Dear Ann Landers, I am a 55-year-old grandmother who has developed an online friendship with a 13-year-old girl in another state. "Emily" told me her parents divorced two years ago, and that she has not seen her father since. She said she thinks the reason is because her mother is still angry and won't allow the father to contact her. Emily does not know where her father is and told me, "I will never see him again."
I have begged Emily to talk to her mother, teachers, etc., but I don't know if she has. I also realize it may be that her father simply has no interest in seeing her, and that it is not the mother's fault at all.
Ann, why do parents do this to their children? Why does a 13-year-old girl have to tell a total stranger about her sorrow? I can be sympathetic, but I cannot really help. Why can't these parents see what they are doing to their little girl by making her feel abandoned?
It breaks my heart that this child is so unhappy. Please, Ann, tell those divorced parents to put their children's needs first. -- Houston Grandma
Dear Grandma, Most divorced parents try hard to put their children first, but troubled children often pretend everything is fine because they do not want to cause additional disruption in their parents' lives. Please stay in touch with Emily, and be her friend and adviser. It sounds as if she could use both.
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:
Dear Readers, , My x-girlfriend who lived with my son and I for 16 years died of cancer. Prior before we knew she had cancer-she moved out because of an addiction problem. We did stay very close before she died. Her x-husband an attorney took over her finances and the burial arrangements. I being financially set was okay with that, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.