbursts of anger. Can you help? — FORMERLY FRIENDLY
DEAR FORMERLY FRIENDLY: Yes, when you attend the reunion, avoid her as much as possible. But if you can’t, keep any conversation civil, perfunctory, brief — and move away.
DEAR ABBY: My wealthy brother-in-law and his entire family didn’t give my daughter a graduation gift. And even though they attended my son’s wedding, none of them gave him a wedding gift, either.
We have attended the graduations and weddings of all their children and have been generous. We know the right thing is to say nothing, but it’s hard to understand and remain quiet. What do you think? — GIFTLESS FAMILY IN GRAND RAPIDS
DEAR GIFTLESS FAMILY: If your in-laws attended both events, they should have given something. They may be cheap, stingy or so newly rich that they haven’t learned the basic rules of etiquette. Or, they may have had financial reversals you are unaware of. You are correct that the “right” thing to do is to say nothing, so resist the temptation to call them on it. And in dealing with them in the future, expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed.
DEAR ABBY: My 17-year-old daughter, “Kelly,” tried to commit suicide. She was admitted to a hospital and started on an antidepressant. Last night, when I was walking across the parking lot to the ward, I met her psychiatrist. When I asked how Kelly was doing, he said she’s agitated, not sleeping and he was starting her on medication that night.
When he mentioned the dose, I told him my daughter had been given half that amount previously and didn’t wake up for 24 hours. I said I thought he should give her less or change the medication. He said he’d change it, went back inside and I followed.
I’m glad I ran into him, but now I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t. What are the rules about medication being given to adolescents? Aren’t the parents supposed to give consent? What can I do to prevent this from happening again? — VIGILANT MOM IN COLORADO
DEAR VIGILANT MOM: Because your daughter is under 18, your consent is needed for treatment. Good care is both patient- and family-focused. You have a right to know what’s going on in your daughter’s treatment and to make sure her doctor has enough information to do an effective job.
It’s perfectly all right to advocate for your child. Should you become overwhelmed, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) can provide support and help you navigate the system. Call NAMI toll-free at (800) 950-6264 or go to www.nami.org. The toll-free number for DBSA is (800) 826- 3632 and the website is www.dbsalliance.org.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby — Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)