DEAR ABBY: I live in a beautiful apartment in the perfect location and have been here for three years. This past year my neighbors had a second baby, who cries constantly all night and most of the day. I hear the parents yelling and slamming doors when they are frustrated. The child is now 1 1/2 and still crying constantly. I'm stressed out and losing sleep because of the constant commotion. At first, I didn't complain because I didn't want to stress them out. Now I feel stuck. Should I complain directly to them, contact the building manager or just make arrangements to move? I feel terrible. We must give young children and parents some leeway, but this isn't their first child, and I worry that something more is going on. Please help me. I'm losing my sanity and goodwill toward children. — LOSING MY SANITY
DEAR LOSING: It's possible that something is wrong with the child. Talk to the building manager, explain the problem, and say that a year and a half of the racket is enough. You may learn that you are not the only tenant bothered by the constant crying and door-slamming. If the problem can't be corrected, contact a lawyer and check to see if you have grounds to break your lease and get out of there. You have a right to the quiet enjoyment of your home. You have my sympathy.
DEAR ABBY: Recently the news has been filled with stories of tragedy and heartache. So many innocent lives have been taken that it has proven to be challenging to process. Although I haven't personally known anyone affected in these events, I feel the weight of grief on my heart.
I know I'm not the only person who is confused about how to manage their emotions after national tragedies. Do you have any suggestions as to what to do during times like these? — WANTING TO HEAL IN WISCONSIN
DEAR WANTING: Yes. But first, let me suggest what NOT to do. Do not remain glued to your television or computer screen taking in every graphic detail that invariably follows the announcement. Ration the input, and the "poison" will affect you less.
Talk about your feelings with friends and/or family rather than bottling them up and letting them fester. And if it will make you feel less helpless, donate some money to the families who have been affected by these tragedies to help with funeral or other unexpected expenses. While it won't fix their heartache — or yours — it will let them know that others care.
If it won't depress you further, participate in community rallies, vigils or other organized events to show support. This, too, can help.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.