I’m a 16-year-old girl, moved out of my home in April and now live with my 28-year-old aunt. The reason behind this decision was my stepdad’s behavior towards me and his treatment of me as either a roommate or a third parent to my half-sisters, aged 10 and 8.
My mom had me when she was 17, and my biological father has never been involved in my life. My stepdad moved in with my mom and me when I was around 4 or 5 years old. My first younger sister was born when I was 6, and the youngest when I was 8. The middle child, whom I’ll call H, always had a difficult temper, and my mom struggled to handle it. As a result, H received more attention, and I became even quieter and more isolated.
As I grew older and my other sister, J, was born, this dynamic continued. With a newborn and a toddler to take care of, I automatically became “the helper.” If I didn’t help, I was labeled ungrateful and a bad sister. Eventually, when I was 13, my parents started leaving me at home with my sisters because they didn’t want to go out.
I looked forward to those moments because I didn’t have to hide or fear getting yelled at. It’s important to note that my sisters either got along very well or not at all. This situation continued until one day when they were left with me as usual.
I think it was after school, and H found a hammer while J hid in the pantry because H threatened to harm her. I even threatened to call the police, but I didn’t actually make the call. The situation only ended when my other aunt (my mom’s older sister) visited without knowing what was happening. After that incident, I refused to be left alone with both of them.
I got my first job at the age of 15, a typical fast-food chain job, to earn some extra pocket money. However, my stepdad decided that since I had my own income, I should pay them $50 per week from my paycheck to help with the bills. This would have been okay if we were struggling financially, but we weren’t. Together, my mom and stepdad made almost $200,000 a year. My mom works as a nurse, while my stepdad is in IT at my town’s high school (although he is lazy and doesn’t do much).
However, my stepdad’s mom (whom I strongly dislike) decided, without my permission, to buy me a car with a manual transmission that would cost me $4,000, with her paying the remaining $4,500. No matter how many times I told them I didn’t want the car, they didn’t seem to understand.
Because I was “paying off the car,” I didn’t have to pay board anymore, so I used that to save more each week. However, some issues arose, and the car ended up being sold. Despite that, I didn’t resume paying board because I thought I could get away with it, but apparently not.
Now, let’s get to the main part of why and how I moved out. A few months passed, and I had around 30 minutes before I had to go to work (I had changed jobs to a place nearby). My stepdad came upstairs while my mom was at work and asked me to open my curtain and window. It didn’t seem like a big deal, as I was just getting changed. Then he started making his way back downstairs but stopped and asked if I had been paying my mom. I asked what he meant, and his tone became more passive-aggressive even though I hadn’t done anything wrong.
He asked the same question again, and I replied that I hadn’t been paying because I was using that money to pay for the car. This seemed to make him angry, and he started yelling at me to clean the kitchen. Our house is always dirty because no one except me bothers to clean up. I calmly told him that I wouldn’t have enough time to clean because I had to leave for work soon. He continued to yell at me, saying, “I’m not asking you, I’m telling you.
” I mustered the courage to say “No.” We went back and forth a few times, and then he came up the stairs and into my room. I was terrified because I had seen him get aggressive before. However, instead of physically hurting me, he took my $1000 TV that was a birthday present from my grandparents, claiming that since I wasn’t paying for the power, I wouldn’t be able to use it anyway. He even took my door off its hinges. That’s when I decided to leave, and I have been staying with my aunt since then.
When school resumed (this happened at the beginning of the school holidays), I missed a significant amount of school because I frequently fell sick and started experiencing migraines that affected my vision. My stepdad, who works in IT and handles such matters at my school, started looking at my attendance and sharing it with my mom, even though neither of them were my legal guardians according to my school documents. It felt like an invasion of my privacy.
There was another incident where the associate principal personally messaged my stepdad (not even my biological mother) to complain about the length of my skirt and a school book that got lost during my move out. These actions made me feel like my stepdad was abusing his power, although I could be wrong.
I would appreciate some clarification on whether I am overreacting about his invasion of my privacy. I would be grateful for any help or advice. Thank you.