Dear Annie: I want to know why people think it’s OK to harass and abuse other people. My ex brought his girlfriend home, and they spent the night in the garage. That was when we were still married.
Then he took my 5-year-old daughter out on dates with the girlfriend, and he abused and harassed me for a year to try to get me to abandon the house and my daughter so he wouldn’t have to pay child support.
During this ordeal, I was ripped off by a lawyer who knew my ex was harassing me and did nothing. My ex and the girl are not together anymore, but I later found out that the girlfriend was hitting my daughter on her hands to punish her when she did something wrong.
I just don’t get why there are horrible people in the world who do awful things and don’t think they’ve done anything wrong. It is not unusual for them to turn the situation on you, acting as if you deserved it.
After all this, I’m done with men. I don’t even date. It ain’t worth it. I talk to people on chat sites, and they tell me they don’t date for the same reasons. Being alone in this day and age is just the better way to go. I feel so broken and empty inside; no one would want me anyway. I am ruined, and no one seems to care.
So, I just want to know — why?! — Someone Who Just Wants to Know Why
Dear Know Why: Hurt people hurt people. Whether they were hurt when they were children and are repeating the same patterns or they were hurt when they were adults — it doesn’t matter where the meanness came from. Being cruel to other human beings never feels good in the long run.
I’m not sure that making blanket statements, such as saying that you are finished with dating forever, is going to make you feel better in the long run. Just commit to only surrounding yourself with people who lift you up and have your best interests at heart. I would also let your ex know that his ex-girlfriend is never allowed to be around your daughter again. Child abuse is a serious crime and needs to be treated as such.
Dear Annie: I am disabled, and I find it difficult to deal with people who seem to be critical of my ailment or who think there is nothing wrong with me.
This all started when I was 25 and hurt myself at work. That was followed by failed lower back surgery. My injuries are not visible at all. I’m 52 now and still get the looks. I have had the police called several times for parking with my handicapped placard because people have doubted my injury.
It is extremely embarrassing and hurtful. However, I look at it like this: Those same people who give me looks or make snide remarks are the ones who would not think twice about using anything that was offered to them if they were handicapped.
Here’s another thing to think about: By denying yourself the help you need, you are not allowing yourself the best care possible, nor are you truly taking care of yourself. If you are disabled, YOU must always come first. As the penguins from “Madagascar” would say, “Just smile and wave, boys; just smile and wave.” — Surviving and Living Life with a Disability
Dear Living Life with Disability: Thank you for sharing your perspective. I hope it empowers others to smile and wave.
“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.