Ask Sam letter


To Sam


This may not seem as important as a lot of other people because my issue isnt as bad as others. Basically, my mum and step dad split up two years ago and my mum cant get over it. She makes me feel like its my fault, and she has been on depressants for the whole time. My mum gets drunk quite a lot on nights and sometimes threatens me to leave the house. Some people would call slitting an unusual or stupid thing to do, but on several occasions i have slit my wrists.. i dont find it clever but i feel myself get angry and find its a good thing to do. How should I try stop myself from slitting? And what should i do to make me and my mum happier as a family?
Ask Sam



Thanks for your letter.

It’s good that you have felt able to share what’s been happening at home. This issue means a lot to you and it feels like it’s important to let you know that it isn’t your fault that your mum and step dad have split up.

Your mum is finding it hard to get over splitting up with your step dad as you have said that she gets drunk, takes anti depressants and sometimes threatens to leave the house. It seems like that could be really hard for you. I’m wondering what it’s been like for you not having your step dad around.

You have talked about slitting your wrists which is a type of self harm. When you get angry you cut yourself as a way to try and feel better which has been working for you for a while. When you are cutting it’s important to try and do it safely by cleaning your cuts; and what you cut with, to avoid the risk of infection. Lots of young people use self harm as a way to cope but it sounds like you would like to find a different way. You might like to have a look at our self harm message boards to see what other young people do when they want to stop self harming.

You have asked what you should do to make you and your mum happier as a family. I’m not sure that it would be your responsibility to make that happen although it sounds like you might feel it is. You can play a part in this but it sounds like your mum may have a lot of work to do to learn a different way of coping and to have some support to care for you better. There are people that can help and it may be helpful to talk to a trusted adult about this. This could be another relative, a teacher or a school counsellor. You can also always talk to a ChildLine counsellor about this; they would be able to talk through your options with you. You can call them free on 0800 1111, use the website to have a 1 2 1 chat or send them an email.

Take care,


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