DEAR ABBY: I am 19, and because of some traumatic events in my past, I’m afraid of the dark and sleep with my baby blanket.
I went to counseling about it, but eventually stopped because it didn’t help. I haven’t had any real problems as a result of the issue because I live at home and my boyfriend has been supportive in accommodating my needs when I stay with him. Plus, I don’t need my blanket when I’m with him.
My concern is about the upcoming semester. I will have to move to the main campus of my university in order to continue my education. This means I’ll be living in a shared dorm. The two times it came up during high school, I was teased mercilessly until something else came along. While I have reached the point where I can go without my blanket for a few nights, any longer and it starts to get to me.
I don’t want to have problems when I move to the main campus because I’m already going to stand out for moving in the middle of the year, but I don’t know how to keep training myself to give up my blanket. — STILL SCARED IN DELAWARE
DEAR STILL SCARED: You might not have to. I have a suggestion that might be helpful, but it would require having your blanket converted into a “huggie pillow.” That way you can still sleep with it but it would no longer resemble a baby blanket. Many people sleep with an extra pillow, so it wouldn’t appear to be odd at all.
DEAR ABBY: My vegetarian, won’t-harm-a-fly husband owns two handguns. They were bought before I met him. He knows I don’t approve. I have always felt strongly about not raising children in a home where guns are kept. His argument for having them is that he distrusts our government. He claims the guns will protect our family if there is ever an uprising or a riot.
While I support his desire to protect our family, I’m frightened by the much more immediate possibility of an accident happening, or the children finding them and harming themselves or someone else.
We plan to start a family in the near future, and I have tried to talk him into either getting rid of the guns or storing them elsewhere. Every time I raise the subject, it turns into an argument and he insists he won’t get rid of them. I’m at a loss about how to resolve this problem. Any advice? — UNWILLING TO GIVE UP IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR UNWILLING: Would your vegetarian, wouldn’t-harm-a-fly husband consider trigger locks for his weapons or a gun safe? If not, then perhaps you should consider raising your children with a man who isn’t already married to his guns.
DEAR ABBY: What do you do if you like a teacher? Do you just hide it? He always comes to my table and I can’t focus because I get so distracted. I think he’s very good-looking. I’m 13 and he’s 23. What should I do? — CRUSHING IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR CRUSHING: What you’re experiencing happens in countless classrooms and it’s perfectly normal. Unless you’re an accomplished actress, hiding your feelings would be like trying to smuggle dawn past a rooster.
Function as best you can, and don’t stare at him because it could be embarrassing for him. If you want to impress him, be his top-achieving pupil. The strong emotions you’re feeling will fade once an attractive young man your age appears on the horizon. Trust me on that, because I’m speaking from experience.