Dear Abby: A year ago, I was contacted by a half-sister I’ll call “Shyla,” who my mother placed for adoption at birth. My mother passed away five years ago. She was a horrible mother who physically, verbally and emotionally abused my brother and me. Giving Shyla up was the best thing she ever did. I have spent years in therapy to work through my painful childhood.

Shyla barreled in like a train. I was honest with her about our mother and how I grew up. But Shyla wants me to visit her and video-call her like we are close. When she asks questions about my mother, I’m honest because I refuse to create a person who didn’t exist. The woman was a monster.

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