Dear Abby: My 3-year-old son is terminally ill. My sister-in-law, "Anita," has a son who is a year old. Anita always wants to compete for attention between the two boys. She makes nasty comments to family members, suggesting that her son is ignored while mine gets all the attention. No one says anything to her because they're afraid of her "blowups."
I don't know how much longer I can live with this. It is hard enough watching my son slip away a little more each day, but having to deal with this has pushed me over the edge. How can I handle a crazy in-law in this situation? —FALLING APART IN ILLINOIS
Dear Falling Apart: Please accept my sympathy for the heartache you are experiencing. It's a shame that no one in the family is willing to point out to your volatile sister- in-law that the "annoyance" she's feeling is selfish and insensitive.
However, because no one is, it might be better that Anita be excluded from family gatherings in which she might feel her son is getting short shrift. And you should ask the person who is repeating her complaints to you to please stop sharing them. That should solve your problem.