Dear Annie: I am almost 15 and I think I have a problem. I get angry easily. I’ve tried talking to different people about it, like my friends and the school counselor, but I always get the same response — it’s probably just PMS. This gets me so mad because I can’t have PMS 24/7.
I want to ask my doctor, but my mom is always in the room with me, and if I were to ask, I know she would say I was making it all up. I’m afraid I might be bipolar, and that if it goes untreated, I might hurt someone I care for. I’ve already hit some of the younger children in my family just because they didn’t listen to me. I don’t want to do that again. Please help. — Hurtful Teen
Dear Teen: You are having a difficult time controlling your emotions. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are bipolar, but if you cannot stop yourself from hitting someone, it means you need help, and you are smart to know it. Talk to your mom again, show her this letter and tell her you wrote it. If she still won’t pay attention, bring the column to your school counselor. Someone needs to take your concerns seriously.
Dear Annie: Last month, I went to use my husband’s computer. He’d left it on and I noticed that the instant message screens were open. I started to close them when I saw that he’d made an appointment to meet a man for sex. I couldn’t stop myself from reading message after message of my husband offering himself to service other men.
This had evidently been going on for years and I never suspected a thing. In fact, my husband bragged to “regulars” that I was clueless and not to worry.
Annie, we are in our early 50s and have grandchildren. The only warning signs were that he shaved his body hair, spent a lot of time on the computer, worked late and often said he needed to run to the store or walk alone on the beach. He isn’t effeminate at all.
Needless to say, I threw him out of our house and I know I should be tested for disease (I stopped counting the number of men at 60), but I am so ashamed. I will never feel clean again and cannot stop washing myself.
Annie, I would not wish this nightmare on my worst enemy. I will never forgive him for putting my life at risk for his sexual enjoyment. What kind of man does this? — Sadder but Wiser in N.C.
Dear Sadder: Selfish men who lack the courage to be honest with themselves and with others. Not all gay men are effeminate, nor do they all cheat on their partners. Your husband gave you no reason to suspect this side of his personality and it’s not surprising you were fooled. Please get tested immediately so you can put this behind you. You may be able to find some kernel of forgiveness if you concentrate on those wonderful grandchildren, who would not exist if your husband had not been in the picture.
Dear Annie: This is for “Just Getting By,” who bought a 50-50 raffle ticket, won $5,000 and was expected to donate it back to the charity. He should have borrowed the emcee’s microphone to announce that he would have to keep the money to pay his additional income tax. Winning a lottery increases his taxable income, even if he returns the money as a donation. And if the increase pushed him into a higher income bracket, it would increase his overall taxes. — Volunteer Tax Preparer
Dear Tax Preparer: It’s true that you have to pay taxes on lottery winnings, even if you donate them back to the organization and, depending on your income level and amount of charitable contributions, that the deduction may not offset the reported income. Thanks for weighing in.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 1.9.08