DEAR ABBY: Two years ago I was involved in an unhealthy relationship for me and my children. He ended up assaulting me and my kids.
For two months I struggled with depression, and I admit I wasn't the responsible parent I should have been. Child Protective Services took the children. I hold myself accountable for my actions and my failure.
My parents are angry with me because of poor choices I made in the past and treat me like the black sheep of the family. I'm tired of not having my family back me up at a time when I need their support to regain custody of my kids.
How do I even begin to put the pieces back together on a very broken family? -- The Black Sheep
DEAR BLACK SHEEP: Because your mother is unwilling, what you need to do is start fixing yourSELF.
Regaining custody will depend upon your ability to establish your independence, support your children and yourself financially, and start counseling to deal with your issues so you won't get into another destructive, abusive relationship. It will take work and time, but if you can do it -- and I think you can -- your mother will respect you for it. And you will be stronger and healthier because you will no longer be so needy.
DEAR ABBY: I have been dating "Gene" for three years, living together for a year and a half. We're both divorced and love each other very much.
Our biggest problem is, he doesn't keep a "normal" schedule. Gene eats at odd hours, exercises at the strangest times and will stay awake till the wee hours of the morning, then crash for a day or so. His habits are taking a toll on me.
There are days when I want him home for dinner, or I want to cuddle with him. I want a normal schedule. This is tricky because I have accepted his lifestyle and now the brakes have come on for me. Gene doesn't understand my sudden change of attitude, and frankly, neither do I.
Do I have only two choices -- accept him for who he is or find someone who follows a more conventional schedule? -- Wants a Normal Life
DEAR WANTS: It's possible your change in attitude has come about because you now realize that you might be living his unconventional lifestyle for the rest of your life. You will either have to accept this as your future or Gene will have to change his lifestyle.
TO MY READERS: Have a happy, healthy and safe Independence Day, everyone! -- Love, Abby
Dear Abby, written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. © 2014 UNIVERSAL UCLICK.