Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Girl Heading To College Is Eager To Leave Her Mother Behind

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 17-year-old girl about to head off to college. I have a great relationship with my father, but my mother and I are not on the best of terms.

Half the time, she's loving and supportive and willing to spend time with me. Other times, she is verbally and emotionally abusive. She'll call me a failure and a disappointment, and cry for no reason (most likely to get attention).

She has done this since my childhood, and I want to escape her toxicity by shutting her out of my life as an adult. However, she has threatened suicide (she has tried it before).

My father is on her side and says he will refuse contact with me if I disown her. I want to keep them both in my life, but it has become too difficult to endure her abuse anymore. Please help. -- COLLEGE BOUND IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR COLLEGE BOUND: You're an intelligent young woman. I'm sure that by now you have realized that your mother has serious emotional issues for which one can only hope she is receiving professional help.

When you leave for college, you will no longer be subjected to her mood swings or the hurtful comments she makes when she's not herself. Once you have completed your education you will be on your own, and will most likely make a life for yourself wherever your profession takes you. It isn't necessary to make any decisions about cutting anyone out of your life now. Time will take care of your problem.

Read more in: Teens | Family & Parenting