Ask Sam letter


To Sam

my dad emotionally, physically and verbally bullies me.

i am a mess. every time me and my dad argues he says hes going to die or that he will leave me and my brother. our mom left in 2010 and hes all we have. hes got a history of problems but the last time anything happened was in 2009. i dont know what to do. please help me.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

I’m really pleased you’ve written to tell me how difficult things are for you at home. You’ve done so well to tell me just how emotionally tense life is for you.

From what you’ve said, your dad says things that leave you feeling worried and afraid. This is known as emotional abuse and it should not be happening for you. It sounds like you’ve had to be very brave and very strong for a long time. If there is one thing that you take away from my reply, then remember that it’s not your fault and you are not to blame. You might find it useful to read a bit more about emotional abuse in Explore.

I’m not sure from your letter how long your dad has been behaving in this way. It’s really important that you know that nobody has the right to try and control your behaviour by making you feel frightened or guilty. I can hear that your dad is important to you as it feels like he is all you’ve got, but the way he’s behaving at the moment is not OK. I’m wondering whether you think he might need some extra support from other adults, to help him change this behaviour. You said that your dad has got a history of problems. There is help and support out there for parents who are struggling to look after their children the way they need to. There is never any harm in anybody, of any age, saying that they need a little bit more support from time to time.

I’m wondering if anybody else around you knows just how difficult things can be for you at home. You could talk to a teacher or family member, so that they can be there for you during this difficult time. They might also be able to help find some support for your dad, from someone like your GP, or social services.

From your letter it sounds like there is a lot going on for you. I’m sure you’re already aware but please feel welcome to come through and talk things through confidentially with a ChildLine counsellor. I know they would very much want to listen to you, support and help you through this hard time.

You might also find it helpful to look at the ChildLine message boards as there is a lot of support from the community of young people there.

Take care,


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