Dear Amy: My mother and I have had a tumultuous and toxic relationship ever since I was a child. It was a mess of bitter resentment, jealousy, explosive fights, abuse and disappointment on both sides.
Amy Dickinson, Special to Postmedia Network
Seven days a week, letter after letter, Amy Dickinson applies an objective eye to reader problems large and small in "ASK AMY: Advice for the real world." Amy's extensive experience includes a column on family issues for TIME magazine, regular contributions to National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" and guest spots on CBS' "Sunday Morning." As an advice columnist, Amy uses her talents as a journalist and her personal experiences to answer each question with the care and attention she would devote to her closest friends. Her advice is rooted in honesty and trust, traits she applies to her writing and her life. Dickinson, who grew up on a small dairy farm in New York, currently lives in Chicago with her teenage daughter. A graduate of Georgetown University, Dickinson also has worked as a producer for NBC News and as a freelance writer for publications such as The Washington Post, Esquire and O magazine.
Dear Amy: I am a lawyer. I am financially secure, but I'm dating someone who has a LOT more discretionary income than I do.
Dear Amy: This past summer, my best friend of more than 30 years, her 9-year-old daughter, her new husband and others, rented a villa in the Caribbean. I was invited to join the group.
Dear Amy: I am a jazz musician. I'm married with a child. My wife has a stressful 9-to-5 job.
Dear Amy: For the first time in many years, I have been thinking about an episode from my earlier life.
Dear Amy: I have not spoken to my mother in two weeks. She does not approve of my sexuality as gender-queer and she does not "approve" of my partner. She has sent him vicious and threatening letters, called me at all hours of the day and night and sent a variety of harassing text messages, saying, "You are a joke," "I want you out of my life" and "
Dear Amy: I am a happily married man with two wonderful children (ages 6 and 8).
Dear Amy: My in-laws always seem to feel the need to comment on people's weight, either right to their faces at a family function or gossiping about it behind their backs.
Dear Amy: I am a mature 25-year-old college-educated man with a great career.
Dear Amy: My family refuses to forgive my boyfriend for hitting me seven years ago. After this incident we went our separate ways, but after a lot of work we slowly came back together.
Dear Amy: When my husband and I married about 10 years ago, we were both ambivalent about having children.
Dear Amy: My boyfriend is going through a divorce. He and his ex-wife were together 27 years. They have been living apart for 11 months.
Dear Readers: Many of us are now in the recovery mode of the holiday season -- after attending and hosting holiday events, gorging on gingerbread men and eggnog and letting the glitter of the season release us from December's gloom. In the spirit of the season, I present my annual round-up of charitable organizations readers should consider support
Dear Amy: For many years, my 92-year-old father and I have been bitterly disagreeing about his climbing on ladders and high step stools to change light bulbs.
Dear Amy: My mother-in-law has recently started a Facebook account. There are three of us sisters-in-law and we all find this a great way for her to keep up with the grandkids. However, she shares every single photo we post.
Dear Amy: A dear friend's wife was recently diagnosed with stage four cancer.
Dear Amy: I suffered regular sexual abuse at the hands of a cousin when I was between the ages of 5 and 8. He is eight years older than me.
Dear Amy: I am a 34-year-old man working in risk management, seeking a mid- to senior-level position in my profession. Recently, I had a wonderful panel interview with a billion-dollar health care company. It could not have gone better. I was thrilled to receive a voicemail a day after the interview requesting a call back.
Dear Amy: I have a longtime friend who has asked our circle of five women to be "bridesmaids" for her wedding photos.
Dear Amy: My husband's very religious family has serious issues with him being gay.