A reader sent me this recent Dear Abby column, wanting to know what my advice would be to this LW:
After she went away to college, she got pregnant by a non-boyfriend. When she had an abortion, she swore me to secrecy because she didn’t tell the father. Shortly thereafter, he came to me and tricked me into telling him. To this day, Jenny still blames me and says I was out to get her and ruin her life.
Jenny spread rumors about me around our group of friends, on the internet, and told my mom horrible lies about me. She even threatened a lawsuit. Ten years later, she still pops up out of the blue to attack me. A year ago, she sent me a message saying she wished I had died in a tornado that struck my area. She sends taunts about an old boyfriend of mine who got married and had a kid.
I never respond because that’s what she wants. She pops up at the worst times and makes me feel worse. How should I deal with her? — At a Boiling Point in Tennessee
You can read Dear Abby’s advice here. Mine is below:
Your frenemy’s father “tricked” you into telling him your frenemy had an abortion? This is the same frenemy who constantly berated you through high school, accused you of taking advantage of her, and put you down to make herself feel better? And it was only by being “tricked” by her father that you let slip that she had an abortion? I don’t believe that. I believe you had a lot of built-up hostility and resentment toward Jenny and saw a chance to get back at her a bit and that it didn’t take much, if any, arm-twisting by her father to get you to betray her trust and reveal a deeply personal and intimate secret of hers. I think that’s pretty pathetic. Did you ever even apologize? Perhaps, if you want Jenny to stop taunting you, an apology for betraying her is in order. And if that doesn’t work, take this as a lesson in the future to: 1) not be friends with people you don’t like; 2) not betray someone’s trust by sharing deeply personal information about her or him.
One must believe, based on Jenny’s behavior toward you all these years, that she truly feels that you tried to ruin her life and that, based on your description about the way she treated you in high school, it’s not hard to see how that might actually be the case. Shame on you.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.