Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Im worried that i may be abused but im not sure at all

hello sam,

I am 13. Since i was little my dad has always been a very angry person and shouts at calls me swear words to me and behind mu back. Its scary, and i wondering if the over the top shouting is abuse or if i have it wrong. Im not scared for my own safety but im curious does this happen to every child? I want a dad thats calm and kind like my mum. I used to get thoughts of suicide but they're gone i now occasionally get thoughts of running away and i dont want to talk to my friends cause i dont want to make my problems their problem. Please give me advice.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

It’s not okay for anyone to shout at you, swear at you to your face or behind your back, ignore you or make you feel bad about yourself.  It’s also not okay for anyone to blame you for things you haven’t done or make you think that you’re the reason they’re abusive. If someone is doing any of these things then it’s emotional abuse.

Emotional abuse can happen for many different reasons. Perhaps the person doing it is feeling stressed, anxious or worried themselves or wants to control other people. Only the person who is behaving in this way would know the reason for doing it. Whatever the reason, it’s definitely not because of anything you’ve done.

It can be hard to cope when you’re being emotionally abused because it may make you feel bad about yourself, make you lose your confidence and self-esteem. Sometimes it can feel as if everyone would be better off without you and like you want escape from it all, perhaps by running away.

Coping can be very difficult but there are things you can do to help yourself like telling someone you trust, this could be a parent, teacher or friend. Sometimes it can be hard to ask for help and to talk it through face-to-face because it’s a big step to take. Some people find writing it down for the person to read can help. Keeping a diary of what’s going on can also help because if you do decide to speak to someone you’ll have all the information you need to give examples of what happened.

It’s important to keep yourself both physically and emotionally safe and to take care of yourself.  If you’re thinking about running away then perhaps you would like a safe place to talk and get more support. Childline counsellors can talk to you about everything that’s going on. I hope this has helped.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter