Dear Annie: I am a 23-year-old female college student.
I gained a lot of weight after my sophomore year, and when I came home one weekend, my mother looked at me and, instead of giving me a hug, said, “Your belly is getting big!”
I was terribly hurt and stopped coming home on weekends.
Last January, I found out I had polycystic ovarian syndrome and was pre-diabetic.
I started eating healthier and exercising in hopes that I may beat this disease. I lost some weight, but not in my belly.
I can’t get rid of it. I’ve become so desperate that I started buying diet products, but they don’t work, either.
I’m too embarrassed to come home because I know my mother is going to say terrible things about my weight. I’ve told her I am exercising and eating healthier, but she doesn’t believe me.
She opens my bank statements and sees charges to fast-food places. Yes, I occasionally eat there, but I tend to pick the salads and chicken.
Not to mention, I find it very intrusive that she’s reading my bank statements.
Mom insists she is trying to help me, but it has the opposite effect. When I’m finished with school, I want to move out of the house. Her comments really hurt, and I have a terrible history of depression. I don’t need this stress. What do I do? — Unhappy Daughter
Dear Unhappy: Carrying extra pounds, especially around the middle, is a common characteristic of PCOS, and your mother’s reaction is harmful both psychologically and physically. Avail yourself of the college counselling services, and find ways to cope with her intrusive and hurtful behaviour.
You should find your own apartment when you graduate and have your mail sent to your dorm or a post office box in the meantime.
Then contact the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Association, Inc. at www.pcosupport.org or the National Women’s Health Information Center at 1-800-994-9662 for support.
Dear Annie: In college I roomed with four other girls and we were as close as sisters. It’s been seven years since graduation, and we still visit each other several times a year, talk on the phone monthly and email often. Except one.
In the last two years, “Cherie” has dropped off the face of the earth.
She never makes it to our “girls” weekends, nor does she call or email. I didn’t hear from her when my son was born or when my beloved grandmother died unexpectedly.
However, I recently found out through another friend that Cherie still considers all of us to be “very close.”
I find this hard to believe. Am I just hurt that she doesn’t seem to care about any of us, or should I call her about this? I miss our friendship a great deal. What should I do? — Wisconsin
Dear Wisconsin: Cherie may, in fact, believe you are close. Her idea of “close” could be quite different from yours.
Not all college friends stay in touch. Life gets busy and other things take priority.
Cherie is simply going to be one of those friends who flits in and out of your life.
We recommend you accept her as she is, giving her periodic updates, inviting her to visit now and then, and not expecting too much.
Dear Annie: “Virginia in Kentucky” said her sister thought it was hilarious to call her “Jenny” after Grandpa’s mule.
In my area, women named Virginia often are called “Ginny,” which is a very honourable nickname. Perhaps her sister simply doesn’t know the proper spelling.
However, if Sis is calling her “Jenny” because of the mule, then Virginia should point out that any sister of a jenny is an ass. — Bob in the Commonwealth of Virginia
Dear Bob: Well put.
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.