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Stepmother Keeps Me Away From My Father

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I have a problem with my stepmother. She tries to keep me away from my father while we are trying to live as a family. She treats me badly when my father is not home.

Now that my father has been deployed, she has sent me to live with my grandmother forever. I don't know what to do or how to get any of my things. What should I do? Should I report her?

Apple Blossom

Dear Apple Blossom,

I'm sorry to hear about your problems with your stepmother. I like the way you said you are "trying to live as a family." This is very hard to do if you are not getting along with your stepmother.

You said she treats you badly, but I'm not sure what this means. You can report her if she is being physically or emotionally abusive toward you. If that was the case, then it's good that you are not living with her anymore.

This is very stressful, even more when you consider that your father is deployed. You didn't say how old you are, but I'm thinking you are under 18 years old.mConsequently, I think you should let your grandmother and your mother speak to your stepmother so they can try to understand her concerns. They can also talk to her to coordinate the return of your things.

Blended families come together and form close bonds, but it will take everyone working together to make this happen.

Your father should know everything that is going on. There are many ways for you to keep in touch with your father, and I think you, your mother and your grandmother should let him know.

Please keep in touch with me and let me know what happened. I will be thinking about you.

Ms. Vicki

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Ms. Vicki, a native of Dallas, has been the ‘Dear Abby’ for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology. Her column has appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Ms. Vicki has retired from writing new columns for Although Ms. Vicki is no longer offering new advice on, you can still email military benefits questions to our Questions and Benefits team. Need military spouse career help? Email our Dear Career writers.