Dear Amy: I have one son and two grandsons.
The older grandson, age 17, appeared at his prom wearing a full-length purple gown with nail polish to match.
I privately told my son (his father) that I was concerned for my grandson’s safety, as he would be a target if he is so flamboyant.
My son became very defensive and said that people can love who they want, and that society needs to get used to it. I agree. But there are people out there who don’t like this “in your face” behavior.
I have not mentioned this again. I don’t want to alienate my son or grandson, but the prospect of having a LGBTQ grandson makes me sick.
He spends most of his time alone in his room and is very sullen. His maternal grandfather committed suicide last year, so I am concerned about the mental health of the entire family.
They are receiving counseling individually and as a family.
Can I do anything other than cry myself to sleep?
Could this be a phase, or will he always be like this?
– Devastated Grandma
Dear Devastated: I have a blunt question for you: Are you going through a phase, or will you always be like this?
I hope it’s a phase.
Yes, you worry. Yes, you fret. But the role of a grandparent is actually so simple: All you have to do is to love your grandchildren – exactly as they are, exactly as they present to you; through phases, representations, or revelations – and through whatever joys or challenges they encounter.
Can you imagine the impact on this family if you just simply loved and accepted all of them, no matter what?
You might not understand why your grandson would make the choice to go to the prom wearing what sounds like an amazing outfit. But that sullen teenager left his bedroom, got dolled-up, and took himself to the prom!
(I wish I’d had an ounce of that kind of courage at his age.)
Furthermore, his father is his ally! Give yourself credit for raising a man who is a good parent.
This family is receiving professional support (another very wise choice).
Your only job here is to find a way around your own fears, and to relieve yourself of the burden to judge this family – and instead to love all of them, just as they are.
Dear Amy: I moved to a different state in 2019 and have made one friend.
I met “Stacy” before the pandemic so up until now, she’s been the only person in my new home that I have close ties to.
I’m a loner, and it takes a lot for me to let people in.
One of the main reasons for this is because I believe I suffer from an eating disorder.
Most of the time, I have to force myself to eat. Some months are better than others, but it’s a daily battle for me.
I overheard Stacy talking to her significant other about my weight the other day. She said I lost too much weight and that something must be wrong with me.
I feel like if we’re friends, why not ask me about this directly?
My weight has been a struggle for me and I’ve actually gained a little bit, so this hurt my feelings.
Only my children know how much I struggle with this. (I’ve never been diagnosed by a doctor, either.)
This isn’t the first time Stacy has said something that has cut me deep, but I also don’t want to lose the only new friend I’ve made.
How should I handle this?
– A Confused Loner
Dear Loner: First, do this (today): Go to the National Eating Disorders Association webpage, national eating disorders.org. They offer many invaluable and supportive resources, including a “chat” function and a “helpline”: (800) 931-2237. You should see a physician and get a thorough checkup.
Second: Please be brave enough to be honest with “Stacy.” Sharing this might deepen your friendship, and you deserve to have a good friend in your corner. You can get better, and I hope you’ll move toward a healthy recovery today.
Dear Amy: I did NOT agree with your advice to “Accidental Witness,” who saw her stepdaughter’s husband kissing the family’s nanny.
I would be horrified if someone knew about this in my family and did not tell me.
Dear Upset: The problem was that this witness couldn’t seem to bring herself to deliver this news. She wanted others to do it.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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