What's Your Problem?
Dear Ms. Beavers:
I read your column and see you on IMO and think you are very funny. I am 17 years old and a high school student in Springfield. I am fed up with my parents and don't know what to do. They fight all the time. They have been divorced for 2 years and I feel like a tennis ball having to spend every other weekend with one of them. When Mom comes to pick me up, she fights with my step-mom, and my dad. She calls her a slut and a whore all the time when were at home. She said tonight, “So I hear your going shopping Saturday with the slut?” Make sure
she doesn't take you to any of her watering holes.” She puts dad's wife down all the time, and says it's all his fault that we have to live in poverty. Ms. Beavers, we are far from poverty. Mom has to work now and she didn't before but we still have a nice house, and I know dad takes care of me & her and Austin in finances.
Mom says that she is going to move away and he will never see me again. Well I don't want
to move, and my divorced family friends tell me the courts have to make that decision.
I wish there was peace in my family. My brother Austin is 19 and away at college, he won't deal with it at all. When he came home at Christmas he stayed with his friends so he did not have to hear mom talking about him and his wife, or dad not saying anything.
I cannot wait to be 18, but that won't happen till next November. I am thinking of transferring schools to go live with my aunt in New York, but I will miss my friends. What do you think I should do? Mom says I have to obey her till I am 21. My brother says I should just go live with my Aunt.
No matter how badly your parents are behaving, they must’ve done something right; you sound like a wonderful young woman. I’m very sorry that you’re in this situation and it’s important to remember that you are in no way responsible for any of this mess.
The facts: You are a legal adult at the age of 18 in Massachusetts. If your parents have a custody agreement, your mom cannot move without the court’s permission. At 17 you cannot go to your aunt’s without parental consent. Your brother has decided to check out, but trust me he shares your burden.
As for you, hang in there. First step: Tell your mom it really upsets you when she bashes your step-mom and dad. That’s a tough step; don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do it. When our loyalties are conflicted it really stinks. Step 2: Go to your Guidance Counselor and find a safe, sympathetic and responsible adult ear you can borrow. Step 3: If you belong to a church, connect with your youth pastor. You don’t have to go through this alone. There are people trained to help you. Getting help is not a sign of weakness but of strength.
If you ever feel overwhelmed don’t keep it inside--reach out!! Something great happens when we share our problems; we find out we’re not alone. Keep this number: 1-877-YOUTHLINE.
I have faith in your intelligence and strength, Amy, and I know you’re going to get through this! Keep in touch!
what’s your problem?
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