DEAR ABBY: My two children were in a terrible car accident and were both airlifted to a children's hospital. My son was released two weeks later, but my daughter is still there, suffering from traumatic brain injury. Abby, I was driving the car. Why is she being punished and not me?
— Anguished Mother
DEAR ANGUISHED: You're asking a question that philosophers have pondered for centuries — why bad things happen to good people. In many cases the answer is simply "fate."
Although you believe your daughter is being punished instead of you, I say the guilt you're carrying IS punishment, and it is not healthy for you or your child. Please don't waste time flogging yourself, because your daughter needs you. Counseling may help you.
DEAR ABBY: I'm 16 and well below the average height for females. It bothers me a lot. I get picked up all the time, and it's awkward talking with people because they look straight down at me. I'm really self-conscious, and when I get upset people just laugh at me and say I'm "cute." What should I do? n
— Looked Down Upon in New Jersey
DEAR LOOKED DOWN UPON: No one has the right to pick you up or touch you in a familiar way without your permission. If this is happening at school, tell the principal about it, because it could be classified as a form of bullying. If it's happening outside of school, your parents should be told so they can help you put an end to it.