# Dear Amy: Update from a Wounded Son
Amy Dickinson, a renowned advice columnist, often receives updates from her readers about the advice she offers. In this update, a reader who had previously sought advice on caring for abusive parents in their declining years shares their story of triumph and reconciliation.
## The Original Question
The reader, an adult man who had suffered sexual abuse from his stepfather with his mother’s knowledge, had asked for advice on what kind of allegiance he owed his parents in their old age. He had a difficult family history and was angry at the thought of spending time and money on two people who were poor parents.
## Amy’s Perspective
Amy advised the reader that if assisting his parents would further his healing, he should do it. However, he should not consider himself a failure if he cannot reach this extremely high standard. Amy felt that the fact that they have survived long enough to be elderly should not confer any more obligation upon him than when he was an abused 15-year-old victim.
## The Update
The reader found tremendous validation in Amy’s statement that his parents renounced their kinship to him when they victimized him. He maintained relationships with each of them, cordial with his geographically distant father, and friendly but careful with his mother, who lived not far away. He visited his mom frequently enough to avoid guilt but kept a strong boundary around his parents and did not intend to do much for them as they aged.
## Triumph and Reconciliation
The reader’s parents are both dead now, and he is proud that he managed to maintain relationships with each of them. He believes each of his parents was fully aware of how difficult his early life had been and how responsible they were for that. He is thankful that both of them had loved ones nearby who attended to them at the end of their lives. Near the end of her life, his mom said to one of his nephews, “I’m lucky that my children even speak to me.” Which is heartbreaking, but true.
The reader’s story is one of triumph and reconciliation. Amy Dickinson’s advice helped him navigate a difficult situation and maintain healthy boundaries while still finding a way to reconcile with his parents. It is a powerful reminder that forgiveness does not mean you have to support those who have hurt you.