Posted: Tuesday, July 5, 2011 10:04 pm
Dear Annie: My daughter, “Chloe,” receives child support for her son, “Logan,” who is 3. Chloe does not live with her son because she is not capable of taking care of him. She is an alcoholic who lives with her abusive boyfriend. My husband and I have raised Logan since birth. He lives with us.
Since Chloe has legal custody, however, she receives the child support payments. Unfortunately, she spends most of the money on herself and her boyfriend. Every time I ask her for money to cover day care costs, food and other expenses for Logan, we get into a big fight. She does buy her son a few clothes and toys from time to time. But she recently received $926 in back support, and it is already gone. Less than half was spent on Logan.
What can I do? I would like Logan’s father to get custody. He already has him four days a week and wants to be with him. Chloe usually sees her son once a week. Should I tell Logan’s father what is going on? I think he would still let us take care of Logan a few days a week. I love my grandchild and want to be a part of his life. — Nebraska
Dear Nebraska: Chloe should not be receiving child support payments if she is not actually raising her child or using the money for its intended purpose. You should do whatever is in Logan’s best interests. If his father wants to raise him and can provide a stable, loving home, it makes sense for him to ask for custody. You also may be in a position to be given custody of your grandchild since you have been his informal guardian since birth. If you want to do that, please talk to a lawyer.
Dear Annie: I’m an alcoholic. I’ve been to rehab three times and now go to AA every day. I also attend an intensive outpatient program every week. It’s finally had an impact. I have NO desire at all for a glass of wine.
I am an attractive professional and had a very high-paying job for 25 years. Alcohol played a major role in my losing my job. It also caused serious issues with my family. I got three DUIs and pretty much took a perfectly good life and allowed alcohol to screw it up. Alcohol does that.
After being “dry” for three weeks, I finished up some landscaping work with a friend and said, “Boy, a beer would be great right now.” So I ordered a non-alcoholic beer at the local bar. Since then, I’ve had a few more. I feel great, I don’t wake up jittery, and I have a lot more energy and drive.
Here’s my question. Is non-alcoholic beer OK for an alcoholic? I’m aware that there is .05 percent alcohol in a beer, but it satisfies the urge without the problems associated with normal alcoholic beverages. — Wondering About the Brew in Massachusetts
Dear Wondering: We commend you for trying to stay sober, but any alcohol, even a small amount, could be a problem for you. Studies have shown that the smell of non-alcoholic beer can trigger the same increase in the brain chemical dopamine as regular beer, causing some recovering alcoholics to eventually relapse. Please discuss this with your AA sponsor.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “Crying in California,” the woman who did not receive a condolence card from her doctor after the loss of her daughter. She has my sympathy. At least she did not experience the horror of receiving a call from the doctor reminding her of her dead daughter’s next appointment. That’s what happened to our mother shortly after Dad died. Please tell “Crying” to wipe her tears and change doctors. — K in Kentucky
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 6.30.11