DEAR ABBY: When I was in third grade, I moved in with my dad because my mother didn't want me anymore. She said, "You'll be going to a foster home if you don't get out of my house right now."
I didn't want to stay with her because she was abusing me. So was her fiance. At the time, I was living in Michigan, and Dad lived in Minnesota. One night, my dad got a call at work from my mom: "Come get her before I put her in a foster home!" So Dad came and picked me up at 3 in the morning. We lived in my dad's hometown in Minnesota for a while, but Dad didn't want me to go to school where we lived, so we moved to Missouri. That's where I am now.
My mother moved back to Minnesota, got married and now has two babies. My problem is she wants me to move back in with her, and so does my aunt, but I don't want to. I said I'd go to her house for the summer to take care of my little siblings. My question is, how am I supposed to say no to my mother without hurting her feelings and say no to my aunt, who I love so much? -- CONFUSED IN ST. CHARLES
DEAR CONFUSED: This is something you need to seriously discuss with your father, because I am not at all sure you should be responsible for your little half-siblings, even for the summer. I doubt that your mother has changed much, and I am concerned that you will be nothing more than a free baby sitter.
Please do not worry about hurting your former abuser's feelings. If you agree to this arrangement, the person more likely to be hurt will be you.
As for your aunt, if your love for her is reciprocated, she can visit you. Or you can visit her. But that visit should not include baby-sitting those children under the circumstances you have described to me.