Dear Abby: I believed my dad’s version of why he got fired. Then I was blindsided by the truth.

I feel stabbed in the back after I tried to get a lawyer to fight for him

ADDRESSED TO ABBY: My father is our family’s breadwinner. He was fired a few years ago for viewing “inappropriate” material at work. He described what happened to us as a raunchy comedy special.

So, as a good son who believed his father had been wrongfully terminated, I began contacting law firms to see if he had a case. That’s when the truth was revealed.

He had not only lied, but he had also stabbed me in the back when I went to bat for him.

His job was custom-made for him. He got canned because of one stupid act. He also lost his excellent health insurance, dental, vision, 401(k), profit sharing, life insurance, and most likely the respect of his family and coworkers (who most likely heard about it through the rumor mill).

Dad is aware that he has health issues, as is my mother, and I have a chronic condition.

I no longer have faith in him. To make matters worse, I have no education beyond a high school diploma and have had no luck finding work, so I don’t have anywhere to move or even escape to.

I am aware that I am experiencing betrayal trauma. I’m in a lot of pain. Even seeing him in the morning brings back memories of what he did.

I want to heal, but I’m not sure where to start.


TO BLINDSIDED: I’m sure this has come as a surprise to your family. It is critical that you gain some independence now.

Investigate what jobs are available for people with a high school diploma online. Because you can’t face your father every morning, ask other relatives if you can stay with them until you’re financially stable enough to continue your education and get a place of your own.

If you require counseling (and you may), inquire about what is available at the county department of mental health. Once you are emotionally and financially stable, consider learning about higher-paying jobs and what you will need to do to qualify for them.

ADDRESSED TO ABBY: My mother constantly chastises my daughter, “Hillary,” about her appearance, calling her a slob and telling her she needs to wear makeup and look “pretty” in order to feel good about herself.

She believes Hillary needs to look girly and have her hair done in order to please the eye. Hillary refuses to participate in girly activities because she is still a child.

When I defend my child, Mom starts a fight by accusing me of raising a “sluggard” and failing as a mother (which I am not). She questions why I’m okay with such a sloppy girl and accuses me of being a bad parent.

I agree that Hillary’s hair gets in the way at times, but isn’t that part of being a child? The wind tangles our hair, but we can comb it out. The important thing is that my daughter is having fun in the wind. Right?

Please assist.


DEAR MOTHER: “Mom, you may mean well when you say those hurtful things, but it is harmful to my daughter.” When you constantly call her names and criticize her, it damages her self-esteem, and as a caring parent, I can no longer allow it. If you want to see your granddaughter, you must stop criticizing her appearance immediately, or you will not see her… at all.”

Then carry it out.

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