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Conflicts with my Stepmom

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  • Conflicts with my Stepmom

    Hi, so I'm currently 16 (turning 17 really soon) and I've been having this ongoing conflict with my stepmom pretty much since she got here. My mother passed away from cancer when I was around 8 so I didn't have a mom till my dad decided that I should have one and remarried when I was in 7th grade, so around 11-12. So I only met this lady like once irl before they got married and she just showed up at my house, so you can only imagine how close we are. At first it was honestly ok but she's kinda got bullied by my brother's ex gf who was living with us at the time, and she kinda went haywire. Now, she's paranoid, doesn't trust any of us, and everyone around me (including my dad and I) are 99% sure that she's mental.

    Fast forward to now. My dad and her sleep in different rooms, she locks her room, and we try to avoid each other as much as possible. Unfortunately, I don't have a working lock on my door and she comes in every now and then to check up on me which I find is extremely annoying. She also blows her fuse every now and then, and also accuses me of doing things like wearing her clothes and getting them dirty, cutting her clothes up, purposely getting dirt on her shoes, etc. Basically, she thinks I'm out to kill her. In fact, today, she just came in and accused me of going into her room when she forgot to lock it and cutting this piece of clothing that I didn't even know she owned. She also accused me of creating oil and soy sauce stains on her clothes, which I obviously denied because I never entered her room. She proceeded to threaten me that if stains can magically appear on her clothes, they can on mine as well. So now I really need to install that lock asap.

    A little more background on my family; We're a Chinese family, and my parents are immigrants. Chinese people tend to have this aversion to mental illness, although tbh anyone would deny an accusation of mental instability. My dad tried to get her to go to a psychiatrist, but she obviously denied. Neither my dad nor I get along well with my stepmom, and my dad is currently 63. I'll be going off to college in around 9 months, but things have escalated so much that I don't want to be in the same house as this crazy lady any longer. I also don't want my dad to spend the rest of his life with this person. He said that as long as she doesn't step too much out of line he can deal with her, since people get lonely as they age and it's nice to have someone around. But honestly, she's 15 years younger than my dad and I don't see her causing anything but a heart attack or panic attack to my dad once he ages a bit more.

    Just to clarify, I love my dad and I do not want to ever be separated from him. Is there any way that I can use my privilege as a minor and report my stepmom so that she has to leave my family without affecting my dad? My dad also is getting really old and doesn't make that much money, so I'd like to know how much of his financial stability would be affected if they were to separate, since there probably is no legal solution without having to split assets.

  • #2
    Hi there, thanks for reaching out today. Sounds like you are in a very stressful situation with your stepmom and her being paranoid that you are doing things to get clothing when you aren't. That must be hard to deal with on a regular basis. Here at NRS, we truly want to be a support for you during this time.

    It sounds like you are wondering if you can report your stepmom so that she can leave without it affecting your dad. In general, you do have the right to report emotional abuse to child protective services (CPS). Please keep in mind you by no means deserve any type of abuse, emotional or otherwise. Unfortunately, emotional abuse is often harder to provide evidence for compared to physical abuse which is often what CPS relies on when conducting an abuse investigation. CPS would have to find the abuse very severe to remove you from the home, or to press charges against her. So it is hard to say whether or not they would accept a report, and if they do accept it and investigate it would hard to be removed due to those circumstances. It is possible CPS could provide services such as family counseling. To learn more about your reporting rights you might reach out to the experts at Child Help 1-800-422-4453.

    If you haven't already you might let your dad know what she said to you and how the situation is making you feel, and how you are worried about him as well. It is awesome that you have such a great relationship with him, and it is clear that you care a lot about him. Maybe if he knows how you are feeling, he can better help you with things sush as letting you stay with others when your need, or talking to your stepmom on your behalf.

    Please do not hesitate to call or chat if you have questions, need resources, or need to talk. We can explore your situation, go over all your options, and come up with a plan and resources to deal with your situation over the phone or on live chat.

    We are looking forward to hearing from you soon, and wish you the best of luck.

    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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