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by Abigail Van Buren

Girl Thinks Stepsisters' Secret Is Unsafe to Keep

DEAR ABBY: During my visitations at my dad's, I share a room with my stepsisters. They have made it clear they resent having to share their room with me, even though I have no choice about it.

They play the choking game with some of their friends. When I refuse to participate, they put me down and call me chicken, but I'm not about to do something so dangerous.

They have told me I'd better "mind my own business" and not say anything to their mom about it. I'm afraid if I do -- and I get them into trouble -- they'll resent me more and make things even more difficult for me.

On the other hand, I'd feel really guilty if I stay silent and something terrible happened to one or both of them. Should I tell their mom, even if it causes problems for me? -- SEATTLE STEPSISTER

DEAR STEPSISTER: I think you should tell your mother, and let her tell your father and his wife. The "choking game" isn't a game; it's extremely dangerous. It destroys brain cells and has been known to kill people. The practice can also be addictive, and when people do it alone and lose consciousness for the last time, the deaths are sometimes mistaken as suicides.