DEAR ABBY: My granddaughter "Cindy," age 2, was being watched by her mommy"s ex-sister-in-law and her sons. Cindy went to her mommy and said, "Bubby hurt me." Bubby is what she calls her 10-year-old cousin. Her mother called the police. A policeman spoke to her and said there wasn't enough evidence. Now my granddaughter is scared of men.
The police went and talked to the cousin who said he "accidentally touched her down there with her pull-up on." DCFS was called in, and again it was a man. We took Cindy to a female doctor and Cindy told the doctor everything that happened to her. Now she wakes up having nightmares and yells, "No, Bubby. Stop."
What"s a grandmother to do to help her? We need justice for Cindy. -- DISTRAUGHT GRANDMOTHER
DEAR DISTRAUGHT: You may need justice for Cindy, but what Cindy needs right now is professional help to get past the trauma of what was done to her. Contact the nearest rape treatment center, tell them everything you have told me and ask for their assistance in finding therapy for your grandchild. They hear stories like this all too often.
The boy who assaulted Cindy also needs counseling so that he won"t/can"t repeat what he did to her with another little girl. From my perspective, both of these children need professional help.
DEAR ABBY: For years I dated guys who I knew wanted a committed relationship, while I just wanted to have fun. I enjoyed being single and never saw myself getting married. My mom was married three times to men who abused her. It made the idea of marriage terrifying to me.
Through counseling, I have found healing from my past. I regret the damage I caused by leading guys on. Now that I want to be married, my life feels empty. While I used to enjoy my independence, I now want to share my experiences with someone.
Because of the counseling I have had, I know what I shouldn't settle for, but the only guys asking me out are sleazy. I feel like in some ways life was easier when I wanted to stay single. How do I find a healthy balance so I won"t go back to my old ways or end up settling out of desperation? -- HEALED BUT CONFUSED
DEAR HEALED BUT CONFUSED: One way would be to continue the counseling. While you may want to be married now, desperation and neediness are not traits that attract worthwhile men.
You need to be prepared to take some time and find a balance in your life while you"re looking for Mr. Right. Explore your own interests, make friends with members of both sexes, do some volunteering if you have the time. If you do, the chances of your meeting the right kind of man will improve because you will have more to offer.
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.
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