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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Dear Abby: Dad got sacked, stabbed us in the back; How do we overcome the trauma?

Dear Abby: My dad is the breadwinner in our family. A few years ago, he got fired for looking at “inappropriate” material at work. When he told us what happened, he described it as a raunchy comedy special. So, being a good son and thinking Dad was wrongfully terminated, I started calling law firms to see if he had a case. That’s when the truth came out.

Dear Abby

Not only had he lied, but he also stabbed me in the back when I went to bat for him. His job was tailor-made to suit him. In one stupid act, he managed to get canned. He also lost his excellent health insurance, dental, vision, 401(k), profit sharing, life insurance, the respect of his family and probably his co-workers (who most likely heard through the rumor mill).

Dad knows he has health problems, my mother also has several, and I have a chronic condition as well. I no longer trust him. To make matters worse, I have no education beyond a high school diploma and have had no luck finding a job, so there’s no place I can move or even escape to.

I know I am suffering betrayal trauma. I am so incredibly hurt. I’m constantly reminded of what he did, even just seeing him in the morning. I would like to heal, but I don’t know how to begin.

— Blindsided in Illinois


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Dear Blindsided: I am sure this has been a shock to your family. It is now very important you gain some independence. Go online and research what jobs are available for people with a high school diploma. Because you can’t face your father every morning, reach out to other relatives to ask if you could stay with them until you are financially strong enough to further your education and to get a place of your own.

If you need counseling (and you may), inquire at the county department of mental health about what is available. Then, once you are more stable emotionally and financially, consider learning about jobs that will pay more and what you will need to do to qualify for them.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. Copyright 2023, Andrews McMeel Syndication.

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