Ask Sam letter


To Sam

My parents

Hi, im 14 and i have a younger brother who is 11. For the past 6 months, i havent felt like ive been coping well. My mum screams at me for things i havent done, starts a big arguement with me, and calls me horrid things that really upsets me. My dad sees my mum yelling at me and assumes ive done something so joins in, yet when i get sent away, they argue themselves as my mum wants to leave him but wont because of my brother, and my brother gets away with everything.  Me and my dad dont really get on, so by having them both in the same house distresses me  as i am currently doing my gcse's and get yelled at if i dont do well enough. I find it hard to concentrate at home on my studies with all the arguing and getting yelled at. I live in a village away from my friends so i cant go round theirs to study. I try to be so good, yet they always find something to scream at me for, they claim i have no respect for them, but when i say i do, they scream even more for lying. I do love my mum but i feel like im not going to cope through my gcse's if she doesnt leave him to take stress of her so she stops yelling at me. Ive tried telling her this but she yells even more. I know this probably all sounds silly, but it really does upset me. I want tom ove out when im 16 but thats two years away and i have nowhere i could go.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your letter.

It sounds like life at home feels really hard for you. You have explained what’s going on really clearly and I don’t think it sounds silly. It takes a lot of courage to tell someone about what is going on for you and you have taken an important first step in getting help.

Your mum and dad's relationship is having a big impact on you and you think that could improve if your parents split up. I can hear that your mum gets really stressed and can take it out on you. It also sounds like you feel your brother is treated differently by your parents. You get shouted at a lot by your mum and sometimes your dad will join in.

It's not okay for your parents to treat you this way. What you have described is emotional abuse and it's not your fault. In some cases, people we live with do not fully understand the impact their behaviour can have on us. This does not make behaviour like yelling okay. Sometimes it can help to tell the person about how you are feeling. It can help to think about the best time to do this as you have said when you ask you mum to stop yelling she does it even more. Perhaps a time when she is calm and more approachable might work. We have more information about emotional abuse which I hope you find useful. 

From what you have told me, it seems like you feel very isolated. You are struggling to concentrate at home with the arguing and you can’t escape to a friend’s house to study. I’m wondering whether it would be possible to find a different place for you to study, maybe by staying behind at school or visiting the local library.

Lots of young people have difficult issues to cope with in their family and many of them say that talking to someone about it can be really helpful. You could think about talking to an adult who you trust in your life as a way to get some support. You could also talk to the ChildLine counsellors by calling for free on 0800 1111, going online for a 1-2-1 chat or sending an email. They are always there to listen and support you.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small.

Write me a letter