DEAR ANNIE: I made the decision to put down my phone for a while, and the results have been wonderful.
Today was my “allowed” day to pick up my phone again. I had given myself a three-day restriction, and today was the fourth day. During those three days, I only answered for my dad calling. He’s 86, and I don’t want to miss one minute of his time with us. But that was all I allowed myself to do.
I cannot believe how much I have gotten done in my little apartment. It’s all shiny and organized again.
I am going to follow this rule weekly. I believe it is the best idea I’ve ever had, and it’s good to see others have come to the same conclusion.
I’ve got a great movie waiting for me, so I’m putting this phone down again to enjoy my time. — Feeling Free Again
DEAR FEELING FREE AGAIN: When we say no to certain behaviors, we say yes and open the door to other positive behaviors. Thank you for sharing your experience.
DEAR ANNIE: I was in an abusive, controlling marriage when my children were small, and I couldn’t leave until they created their own lives. I finally got out of this marriage, after 37 years, thank God!
While I found my way out, my problem is in how best to move on — to create my own life away from him. Sometimes, I feel lonely and scared, and at times, I question whether I will be able to make it on my own.
I know that’s how he made me feel — like I couldn’t do anything for myself — and he has destroyed so many relationships in my life. He has turned so many people against me. He did this with lies and by making people believe him.
I finally realized that he was a narcissist who was very cunning and always fooling me. Please see if you can give me some support and advice not to let this person ever fool me again with his lies. Thank you. — Married to a Narcissist
DEAR MARRIED: Congratulations on leaving what was a terrible situation for you. There are support groups you could join that would help you recover from the abuse that you suffered from your husband. Look up https://narcissistabusesupport.com/narcissist-abuse-support-groups/.
The best thing is that you are away from his toxicity, which can only leave you feeling drained and hollowed out. It’s time to rebuild the pieces of your self-esteem that he spent years destroying. Allow other people, such as a good therapist or members of a support group, to help you put back those pieces.
DEAR ANNIE: I just want to put this out there. I am a 63-year-old woman. I was bullied in school for no reason at all. I was never the type to fight back or say anything, and after all these years, it still bothers me. I was afraid to tell my parents what I was going through. I taught my kids to come to me if they were ever treated like this in school. Please, parents, question your children; ask them if things were OK in school. Bullying is not right at any age! — Still Have Scars
DEAR SCARS: I am sorry that you had to experience bullying at all. You are correct that the scars still remain. I hope that with the help of a good therapist, you can heal some of that past hurt so that you can be free of pain.