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To Sam

Both parents work away


i am a 16 year old girl and ever since I moved house 5 years ago, my dad has had to keep his old job, so he stays with my grandparents during the week and came home at weekends. It was really hard at first, but it became routine.

But at the beginning of this year, my mum was made redundant and had to take a job that is also hours away (there is hardly any work where we live). So, during the week I live with my 18 year old sister and sometimes my grandma. I know my parents hate it because I can see how guilty they feel but it means that we can live well.

At first I was ok but now I have finished school and I feel extremely lonely. My sister still goes to college and my grandma is very hard to deal with so she stays at her own house now. I suffered from depression and anxiety last year and thought I was better, but I can feel myself slipping and just feeling hopeless and so so lonely. I live for the weekends because during the week I don't see any point in living.

I don't have a question or anything like that, I'm sorry, I just needed to get it out.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your letter telling me about your home situation and how you are feeling at the moment.

It sounds like your family moving to another location 5 years ago didn’t work out as planned, what with your dad’s job and then you mum being made redundant. It seems like all this means you spend a lot of time alone during the week.

I’m wondering if you have spoken to your parents about the way you feel and if moving closer to where your mum works might be a possibility. You don’t say what you are doing next academic year but it could be that you are going back to sixth form at school or to college. Things might improve once you are back in a routine.

You say that you can feel yourself slipping back into depression and this is causing you to feel hopeless and unsure about the point in living. I’m concerned that you may be having suicidal thoughts and would encourage you to talk to a counsellor at ChildLine about this. A counsellor can help you find a way to stay safe and look at ways to cope with this feeling. 

It might also be good to get in contact with your GP to check out your depression and anxiety. The Doc Ready website might help you to prepare for a mental health appointment with your GP. 

It feels like finding some kind of activity, work or hobby to take part in during the week might help to fill the time and give you the opportunity to meet new people. Something like this could also boost your self-esteem and confidence. You told me that there is very little work where you live but it could be that there may be some volunteering opportunities around. Many young people look at volunteering as a way remaining active and gaining experience. Maybe you could check this out by checking the Do-it volunteering website. There might also be clubs and activities advertising in a local post office or leisure centre or newspaper.

If you would like to talk things through more, please contact a ChildLine counsellor on 0800 1111, or log on for a 121 chat and you can also send them email. Information on how to do all of this is available from their website.

Take care for now,

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