Dear L.O: A pat on the back from a newspaperly stranger is no substitute fot the approval you crave from your father, but here it is anyway. You express yourself beautifully, clearly, directly, gently, and your point is well made. so well, in fact, that I would advise you, for once in my eight years as an advice columnatrix, to "hand this column to your dad," except that it's such an egregious cliche'. If you happend to find yourself clipping this sucker and sliding it under Dad's Grape-Nuts bowl, though, it wouldn't be the worst thing. He needs to see, in your own words, how badly you're hurting. Just understand beforehand that you may not hear what you want- and, even more important, that it may not mean what you think. People do what they do for all kinds of reasons. Unfortunately, it's human nature to think we know the reason, to think we are the reason, and to think it's our fault. Keep an open mind, and please let me know how it goes.