Dear Susan: I moved across the country to get away from my controlling parents and friends. I’ve met someone here, and I’m back in the same situation because he’s calling the shots. Why did I let this happen? Stuck

Dear Stuck: You have spirit, and you’re not afraid to take life by the neck. Bravo! The problem is, you’ve doubted yourself since your early teens. You’re a very sensitive person, and you take things to heart. You need to work on your self-worth. Try to do something each week that makes you feel good about yourself. Make a list of all your positive and negative traits. Each week, take a negative and work on it. It will take time, but you will do it. This will help you rely more on your own judgment, which is your problem. Act on what I told you and you will change your life — unstuck you will become.

Dear Susan: I have been good friends with this woman for about three years. We have both been through many ups and downs — everything from my father’s death to her addiction troubles. As great as the ride has been, I feel like I am getting the short end of the stick. When I need her she’s off having fun, but every time she needs me, I’m there. A month ago, she found herself a new boyfriend. Since then, I’ve been dumped. Is she really my friend? Doormat

Dear Doormat: When you first met your friend, you knew after several weeks that she’d had a difficult childhood and early-adult life. She struggled as a young teen, which left her feeling worthless and inadequate — she must have told you this. The point is, either you weren’t listening or you chose to ignore it. She has had a drinking problem since her early teens because it helps her block out feelings of being unloved. The warning signs were there. But only you know when enough is enough. You’re expecting your logic to apply to her, but it can’t. Her spirit is individual to her. The new man will consume her — as she feels loved right now — but that won’t last. She will come knocking again. This is a lesson in life for you — albeit a harsh one. You deserve better. Be more discriminating about who you let into your life and you’ll find that things will change.

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