Every Problem Does Not Have a Solution
Dear Margo: Many years ago, I got a call informing me that my son was arrested and being held on $1 million bail. That was when I first learned that he is a pedophile.
He has just completed his 20-year prison sentence, and during that time I learned a great deal about this insidious disease. Everyone hates a pedophile, and they’re unable to separate the person from the crime. As with any crime, when the person who committed the crime is a family member, you still love him or her. Like alcoholism, no one chooses to be a pedophile. Inside prison, it is awful for convicted pedophiles. Inmates hate snitches and pedophiles. If they are not killed in prison, they are beaten up regularly. Inmates “clean the yard” by beating up a sex offender so badly that the person is transferred to another facility.
There is no cure for this illness, nor has a cause been determined. The only way a pedophile can survive is to hide the fact that he is one. Until society finds a cure for pedophilia, we will create more pedophiles each day, only to warehouse the ones we catch in prison. Do you believe there will ever be hope for this particular mental and behavioral illness? — Distraught Dad
Dear Dis: Pedophilia has the “distinction” of being both a disease and a crime. Alas, I don’t see a cure in the future because it is a mental aberration — much more serious, but on the order of pathological lying. The inclination is just there. The recidivism rate for pedophilia is high, even after therapy. When you consider that so many priests have been revealed to be pedophiles — and they are servants of God, no less — that sort of gives you your answer. — Margo, historically
Spilled Milk and All That
Dear Margo: I’m a recent college grad in an uncomfortable situation. I studied abroad during college and made friends with a large group of students from all over the world. During our time together, seven of us became closer than the rest, and before we left, we all made a pact to reunite at one another’s weddings. I usually don’t put too much stock in grand promises like that, but I figured these were all good people and we would at least extend invitations to one another.
It’s been a few years, and two of the people in the group have gotten engaged. I admit we haven’t been in close contact, but we did keep up with milestones in one another’s lives — birthdays, holidays, deaths in the family, etc. Now I find out that one couple is getting married next fall, and they’re inviting everyone from our smaller group except me.
I am hurt, since apparently the pact was made for everyone but me, and I am unsure how to address it. Should I speak to one of our mutual friends about it? I don’t think I could address the bride without making her feel she has to invite me, and the only thing worse than being excluded is being issued a pity invitation. In the good old days, this would have gone undetected, but with Facebook, I see updates about travel plans, engagement photos, etc. Can I still send them a card wishing them well, or would that seem passive-aggressive? — Disappointed
Dear Dis: I guess you could call this a slap in the Facebook. It is thoughtless, if you’re being exclusionary, to go public with all kinds of details. Their bad … or maybe their dumb. For whatever reason, you were not considered to be a real part of the group, though you thought otherwise. You might ask a mutual friend for an opinion about the situation, just to satisfy your curiosity. And by all means send a card. They will feel awful. — Margo, regrettably
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Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via the online form at www.creators.com/dear-margo.html. Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.
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