Ask Sam letter


To Sam

mums behaviour

My mum is an alcoholic, although she wont admit it. Every night she gets drunk which results in her yelling and screaming at me over nothing and calling me names. She often uses remarks like 'I wish you weren't my daughter' which is really upsetting. I have tried to talk to her about it but she just gets really angry and starts shouting, she's now hiding wine around the house.

My parents split when I was 5, but after witnessing them argue so much i was convinced this was for the best. I see my dad only once each week, and i have mentioned my mums behaviour to him but he just jokes about it and says 'yeah i know i was married to her'. He's re-married with a kid on the way, he's also moving to a house far away so I wont be able to visit him.
I feel really isolated and like i can't talk to anyone because i dont have anyone in my life who i can trust anymore.

do you have anything that could help me?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for writing to me to ask for help with your situation. You’ve had a tough time for such a long while and I can see that you are trying hard to understand and cope with what’s happening.

Living with a parent who drinks too much alcohol can be so difficult, especially as parents are meant to take care of us and protect us.

Firstly, I’d like you to remember that when someone is drunk, they sometimes say or do things they regret, do not mean or feel embarrassed about when they are sober.  You deserve to feel good about yourself and I’m not excusing mum for upsetting you in this way. I think it’s important to remember that you don’t need to believe mum’s remarks and I remind you of this because if we constantly hear hurtful comments, it can start to affect our self-esteem.

The second thing I want to explain, is although mum might need and deserve some professional support, what you need is very important too. All young people must receive care and support, and get the things they need - your mum has to make sure you get this. If your mum’s drinking causes you to be upset or worried, then you might not be getting the care you need - even if mum doesn’t realise how her behaviour affects you. You deserve to be happy at home and not to have to deal with the affects of her drinking.

Telling me how alone you feel is very brave and I don’t want you to have to cope with this on your own. How would it be to talk to a ChildLine counsellor, who will listen, go at your pace and help you to find a way forward with all of this?  You could speak to a counsellor by calling 0800 1111 for free, or log in for a 1-2-1 chat or send an email.  A lot of young people have told me that they really benefited from speaking to ChildLine and I hope you will think about getting in touch. 

There is also information on the Explore page about parents and alcohol which you might find helpful. If you like, you can take a look at which is a website especially for young people who are concerned about their parent’s drinking.

Thanks again for this very brave letter.

Take care,


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