Dear Abby: I grew up not knowing who my biological father was. When I met him for the first time, I was 18. When we met, I felt I had found a piece of who I was. I loved him immediately, as if I had known him my whole life.
We talked and hung out for the next four months until I moved in with him to escape an abusive relationship. I was pregnant at the time and spent half my pregnancy living with him, my stepmother, half-brother and stepbrother. I moved back in with my mom a few months later.
Since then, my father has cut me off. I have been trying so hard to get him to talk to me. He hasn’t met my son yet, rarely responds to my texts and never answers my calls. I have invited him to every birthday party, sent him cards for every holiday, begged him to see me and my son. It’s been four years now, and I’m heartbroken.
I miss him so much. I feel like a piece of my heart has been ripped out. My grandmother told me that because my older half-sister left with her kids without saying goodbye to him, it broke his heart, and he is afraid I will do the same. What should I do?
— Missing My Dad In New York
Dear Missing: Not knowing your father, it’s hard to guess his reason for distancing himself from you and his grandchild. It does appear that he is punishing you for something. Could he have been hurt or angry that you chose to live with your mother rather than stay with him and your stepmother?
Because it has been four years, you may have to accept that this estrangement will be permanent and find a way to cope with the loss. If you have a religious adviser, start there.
Dear Abby: My roommate loves watching documentaries about serial killers, psychopaths and other criminals. I don’t like them. To me it feels like a glorification of a person who did evil.
On the flip side, I watch tons of spy movies, superhero movies and action films that depict violence. But the distinction lies in that what I watch is fiction. Usually the good guys win, and if they don’t, it’s temporary.
My roommate gets really mad when I watch or even talk about the movies I watch, but becomes really defensive when I compare them to what she watches. My roommate is very fragile emotionally and cries, withdraws and shuts down when I do this. The last time, she insinuated I was less of a person for liking these things. Ultimately, I felt sorry for bringing it up, and she still refuses to acknowledge that we are allowed to like different things without being bad people.
I need to know how to bring up that how she responds to the things I like hurts me, and communicate that I have nothing against what she watches, even if it’s not my taste. How can I communicate my feelings without feeling like I’m being insensitive for asking her to stop berating me?
— Just A Movie in The Midwest
Dear Just A Movie: The most diplomatic solution would be for the two of you to agree that certain subjects of conversation should be avoided — this being one of them. And if you can’t agree to respect each other’s viewing habits without being judgmental, you should find other roommates as soon as your lease is up.
Dear Abby: A friend of mine is a very nice person. He and his wife live in Pennsylvania. I live in New Jersey. He comes here, and I go there to where he lives.
Every time it’s his turn to pay, he comes to lunch alone. Every time it is my turn, he brings along his wife. I don’t feel right about it. He does offer extra money, which I’m really not comfortable accepting.
When it’s his turn, he pays $25, but when it is mine, the tab is usually $40 to $50 because there’s an extra person involved. Sometimes, he takes care of the tip. Should I tell him I have things to do and can’t go to lunch?
— Unsure Up North
Dear Unsure: Because you enjoy his company, tell him that although you like his wife, you would feel more comfortable if when you have lunch together it’s “just us guys.” Either that, or suggest that from now on you each request separate checks.