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Dear Dish-It, Everyone Left My Dad and Me

Dear Dish-It, is here to whisper "ttyl when I've thought about this some more".

Dear Dish-It,

I want to leave home but I don't want to hurt my dad's feelings. Over a year ago, my mom moved out and so did my sister. It's just been me and my dad. Also, I've spent the past 27 weekends at someone else's house (my mom's or a friend's.) Most of the time though, I'm at my aunt and uncle's house. Sometimes my aunt and uncle and I brush on the topic of me staying there in the summer or something, but my cousins want me to stay all the time, not just during the summer and on weekends. I would love to do that. I know all the kids in the neighborhood and their parents. The thing is, I'm afraid it would destroy my dad. I try thinking that it would help him financially but I keep thinking how upset he was that mom left and that my sister wanted to live elsewhere (she's 17.) It makes me mad that she was selfish and only thinking of herself when she moved out. What should I do? Stay for four more years until university or move in with my relatives? (PS: I'm not very good with my communication skills when it comes to something that might hurt someone.)

Dear Hockey_Chick9,

This is a real dilemma. It must be very hard to be the only one left with your dad, if for no other reason than your family unit has totally disintegrated. It sounds like your dad has been through a lot - and so have you. There is no easy answer here - you've got to make your dad unhappy or be unhappy yourself.

There may be a bit of a compromise. Could you do what your aunt and uncle suggested and live with them on weekends and summers while staying with your dad during the week? At least start out like that so that your dad doesn't feel totally abandoned right away. Or you could do the opposite, ask to live with your aunt and uncle during the week, but tell your dad you want to see him on weekends.

Because I don't know exactly why you don't want to live with your dad, it's hard for me to say exactly what to do. You should definitely tell him you're not totally happy right now. Since you're not the best with words, try writing stuff down (to get the wording right) and then using it as a guide when you chat with him. Also, I think it's important you find support elsewhere. If talking to a counsellor (at school, etc) isn't your thing, then you could try some online resources. www.teenadvice.org is full of advice for all sorts of issues, including divorce and broken homes. There is also this site which has advice and help for both you and your dad. Maybe you two could explore it together. Your life has gone through some MAJOR changes and you've got a lot of emotions to deal with. It'll be very helpful to chat with someone who has an objective opinion. Hang in there and good luck!

So, ya gotta burnin' question? Need some love directions? Thinkin' 'bout stuff like depression, sex,how ya feel 'bout YOURSELF (that's called "self-esteem"), boyfriends, girlfriends, losin' old friends, bullyin' or peer pressure, but too scared to ask the parents? Don't be scared to .

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