Ask Sam letter


To Sam

My mum

Dear Sam,

I've had trouble coping with my parents lately. My dad lives overseas while I live in England. I only get to see him for around a month every year, sometimes not even that. I don't feel like I have a have someone to play rugby with or do any sports with. I live with my mum and my sister at the moment. My sister, I know, has issues with her anger. She always lashes out at either me or my mum. It's like she's never happy. Plus she always stays in her room and never comes out. My mum, on the other hand, is sometimes very depressed. I accidently read her diary earlier and that's why I'm writing to you. It was one of those things where even if it hurts to read it, I still want to carry on. It said some really upsetting things and made me feel aweful. On several occasions I've had to go out at night and try to help my mum while she's locked herself in the car crying.

I don't feel like I can cope much longer and I would really appreciate some help.

Ask Sam


Hi there

Thank you for your letter. It sounds like things are really difficult for you and your family at the moment. Asking for some support is a positive step to take, so really well done for that.

It seems like you really miss having your dad around, particularly not having him there to play sports with. I know it’s not the same but perhaps you could speak to him more while he’s overseas on the phone or over the internet. If you can access a computer, you could use something like Skype for video calling. It might also be worth telling him directly how hard you’re finding things at times.

You say that your sister has anger issues and sometimes lashes out at you. Even though you’ve said that she’s not very happy, she still shouldn’t be hurting you deliberately, either physically or emotionally. It also sounds like your mum is really struggling to manage at home. I can hear that you’re really trying your best to support her. It seems like reading her diary accidentally has also placed another huge weight on your shoulders. That all sounds like a lot of responsibility being placed on you. I want you to know that you don’t have to go through this by yourself.

It sounds like you would really appreciate some help and there are many different ways both ChildLine and others around you can give you support. Sometimes people can find it helps just to talk to someone else about what’s going on for them and how they’re feeling.

Perhaps you could think about asking for more support from the adults around you. I’m not sure whether there is anyone else in your family that you feel able to talk to. Perhaps you could talk to someone like a teacher who could give you some support. You could also ask another adult to let your mum know that there is confidential support for her from her doctor or from Samaritans.

If it gets to a point where you’re feeling like your mum is really not coping and you and your sister aren’t being looked after properly, then you could talk to social services about how things are for you. That would be something that either ChildLine or a teacher could help you with.

Please remember whatever you decide might be best for you there is always someone at ChildLine to listen and to support you.

If you'd like to talk about this more to one of our counsellors, you can log on for a 1-2-1 chat, email us or call 0800 1111.

Take care


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