Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Parent problems

I think I'm doing this right... Well, first off this is about my mum. I think she's bullying me but I'm not sure. Is it normal? She didn't used to shout at me constantly. Up until last year she was almost perfect. But now things are awful for me. I can't have a conversation with her without her shouting at me or starting an argument. I once asked her why she doesn't tell me she loves me and she just shrugged. She tells my older sister (by a year) she loves her all the time. There has never been any physical abuse but sometimes if I couldn't play something perfectly on the violin she'd send me outside for half an hour only in pj's in freezing weather. Examples of her verbal abuse: 'you're so stupid. Honestly, you act like you own the place. All you ever do is bitch and complain. I'm sick of you. You deserve to have anxiety. I don't care what you think- you're wrong' If I try and apologise (even if I havent done anything) she'll tell me it wasn't good enough or she doesn't believe me I don't know who to talk to. I have no family I'm close to. My best friend knows, but doesn't know what to do. We have a school councillor but what could he do? It's my home life. He can't just pull her in. Or if she was brought in, it would just get worse. 'Why are you telling people? Are you making up lies about me?' Please help, i don't know what to do. :/
Ask Sam


Hi there,

I’m really pleased you’ve written in to me as it sounds like things are difficult at home and I can hear that you’ve been trying to cope with it almost alone.

You said you think your mum is bullying you and from everything you describe it sounds like you’re right. When things involve your parents/carers it’s different because you depend on them and they are responsible for giving you the care, support and love you need and deserve.

So what’s happening to you is called emotional abuse and neglect. I know you said that there’s never been any kind of physical abuse, but emotional abuse can hurt just as much. You just can’t see the scars with emotional abuse. You can find out more about all forms of abuse to help you understand more about this and find ways to get help.

It sounds like things changed quite a bit for you and your mum about a year ago and your mum is treating you very differently to your older sister. I can hear how this upsets you as much as what your mum says and does to you. I want you to know that what your mum is saying is wrong. Even though you may know this, it can be very difficult to ignore and it can be even more difficult to stop it affecting you.

It can be really difficult to cope with all of this on your own and it’s good that you have your best friend to talk to. You’ve mentioned the possibility of seeing the school counsellor but you sound unsure if he could help. Talking to a counsellor can help you to work through how it affects and upsets you and maybe find ways that you could cope with things. It would be important to find out if the school counsellor would have to tell someone else. You may want to ask about confidentiality before you tell him anything.

I know the counsellors at ChildLine would be happy to listen and support you whenever you need to talk as well. You could even talk to them about the possibility of seeing your school counsellor. Maybe you could look at our confidentiality page so that you can feel safe about talking to them. You can contact ChildLine whenever you like - the counsellors are there for you.

I hope this helps.


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