June 23, 2024

Dear Manang,
I have always been protective of my son who just turned 60. I know that he is imperfect, in fact, he lacks malice in life, short of saying, he is seven years old mentally. He recently expressed his desire to be with a woman who is 44 and has two children by her first husband. I am too old to object to this but I am annoyed at the thought of my daughter-in-law who is taking advantage of my son’s simplemindedness. My son will give her the moon but I don’t like this. I need help!
Riva of Camp 1, Tuba, Benguet

Dear Riva,
As we say, love is a many splendored thing. It is absolutely divine in its passion and desire to give everything to make the other happy. Did you ever notice if the woman is as giving as your son? If she reciprocates with the same dumb joy of sharing, you have a match made in heaven and need to just play blind. This must be pure love between two naive individuals. The rest will just follow. Your son has no capacity to bring up the kids but if she has her own resources to cope with this, just lay back. He is not in a fix.
Take it slowly,

Dear Manang,
Does trauma ever go away? It is 32 years after the earthquake but I still get jolted whenever there is an earthquake. I almost twisted my ankle the other week when I jumped off my bed after a jerk from an earthquake. I also imagine another one that will come that is equally strong. Do I need help?
Diana of Labsan Street, Baguio City

Dear Diana,
The psychological effects of those traumatic events last long only because this was not processed a long time ago. We are only seeing the need to care for mental health in these trying times because it has become urgent with the surge of unforeseen events. Professional help is needed in the initial stages because processing trauma has many underlying connections to your life. But this is actually simple if you learn the basic questions to ask and how to allow the other person to discuss it. I am not an expert but psychologists should try to spread the principles for psychological first aid. Find out about this and participate in the process.
Attention psychologists.