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Dear Abby: Daughter pulls away from mom who shames her for her shopping addiction

Dear Abby: Daughter pulls away from mom who shames her for her shopping addiction

Im a mid-30s woman without racial or economic connections. Im an only child and have no connection to my father. The relationship I have with my mother is very toxic.

I've suffered my entire life from a severe shopping addiction. I recently relapsed, and Im trying to recover financially. I cant afford counseling right now, and I cannot seek help from my mother because of how easily she shames me about my addiction. In fact, I've come to realize that having her in my life at all is a major trigger because she constantly blames me for not being financially stable as an adult. She constantly compares me to myself, not only to her when she was my age, but also to others in my generation.

-- PULLING BACK IN TEXAS -- How can I tell her I don't want her in my life for the sake of my mental health and addiction recovery?

Im not sure if you are aware of it, but many people use shopping as a means of coping with depression. You may be one of them. Before you begin that long-awaited conversation, do some research and find out what county mental health services may be available in your area. They are usually offered on a sliding fee basis. There are also 12-step programs for compulsive shoppers that you may find useful. Please go online and check some of them as well.

As for what to say to your mother about your shopping habits, try this: Mom, I know I need help with my shopping addiction. I'm now seeking for it. While I am in recovery, you wont hear from me for a while, so dons not frightened. We'll talk about it at some point.

ABBY, I lost my best friend of 32 years in a car accident three months ago. She was the greatest friend a person could have. She would not only give you the shirt off her back, but she would also ask you what else you needed. We had gone through so much together. This is the sort of thing I would turn to her for comfort when going through. I didnt see her before that, so I couldn t get closure. She was cremated, and I wasn t aware of her prior to that. I feel so empty and unfinished. -- NOT WELL IN THE SOUTH -- What do I do? -- NOW THAT THE WORLD IS WIDE --

Please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of your dear friend. The circumstances of your loss make it more difficult, but it isn't insurmountable. Because there is no place you can go to mourn her, you may come to some form of comfort by writing her a letter in which she tells you all the things you werent able to say before her death. Choose a private place you both used to enjoy, read it aloud to her, and burn it, knowing she will always be alive in your heart. If this isn't enough, consider contacting your doctor or religious adviser about a grief support group to assist you deal with this.

Dear Abby is a story written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillip. Dear Abby can be reached at or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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