Some people always read the comics, some people their horoscope, for me it is Dear Abby. For some reason, I do not consider the newspaper read each morning until I finish her daily dose of advice.
Some mornings I wish I didn’t have this ritual. Case in point, this letter from June 1st, 2013, which just started the day with a healthy dose of depression.
DEAR ABBY: I’m a 16-year-old girl. I am home-schooled with one friend. I’m lonely, sad, mad and depressed. I have always wanted to go to a real school, but it’s not an option for me. My parents are against it.
I am always lonely. I don’t know where to turn. I want to meet new people, but I don’t know how, or if my parents will let me do new things. I have been cutting myself for more than a year and have lost all motivation to do my schoolwork. I feel lost. Please help me. — SAD, MAD AND DEPRESSED IN BOZEMAN, MONT.
DEAR SAD, MAD AND DEPRESSED: Most parents who home-school make sure their children are exposed to activities within the community to ensure they engage with people of all ages. They participate in scouting, 4-H, sports, field trips, etc.
That you cut yourself to distract yourself from the pain of your isolation is serious. If you have a family doctor, please bring this up with him or her so you can receive the help you need to quit.
I’m sure your parents love you and want to protect you, but they appear to be doing it too diligently. At 16, you should be learning to interact with others your age. If you have a relative you trust or feel close to, I’m urging you to talk to that person about this. Perhaps your parents will accept the message from another adult.
Since the parents seem to be protecting their daughter “too diligently,” I am going to take a leap and assume that religion is the reason for her home-schooling. This is one of the saddest letters I’ve read in “Dear Abby,” mainly because; what advice could she possibly give? If her home-schooling is, as I assume, religiously based, and her parents are already isolating her to this extent, does anyone really see anything getting better for this poor girl until she turns 18 and can escape?
Child abuse. She’s not being beaten, or diddled, but it’s still child abuse.