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Dear Abby: Clear the air over accident

Dear Abby: I was in a car accident two months ago. My best friend, "Heather," was driving. We grew up together and refer to each other as sisters. We were both under the influence, and I was so intoxicated I didn't realize how smashed Heather was. Anyway, I was really banged up in the accident. She got away without a scratch.

For an entire week after the accident, Heather never once came to see how I was doing. It wasn't until after I was practically healed that she stopped by my house. Sometimes when I see her, I still feel angry at her — or some emotion I can't put my finger on. I don't know if I still blame her or what. But now that I have healed, she doesn't want to talk about the incident, and I can't say anything because it makes her uncomfortable. But don't you think I am the victim here?

It is almost to the point where I don't want to be around her. After 20 years of having Heather in my life, I think I can survive without ever speaking to her again. What should I do? — Lost in San Mateo, Calif.

Dear Lost: For the sake of your 20-year friendship, clear the air and say what's on your mind — including the fact that you felt betrayed when Heather failed to see you after the accident. She may have felt too guilty to face you.

There are times when saying "I'm sorry" and "I'll never drink and drive again" may seem inadequate. And yet, those things are exactly what need to be said — and you need to hear them — regardless of whether or not the subject makes Heather uncomfortable. For your own peace of mind, please do it soon. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Dear Abby: I am the mother of four children (ages 6, 4, 3 and 2 months). About a year ago, I gave my dad and stepmom temporary custody of my older kids so I could get my life together. During that time, I have gotten a job and found a great man. The fourth baby was not planned.

I plan on moving to a larger place in February when my lease is up, and then getting my older three kids back. My question is: My stepmom says that my other children won't understand about the new baby and the fact that he can live with Mommy and they can't. So they have not seen him or Mommy since he was born. I'm not sure it is right to keep him from them. Who is right? —Concerned Mom in Missouri

Dear Concerned: You are. Your children are old enough to understand that they are living with your father because you had problems and couldn't afford for them to stay with you for a while. If they want to know why the baby can live with you and they can't, tell them that it's because the baby is tiny and needs to stay with you — just as they did when they were babies. Assure them that in just a few months you will all be together again. THAT'S what they need to know. Distancing yourself from your children and hiding their sibling is not healthy for them — or for you.

Dear Abby: I have often heard the saying, "That would be like opening Pandora's box." Where did that phrase originate? —Yvonne in Norlina, N.C.

Dear Yvonne: It refers to a story from Greek mythology. The box was a gift to Pandora from the gods, but was given with the warning that she should never open it. When curiosity got the better of Pandora and she opened it anyway, a swarm of evils was loosed upon mankind.


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. © Universal Press Syndicate