DEAR ABBY: My parents are divorced. My father, who I'm sure loves me in his own way, is super controlling and manipulative. He wasn't nice to my older siblings, either. He constantly lied and blamed others for his abusive behavior, which made me hate them. He constantly claimed Mom cheated on him and said my siblings were horrible kids.
When I was a child, I believed him. But as I grew older, I started seeing through his lies. He still tries to do it. He also uses his approval as a weapon to make me feel guilty and do what he wants. For example, he's very religious, and he told me often that if I wasn't religious, he'd stop loving me just as easily as he loves me.
I just want to live my life, but I know if I do, he'll cut me off and keep my younger siblings from communicating with me. I love them, and knowing him, he'll tell them lies about me the way he did with me about my older siblings. He wants me to marry someone from our religion, but I have fallen in love with someone who doesn't have our same points of view. This person is aware of the situation, but eventually, if things progress, my dad will find out. What should I do? -- LOST GIRL IN VERMONT
DEAR GIRL: If you still live under your father's roof, you will have to abide by his "house rules" for now. When you become independent -- which I strongly urge you to do -- you can then consider which religion meets your needs and whom you want to marry. No one should decide these things for you. I assume you already have a strong relationship with your younger siblings. Keep working on it and your father will have a harder time making them think ill of you in the future.