Dear Harlan: My dad is completely against anyone who is non-white. When he found out that my mom (who is very supportive and caring) and I were hiding the fact that my boyfriend is half-white he flipped. I mean, threatening to leave my mom and me, saying racist remarks about a 17-year-old boy he has never even met, telling me that he doesn’t want any black grandchildren and accusing me of using drugs because of this relationship. I don’t know what to do. I haven’t told my boyfriend. I’m too scared that he will leave. I have zero respect for my dad. So it’s not that I feel like a disappointment to him. It’s more that I want to be able to talk about my boyfriend around my siblings and mom without being cussed out for three hours. In a way, I do feel somewhat vengeful because I feel like I’m getting back at my dad for all the wrongs he has done (and it’s a lot). He is not a father. I have never called him that. He recently came back into my life. I just want to know, should I be scared of this relationship because of my dad?
— Scared & Upset
Dear Scared & Upset: You need a safe place to talk about this and share your feelings. That’s amazing that you can talk to your mom, but you need to have someone outside of your home to talk to. Find a counselor at school who can listen and assess the threat. Even if this person doesn’t have answers, talking about it will help you figure out what you need to do. Your dad has a lot of problems. It’s painful for you, your mom and your siblings. The best way to ease the pain is to find people who will love you and listen to you. This isn’t about the guy you’re dating — it’s about having an unpredictable and potentially dangerous father who scares you.