The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, January 25, 2018, Page 6A, Image 25

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Dealing with a difficult past
Dear Annie: I am a 32-year- ing with my therapist, but he reacted
old married man with two children. with anger. He claims to have no
I am trying to come to terms with memory of any sexual encounters
my childhood. I grew up in a dys- between us. He says it never hap-
functional family, with an alcoholic pened and I must be imagining the
father and a mother who had numer- whole thing.
ous affairs.
As God is my witness, I remem-
My elder brother,
“Michael,” was my world.
between us. I am not look-
ing to accuse. I just want
He is only three years older
to understand. He has told
than I am, but he practi-
cally raised me. He is the
every member of the fam-
ily, including our divorced
one who got me dressed
parents, that I am some
and ready for school every
kind of a pervert with
morning, fed me, helped me
bizarre, sick fantasies about
with my homework, and
him. Unfortunately, the
tucked me in at night.
When I was 12 years Annie
family believes him.
Syndicate Inc.
old, my parents were going
My therapist says that
through a nasty divorce, and
there is little I can do to
our home had become a war zone. get Michael to admit to our past,
I began to cling to my brother even that I need to reach peace of mind
more for comfort and safety.
on my own. Is there anything you
I am ashamed to admit that our can suggest to get him to at least sit
relationship became inappropriate down with my therapist and me?
and sexual in nature. To this day, I — Recovering
am not sure how it happened. It was
Dear Recovering: I am so sorry
never the same after that, and we for what you went through, but I’m
never discussed what we had done.
very glad to hear that you’re in ther-
About a year ago, I started to go apy. I believe that your therapist is
to therapy to deal with my past. I right — that there is little you can
still love Michael and want to try to do to get Michael to admit the past.
understand what we did and how it I encourage you to stay in therapy,
as I believe you’ll find that you have
I approached him about meet- many pathways to recovery that
don’t require Michael’s participa-
tion. Call the Rape, Abuse & Incest
National Network’s hotline any-
time if you need someone to talk to:
Dear Annie: Though your
answer to “Craving Kicks” was
good, I think it was slightly
She said she felt completely
free, present and powerful when she
scored her first soccer goal and was
indeed recalling those feelings. But I
submit that any endeavor also has the
potential to give those exact feelings
of freedom, power and presentness
when it is pursued with practice and
then success is achieved. It depends
on the intensity of the pursuit, the
amount of focus and practice, and
how crowd-pleasing accomplish-
ments are. It does not have to be
soccer. Successful professionals in
all sports and in other endeavors —
music, acting, academics — experi-
ence the same power, freedom and
presentness, which come from con-
centration and focus. This makes me
wish I had practiced the piano more.
— Kathy in Virginia Beach
Dear Kathy in Virginia Beach:
I’m printing your letter because I
agree completely. Great points. And
it’s never too late: Go tickle those
By Holiday Mathis, Creators Syndicate Inc.
ARIES (March 21-April 19). Your best friends
aren’t the ones who go along with everything
you say without question. They’re the ones
who will challenge you once in a while and, in
doing so, either cause you to take a stronger
stand or change your mind.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20). There’s some-
thing in you that will keep you doing things the
way you’ve always done them. It’s not that you
can’t fall in line and follow the directions; it’s
that you think there might be a better way. So
go on and find it.
GEMINI (May 21-June 21). Some people
love sentimentality. There’s hard evidence
of this in box-office statistics and televi-
sion-watching trends everywhere. But you’d
rather take tenderness, sadness and nostal-
gia in small doses.
CANCER (June 22-July 22). Three is an
age-old magic number, from building seating,
to knocking on wood, to setting up the punch-
line of a joke. Three will be present in the
magical triptych of this day.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). Life is rooting for
you, though you may not love the cheer. It’s
aggressive-sounding. Unnecessarily acro-
batic. But the players aren’t the ones who get
to choose the cheerleaders. Give in to life’s
enthusiasm, whatever form it takes.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). Talent creates op-
portunity. Opportunity creates talent. Neither
are crucial to success. Desire is the magic.
Desire will bring you everything you need:
talent, opportunity and the work ethic to keep
going until you get there.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). People’s bad vibes
can affect you even if they are not about you.
Who needs that? Get away. Don’t wait for
them to be directed toward you. The minute
you get a whiff of less than optimal environs,
enact a location change.
SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). You have an
especially tight bond with family these days.
There are those who might get a little jealous
of the love flowing between you and your
favorite people. Be sensitive to the feelings of
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). Even
loners are better off with a little social support.
And for the socially motivated, it’s especially
important to gather a team. Accountability is
key in goal getting. Build some into your plan
in the form of other people.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). If you can’t
figure out how to eliminate the obstacles in
your path, maybe you can imagine a way to
arrange them differently. For instance, stack
them like stairs you can climb up and get over.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). Since you live
inside your own head, you’re acutely aware of
your insecurities in a way that no one around
you could ever be. So stop worrying and
project yourself as you would like to be. They
won’t know the difference.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). Older people
find the banter of younger people amusing,
or possibly obnoxious, as it’s a reminder of
how they themselves used to relate to others
before they knew so much of life.
are driven by strong forces within and guided
by angelic benefactors around you. You could
support, or even save, another person in April
by sharing your expertise and resources.
Capricorn and Scorpio adore you. Your lucky
numbers are: 2, 24, 1, 28 and 6.