April 24, 2024

Dear Annie: My older and only brother is 70, two years younger than me. We’ve not been close or communicating for months. I still resent his failure to acknowledge my marriage years ago. He was not present at my wedding, nor did he even send a greeting card. He missed out on all the formative years of my three children, never attending their events. He lives in Florida with his third wife with no children. I have no desire to reconnect with him and consider him a loser. What are your thoughts? Thank you for your attention to this matter — Brotherly Shove

Dear Brotherly: Resentment about the past is only hurting you. You only have one brother. While it sounds like he made mistakes in your life, the fact that you are considering the idea of shoving him out of your life permanently shows that you have very strong feelings — feelings of anger, hurt and resentment. Try to forgive your brother for all of his wrongdoings and not be so judgmental and name-calling toward him. Everyone makes different choices. Forgiveness is a gift that you give to yourself. To quote Saint Augustine, “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

Dear Annie: I live on the West Coast where the unhoused population continues to increase every year, along with a massive fentanyl addiction issue. I am well aware that not all unhoused people are addicts, but I also have enough experience interacting with this subset of the community to know that many of the people who walk around asking for money do have an addiction, whether it may be fentanyl, alcohol or something else.

My question is whether you have a suggested response that conveys “no” without saying “sorry”? I feel very weird apologizing for not giving money to these people who I have a very specific reason to not give money to, but “sorry” is the only response I have observed from family, friends and co-workers when out and about. And, admittedly, as a woman sometimes walking alone, it doesn’t always feel like “no” is necessarily a safe choice, as it seems like it could be perceived as confrontational by the asker (and I also admit that could be in my head, as I haven’t been willing to try!).

Do you think a “no” by itself could be fine, or do you have another suggestion? — Donating to Charity, not Addiction

Dear Donating to Charity: I do think a “no” can be a bit harsh to say to someone who is asking you for money on the streets, but you are right to donate to charity rather than street hustlers. Addiction is a disease, and many of these people are suffering very terrible symptoms of the disease, and they won’t get any treatment if they stay on the streets. “I’m sorry” might be a slightly more polite way to turn down a sick person who is struggling to live.

You might consider getting involved in community affairs or local politics, where homelessness has become a major issue, not just in the state you live in but across the nation.

“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology — featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

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Last Updated: Tuesday, Mar 12, 2024 10:07:18 -0700

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source: star-telegram

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