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To Sam


My mum and stepdad have been married for about 3 years and at first it was okay and stuff but then like a year, maybe more he started calling me names. I started self harming just over a year ago due to depression from school and work and family problems. I managed to stop self harming for a couple of months until i did it again and told my mum about it and went to counselling for only 1 session. After a couple of weeks i lied and told my mum i was fine and happy again. But recently my stepdad has started calling me more names and also saying horrible things, for example: selfish, ungrateful, a lazy****, a*****, worthless and many more. He says it's just a joke and laughs about it but he just doesn't know how pathetic those words make me feel. I cut myself again, and it was the deepest i've ever cut and now im having really suicidal thougts and i really want to die.
Ask Sam



Thank you for your letter.

You’ve done so well to talk about what’s happening at home with your stepdad. The names he is calling you are horrible and I can hear that it’s really making you feel down, to the point where you're having suicidal thoughts. It is very wrong of him to talk to you in such a hurtful way, even if he says it’s “just a joke”. This is emotional abuse, and nobody has the right treat you like this.

You’ve told me that his words are making you feel pathetic. He is calling you these names to be cruel, not because they are true. When you hear bad things about yourself over and over, it can be hard not to take them to heart, but I want you to know that you don’t need to believe what he is saying. If you’d like help with feeling more positive about yourself again, the information on Confidence and Self-esteem in Explore might help.

It sounds like self-harm has been a way of trying to cope with all the worries and negative thoughts in your head. I was wondering how your last cut is doing, since you said it was very deep. It is important to clean wounds and anything you use to cut, to stop you getting infected. You can call NHS 111 to talk about any injury that you are worried about. In an emergency (if there's a lot of blood or the bleeding won’t stop) you can call 999 to get help straight away.

I am concerned that you are having really suicidal thoughts. It sounds as if you have really had enough of everything that’s happening. It’s important you talk to someone about these feelings. I want you to stay safe, and with the right help, I believe that you can start to feel more hopeful. It seems that something made you stop going to the counsellor after that first session. I know that counselling can feel painful and difficult sometimes, particularly to begin with, but many young people have told me that it has made a real difference for them over time.

You did so well to tell your mum about the self-harm before. I wonder if you could talk to her again? Your mum has a responsibility to take care of you and to stop your stepdad from treating you like this. If you don’t feel able to talk to your mum, could you talk to another relative, or a teacher, or parent of a friend? You really do deserve support with this situation. Remember, you can always talk to the ChildLine counsellors in private too.

You can call the ChildLine counsellors free on 0800 1111. Or you can log on for a 1-2-1 chat or email them for support.  

Take care



Need help straight away?

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

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