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To Sam

Hate going home?

Hi Sam.

For years, my parents have neglected me and insulted me since I'm not the perfect kid they wanted (I've got a minor physical disability and strongly believe in standing up for myself and what's right, while they think children should always obey their elders and not have opinions of their own).  In the past few years, it's been getting worse.  They started telling me I was a worthless failure and a screwup.  Eventually, I got depressed, and they keep denying I need help.  Now, though, I'm working on getting better, but my parents' insults are really making it hard.  They also punish me harshly (never physically, though), and I'm often blamed for things I didn't do.  Lately, it's beem getting bad enough that the only way I can get away from their treatment is to leave the house, usually for hours at a time.  There have been some times when I've even run out the door with them shouting after me.  I don't want to run away like this.  My house should be a place of refuge, not somewhere I hate.  What should I do? And please don't tell me to tell another adult.  NI don't want to make my family even more torn apart.  Besides, nobody can force my parents to be kind, and they think they know better than anyone else. 

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Thanks for your letter. It sounds like life at home with your parents could be really tough for you. You have told me about the way they feel children should be brought up and that seems like a stifling environment. Your parents have been telling you that you are worthless and a failure which is emotional abuse. It’s not ok for anyone to emotionally abuse you and it is important for you to know that you have not done anything wrong and this is not your fault.

You have coped with feeling depressed and you are doing really well to try to work on feeling better. I can hear this is not easy for you. You might find it useful to have a look around our message boards to see how other young people are coping with feeling depressed. You do not mention how you are working on it or what kind of help you are getting, if any, but it can really help to get the help of a medical professional like a doctor who can correctly diagnose things like depression and support you with the best way to get better.

You’ve been really clear in letting me know you don’t feel like talking to an adult in your life is an option for you and that’s ok. I’m not pressuring you to do something that you don’t want to do but it feels important to let you know that you do not have to put up with being treated like this. Social services would be able to talk to you about your options in terms of changing things at home and speaking to a teacher could be a way to get in touch with them. If you don't feel like you can talk to a teacher about this, you can always talk to a ChildLine counsellor who will listen to you and support you.

It seems like being out of the house feels like the best way for you to cope right now. You might like to think about looking into any activities you could do after school or in the evening as a way to reduce the amount of time you are at home - while you are helped to find ways to change things at home in the longer term. Maybe you could try to arrange to spend time at friends’ houses as much as possible.

You might also like to try talking to one of our counsellors a bit more about this. You can do that by phoning free on 0800 1111, logging on for a 1-2-1 chat or by sending an email.

Take care,
Sam

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