my step-brothers gang up on me

dear heather,

My mum and dad have been split up for two years now and both are remarried. I live at my mum’s and everything is OK there. But when I go to my dad’s, my brother and my two step-brothers gang up on me. My dad knows it is going on but does nothing to make it stop. Plus, when I try fight back against my step-brothers, my step-mum shouts at me. She thinks they’re perfect but they’re not. Please help! I don’t know what to do…

Your situation sounds very painful–not just physically, but emotionally as well. You say that your father knows about this and that he’s done nothing to stop it? Some siblings do get into physical altercations (usually two-sided). This may be something he’s used to–perhaps it happened in his family. He may not know how much it really bothers you. If you haven’t already, you might try spelling it out for him. Let him know that it’s unacceptable for you to be physically beaten by these guys and that you’re looking for him to set some boundaries. Also, let him know that you value time spent with him, but that this is putting real distance between you two.Your mother may also be able to advocate for you, especially if your father continues to do nothing. I would recommend speaking to her and letting her know that this is more than just an annoyance, but that it’s really affecting your experience during your visit with your Dad. Ask her to talk to your father or maybe both him and his new wife.

In the meantime, don’t be afraid to reach out to your school counselor to help you deal with the stress of the situation, the divorce and your abusive step-brothers.

take care,

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