Dear Annie: I am a 64-year-old male with decent looks and of average height. I’m a few pounds overweight, but I am not sloppy. I was married before, but have not had very much luck when it comes to the fairer sex. What sets me apart are two very obvious facts: One, I am disabled. When a woman looks at me, she focuses on my cane. Two, I live in a senior complex on a limited income from social security. It doesn’t matter that I can offer a woman warmth, tenderness, kindness and love. Once more, I have been used and dumped by another woman who promised the moon and then shattered my lonely heart. I have had enough. I am tired. I just wanted you to know that there is one nice guy left out here.
Dear Jay: We are certain you aren’t the only one, and we sympathize. It is hard to be alone when you crave intimacy. We are undoubtedly going to be inundated with letters from equally lonely women who want to meet you. They, too, are looking for companionship, warmth, tenderness, kindness and love.
However, even with your disability and your living situation, you apparently have been able to attract women. Why they keep breaking your heart is not explained by those issues. It might be enormously helpful to ask one of them to give you an honest critique of why she left. Listen with an open mind instead of a wounded heart, and you may learn something about yourself. It might help.
Dear Annie: I never understood why my mother didn’t like me. I did everything possible to get her to love me, but it never happened. She even helped my ex-husband kidnap my son. I forgave each hurt but learned not to trust her. Finally, at the age of 56, I looked up her personality traits on the Internet, and there she was: a “narcissistic parent.”
I recently was diagnosed with terminal cancer. When I explained the bone pain, my mother suddenly complained of similar pain and insisted on numerous tests that showed nothing. She could not tolerate the attention I was receiving. She even told me she “had to” put down her dog a month earlier than necessary because, of course, she “needed” to be with me. This is the kind of love I get from her.
When I was a child, she convinced everyone that I was evil. Now my mother has started forgetting her lies, and people have figured her out. Several family members have apologized to me for not seeing through her. I don’t blame them. She is very good at what she does.
But I am finally free of her. I also know I am a good person. I only wish I had had this information years ago. I hope this helps some other adult child learn how to deal with a nasty, vindictive parent.
— Not an Evil Child Anymore
Dear Not: We are so sorry that you’ve had such a stressful relationship with your difficult mother, and that at a time in your life when you could use the comfort of a loving parent, you cannot turn to her. Please know our thoughts are with you.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “Begging for Mummy and Daddy.” I am a heroin addict who has been clean for 20 years. Going to Narcotics Anonymous meetings is the best thing he can do. I went to six meetings a week and met the nicest and most caring people. These people will help you get clean if you want it.
Please don’t give up because your parents don’t understand. When you do get clean, look better and start to work, your parents will realize the mistake they made. Living clean has been nothing but a blessing. I have a great wife and two beautiful children, so anything is possible.
— Twenty Years Clean
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
— Creators Syndicate Inc.