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by Abigail Van Buren

Move to New School Is Tough for Teen to Take

DEAR ABBY: I am 13 years old and in the eighth grade. I just moved from one set of grandparents to my other grandma's house and had to change schools.

At my old school, I had friends. At this new school, I don't have anybody to hang out with. Every once in a while, someone talks to me. But every day I eat lunch alone.

Grandma works, so I have to go to school an hour early and stay an hour later than the other kids. I'm trying to stick it out for this school year, but next year I want to go back to my old school where I have friends and transportation.

I'm afraid my grandma will be heartbroken if I leave her. I love her and don't want to hurt her. If she wanted me to, I could still visit her every weekend like I used to. I don't know how to handle this. Please help me. -- LONELY IN TEXAS

DEAR LONELY: You have my sympathy. The timing for your move could not have been worse. By eighth grade, cliques and friendships have been well-established, and trying to break in is difficult.

I hope you will be patient and give things in your new community a little more time. In the fall, everyone in your class will be starting high school. Very often the people who were close in grammar/middle school start forming new alliances at that time, and you will be able to find friends and fit in. You will be able to join clubs or go out for sports, if that interests you.

At the end of your freshman year, if your situation has not improved, you should speak to your grandmother about returning to your old community. But if you do go back, don't be surprised if things are not the way you remembered them. As circumstances change and time passes, people also change.

DEAR ABBY: My husband, daughter and I recently moved from the West Coast to a small town on the East Coast. My husband loves his new job and my daughter is adjusting well, but I am miserable.

I have been commuting back and forth. When I am on the West Coast, I feel I'm myself and all's right with the world. When I return home, I deflate.

Nothing I try makes the move bearable. If I'd truly known what living here would be like, I would never have moved.

Living on the West Coast would be better for me, but I have my husband and daughter to consider. How do I evaluate the trade-off between their well-being and my misery? -- MISERABLE ON THE EAST COAST

DEAR MISERABLE: I wish you had been more specific about when the move took place. Let me answer you this way: To what extent have you been trying to fit into the new community? Have you joined a church or synagogue? Are you volunteering in the community? Helping at your daughter's school? Have you made a sincere effort to make new friends?

If the answer to each of these questions is yes, then it's possible you are unable to make the transition and you and your husband should consider relocating back to the West Coast.

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been on the outs lately because she has a friend, "Dottie," whom I don't like. Dottie told my wife that she hates that we got married. She even tried to introduce her to other guys. Dottie has broken up a few marriages, and now she is trying to break up mine.

My wife lies to me about where she is when I call her cell phone and she's at Dottie's.

Should I tell her it's Dottie or me? I need some advice. -- DOESN'T TRUST DOTTIE

DEAR D.T.D.: If your wife is lying to you about her whereabouts, your marriage is in big trouble. It would be interesting to know what the basis is for her alliance with this troublemaker. You both could benefit from marriage counseling to clear the air and renew your commitment to each other. Until your wife is able to perceive what Dottie is doing for what it is, your marriage will continue to go downhill.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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