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To Sam

How do I make my mum love me?

Hi Sam..

Im really sorry if I'm a time waster, I'm sure there are plenty out there with bigger problems than me, but I've just got such a mix of emotions and they won't go away.

I've delt with emotional abuse from the mother for my whole life. It wasn't clear what she was doing until about three years ago, but others around me have noticed, and I realise now. I see my dad one a month, but would much rather live with him. He understands me, because my mother used to do it to him to. All his friends used to say he was lost when he was married, like a different person. Although he listens, he's always just told me to be strong and be smart which is all very well when he doesn't live with it.

There was one time when my mom had her boyfriend round (who is usually drunk and takes her side) and they were both doing it- calling me names and just genrelly putting me down, saying how my six year old sister was the 'good child' even though she throws tantrums every hour, so i began to cut myself because it seemed to release something inside. I told myself that I could deal with it, that I'd never let it affect me, but recently I've been having issues with anxiety, panic attaks which only my dad and a few teachers at school are aware of, and I'm now painfully shy. I used to be reasonably popular in primary school when I wasn't letting it all get to me, but now I have next to no friends and feel really alone. It got too much so I told one teacher I trusted after she caught me crying after school, and I continued talkin to her about issues I was having for a while, untill she found from a classmate that I was cutting and she must have told someone higher up. My mom found out, and she never forgave me.

That night she screamed at me for hours, telling me I'd ruined everything and that I'd humiliated her and betrayed her.  She told me never to talk to teachers again or else shed throttle me. So I never did. I'm not even allowed to call my dad, she thinks I'm telling him about what she does. I'm consistently left home alone with my sister and she stays out hours after she says she'd be back and doesn't even call. I'm fourteen nearly fifteen, And I'm scared. A few nights ago her boyfriend came round drunk again. They had a giant fight and all I could hear was my mum screaming downstairs 'let me go!! Let me go!!' and I was so scared. I know she's put me through stuff but I still love her and wouldn't want her hurt. I decided to be brave and go downstairs. I shouted at him 'let her go! Please let her go' and he did but started saying how I was overreacting and that it was nothing and then went on to say it was my fault they were fighting because he was in a bad mood because I 'misbehaved'. He said it was my fault and I'm a spoilt little brat who doesn't deserve anything. I was histerical and wanted to cut but couldn't do I rang my dad on my mobile, which I'm not allowed to do. He came and got me and I stayed round his for the night but my mum was beside herself that I rang him she was sooo angry with me. I tried to explain that I was scared for her and that I didn't want to be around him. It didn't work though and she's been ignoring me for ages.

How can I make her less mad? I've tried telling her it's not her fault and that I called out of concern for her but nothing seems to work. Please help I can't talk to anyone because im not allowed.

How do I get my mum to love me??

Ask Sam


Hi there,

First of all I’d like to thank you for your message, it was really brave of you to tell me about what things are like for you at home. You are not wasting my time at all – it’s difficult for me to pick just a few letters to answer each week because every message that I get is important – and I want you to know that yours is too.

Don’t forget that even though I can only answer a few messages, ChildLine will always answer if you send a message to a counsellor. You can send an email through your Locker, have a 1-2-1 chat online or call on the phone on 0800 1111. Just so you know, if you do call ChildLine it is free from any phone – including your mobile or a phone box – and it doesn’t show up on any phone bills either.

You told me about things at home and it sounds like they have been tough for a long time and that you have had to cope with things that nobody should have to cope with. It’s never OK for someone to make you feel bad about yourself or call you names – especially when it’s the person who is supposed to be there to look after you.

We hear about lots of young people who cope with difficult feelings by physically hurting themselves and for some it’s the only thing that helps to let out the things they keep inside – it sounds like that’s what it was like for you too.

ChildLine doesn’t judge anyone who does this to cope – but it's important you’re staying as safe as possible. This means making sure any cuts you make are kept clean and knowing when and how to get help if you cut more than you meant to. It might help you to talk to other young people who also harm themselves to cope and you can do that on the message boards.

It sounds as though your mum has tried to keep you from talking to anyone about how you feel and it’s wrong of her to do that. Sometimes when someone is hurting a young person they will try and find ways of stopping them from telling anyone else about it – usually because that adult knows what they are doing is wrong. It sounds as though your mum knows that it was not OK for her to treat you the way she did.

Seeing someone get hurt – even someone who has hurt us – can be a difficult thing to watch. The way your mum’s boyfriend treats her is not right either and for you to see that can have a really big effect on your own feelings. Again, it sounds like your mum’s boyfriend knows that it’s not OK for him to hurt your mum and tried to make you feel like you were to blame. He is either wrong or lying - your mum’s boyfriend is an adult and if he hurts someone else that’s his own responsibility there’s no way it could be your fault.

You ask how you can get your mum to love you and that’s not an easy question to answer – it may not even have a simple answer. What seems like the best thing to do would be to think about how you would like things to change at home and what you can do yourself to start making those changes happen. This seems like a really good thing to talk to a ChildLine counsellor about in one of the ways I mentioned earlier.

I hope that you do get in touch with us as we’d really like to support you – and anyone else who reads this – through any problems you are having.

Take care,


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