Auntie SparkNotes: WE HAVE SO MANY UPDATES!
You guys. YOU GUYS. We have so much good news today, I can hardly stand it: a veritable horde of Where Are They Nows from some of the letter-writers you most wanted to hear back from. So put on your party pants, grab a celebratory beverage, and get ready to enjoy some terrific check-ins from problem-havers past!
First up: It's been a whole year since we heard from "Duplicitous Dating," who was pretending to date her girlfriend's brother rather than come out to her parents. Now, she's written back with some lovely news:
Chase and I “broke up” a long time ago, and as far as my mom is concerned, Adriana and I are just BFFs. (No more Mission Impossible for us!) The whole romance-under-the-guise-of-friendship works perfectly! I’ve decided not to come out until after college. Yes, my family still hates the LGBT community, and my dad is the mayor of our Southern town. So not only am I hiding my sexual orientation for the sake of my health and safety, I’m also doing it not to sully my dad’s career. But that’s okay! Chase is in college now (and is now free to live HIS OWN FREAKIN LOVE LIFE.). As I said earlier, my family is completely oblivious of my secret.
As for Adri and I….we’re still dating! (Yes! A year! I KNOW!) Remember in the beginning of my letter when I said I was on the brink of loving her? I’M OVER THE BRINK! If you haven’t heard of gay high school sweethearts, you heard of it now. A couple months ago, I had a sleepover with Adriana and all my other gal-friends. Mom loved it! Two months after that, Adri and I had our own sleepover at her house. In the same be—
OKAY THEN! We're gonna cut you off there, little superstar, before anyone starts getting too hot and bothered. (But seriously: YAY.) And let's move on... to an update from the Sparkler whose dad's BFF was constantly asking for hugs.
I am the girl who wrote to you about how my 50 year old neighbor was creeping on me. I just wanted to tell you that over the summer he tried to hug me again, and this time I put on my confidence pants and told him I really "just wasn't a hugger" and I was sorry if I gave him that impression. He has respected my boundaries so far, but if he ever makes me feel uncomfortable again, I know just what to say to him.
Well-played, darling, and remember this feeling; it'll serve you well not just with creepy neighbors, but with creepy friends, creepy bosses, creepy uncles, and creepy dogs! Unfortunately, setting reasonable boundaries doesn't always mean that people will be reasonable in return, as the letter-writer whose feuding grandparents were threatening to boycott her graduation discovered.
I'm the girl who wrote about having to choose between my grandparents for my graduation. I followed your advice and my grandmother chose to not attend. This obviously hurt very much, but I had a nice time with the rest of my family. But, it seems my grandmother was upset by what I did. I haven't seen her in 2 months. She decided at the last minute to not go on a family vacation, has refused an invitation to lunch with me multiple times, and also will not go to my 18th birthday dinner tomorrow night. I move 1000 miles away for college soon, and I don't think I will see her before then. I wish that she was able to not act like this, but I guess this is just the way she is. Thank you so much for all your help, and everyone who commented, for your advice. I wish I had better news but hopefully, with time, she'll come around!
One can hope, anyway. But whatever happens, you can be confident that you were fair, kind, and did the right thing.
And speaking of family drama, here's some news from "I Think My Sister Is Anorexic"—the Sparkler whose perspective-lacking parents bullied her for being overweight while ignoring her sister's eating disorder.
Well, it got worse before it got better. As in, my parents judged me more harshly, I stopped eating at regular times and started binging at around midnight to avoid judgement, my sister became a vegan and started eating even less and and eschewing more fats and proteins, and I started crying. And then you posted my letter.
I made a fuss and Anne went to three doctors. One said she was probably fine (it's just a phase), one suggested a bit less exercise and that maybe butter wasn't the enemy, and the nutritionist/eating disorder specialist said "OH MY GOD CHILD WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO YOUR BODY PLEASE LET ME HELP YOU." Guess which one they listened to. [That's it, I'm getting the salmon. — Auntie.] So instead, I talked to all of Anne's health class instructors at the gym. Word got around. She was strongly recommended not to come to certain classes, and the others are watching her carefully. Once school starts, I may talk to her teachers.
I can't say it magically fixed everything — it didn't — but it really, really helped me, and that's not a lie. I read and reread your response and every comment when I wanted to eat and was afraid, and then I got off the computer and ate, dammit. I want to thank you and the Sparklers. I can't really describe what it's like to feel like you're crazy and then have so many people lovingly tell you it's not you. It's amazing, and I needed it.
Y'know what else you need? A motherfranking medal for maintaining a healthy perspective while everyone around you is drinking Crazy juice. (And as great as it is that someone is looking out for your sis, don't forget to take care of yourself, too.)
And finally, it's the one we've all been waiting for: an update from the Sparkler whose stepbrother was stealing her things and blackmailing her with them. Excited? Just wait for the twist about halfway down.
A part of me always thought that I might have been overreacting about Mark, but after hearing what you had to say and reading all the comments people posted, I realized that what Mark was doing was abusive and that I didn't have to put up with it. I went straight to my dad. At first he thought I lying, considering the fact that he has never seen Mark in psycho-mode, and I had never brought up his manipulative tendencies before. But after seeing me buy a trunk and install a lock on my door, (turns out I'm really good at using a drill) he talked to my stepmom about it. Turns out Mark did the same thing to his previous stepsiblings (his mom has been married 4 times) but his mother never really bothered to do anything about it. My dad, however, insisted that as long as we were living under the same roof, Mark had to respect my privacy and my property. They got him into therapy, and they made him replace everything of mine he's destroyed. My relationship with Mark and my stepmom is still a little rocky, but my life is much, much better than it was before. I feel much safer knowing my things are safely locked away, and that my dad is on my side.
And that's a wrap, interfriends! May you all have a lovely weekend full of good food, good fun, and good parents who don't think it's no big deal when their children stop eating and/or start committing felonies, because seriously, what. And pssst, if you've been sitting on an update of your own, now's the time to send it in.
Are you so excited for these updates? Tell us in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.