DEAR ABBY: I grew up watching my mom being abused and eventually murdered by her husband. It was terrible. She was only 36, and I was 16. Although it took nearly 30 years, I’m finally at peace.
My message is to people who currently experience abuse. No one deserves to be battered physically, mentally or emotionally. When people suffer from substance-abuse addiction (alcohol, drugs, etc.), they get help only when they are ready. However, with domestic violence, victims must consider not only themselves, but also their children. If you are a victim of domestic violence, get out and get help. – Healed in Georgia
DEAR HEALED: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your mother at such a tender age. In her memory, I will again print the phone number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-7233. There is a separate number for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing: (800) 787-3224. The website is thehotline.org.
DEAR ABBY: I enjoy weekly massages from a self-employed masseuse. I have a standing appointment. If I cancel within 24 hours, I understand that I must pay her. However, if I give her more notice, must I still give her some remuneration?
I feel bad about canceling, as she may rely on this income, but it’s difficult to pay for the event that requires me to cancel in addition to a massage that didn’t happen. What would you do? – Unsure in Florida
DEAR UNSURE: Your masseuse has a 24-hour cancellation policy so when clients can’t keep the appointment, she can fill in the time with someone else. Most personal service professionals understand that appointments at times must be skipped or changed.
Because you are worried about her, talk with her about it and ask if she can slot you in at a different time if there’s a schedule conflict. It would be a win-win. She’ll get the money, and you will still have your weekly massage, which is important to you or you wouldn’t have a standing appointment.
DEAR ABBY: I am worried about my best friend. She never eats at school, and I don’t think she’s eating at home, either. She’s beginning to become weak. Yesterday, we were playing ball in gym class. When she caught the ball, I saw her wince. I asked her if she was OK and she said yes, but I’m still worried. What should I do? – Scared for Her
DEAR SCARED: Talk to your gym teacher about how and why she worries you. She may not be eating because she thinks she needs to lose weight. Or she may have a serious eating disorder. The teacher will know what to do.