DEAR ABBY: My parents have been married for 60 years. My father has always been physically, verbally and mentally abusive to my mother. My mother is also verbally and mentally abusive to my father.Because of the violence, Dad is now on probation for two years. They will not divorce or live separately, but continue with their sick relationship. I know we can't help them, but what can we do to save ourselves from being drawn into it? They are both masters at drawing us into it.
— DEVASTATED ADULT CHILDREN OF CRAZY PARENTS
DEAR CHILDREN: As loving, caring children you cannot, at least on some level, avoid being drawn in to some extent. However, it may be less wrenching for you if you consider that both your parents have been getting something out of this sick relationship or it would have ended years ago. Some people mistake pain and violence for love and passion, and your folks may fall into this category. But if their dysfunctional relationship is preventing you from enjoying your own lives, then what you should do is talk about it with a psychotherapist, because at this late date, your father and mother aren't going to change.
DEAR ABBY: I am 22, and a year and a half ago I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I must inject myself with insulin four times a day. If I am going to be away from home for more than a few hours, I must bring my insulin and other supplies with me. When I'm in public — like in a restaurant — I feel as though going off alone to inject myself is denying a part of who I am, so I choose to remain visible when I inject. What is your take on this? I have never seen anyone else do it in plain view, but I would like to because diabetes is nothing to be ashamed of. People often ask questions when I do it, and I'm happy to answer them and to spread awareness.
Do you agree that accepting a disease like this is more easily achieved when one is not isolating oneself?
— UNASHAMED IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR UNASHAMED: Yes, I do — and I have seen someone with diabetes inject himself while seated at a dinner table. My initial reaction was one of concern, and I am sure that is how others would react as well. Having a disease like diabetes is nothing to be ashamed of, and whether you choose to inject your insulin in public is a personal choice, depending upon how comfortable a person feels about it.
DEAR ABBY: What is the proper way to eat bacon in a restaurant? My son says that bacon is finger food and can be picked up with your fingers.
I like to cut the bacon strips into bite-sized pieces that can fit on a fork to be eaten without getting my fingers greasy.
— MOTHER KNOWS BEST
DEAR MOTHER: It depends upon how you like your bacon cooked. According to Emily Post, bacon can be eaten as a finger food "when it is dry, crisp and served whole. If the bacon is broken into bits, served in thick slices (as with Canadian bacon) or limp, eat it with knife and fork as you would any other meat."
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.