6A FEATURES 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, ber what happened DEAR “Michael,” was my world. between us. I am not look- ing to accuse. I just want He is only three years older ANNIE 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. Lane When I was 12 years Annie family believes him. Creators 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, happened. 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: 800-656-4673. Dear Annie: Though your answer to “Craving Kicks” was good, I think it was slightly incomplete. 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 ivories! THE DAILY ASTORIAN • THURSDAY, JANUARY 25, 2018 TOMORROW’S HOROSCOPE 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 FRANK AND ERNEST BLONDIE THATABABY SALLY FORTH PHOEBE AND HER UNICORN B.C. LOLA DILBERT SIX CHIX BIZARRO MUTTS NON SEQUITUR BABY BLUES WIZARD OF ID ZITS ROSE IS ROSE 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 others. 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. TOMORROW’S BIRTHDAY (Jan. 26). You 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.