Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Why is my mom like this?

hey sam,

my parents divorced about 4 or 5 years ago because he was really abusive. he was constantly drunk, always shouting, hitting me and my brothers, arguing with my mom every night, and verbally abusing us. i haven't seen him since i was 8.

my mom constantly compares me to him, and she doesn't even care. she says stuff like "your acting like your dad" because i got angry (i wasnt shouting or hitting anyone or breaking things or anything like my dad) and she won't let me have emotions, if i cry she yells and complains about how stressful and ungrateful i am. apparently i cant be sad because it makes HER feel bad even when its not because of her.

she never regards the fact that my dad abused me just as much as her, whenever she is annoyed at me she constantly puts in the fact that my dad hurt her. not once has she said anything about us. she seems to think it was only her. i cant talk to her about anything as she always says "well what am i meant to do about that?" when i just wanted her to listen.

she posts things on facebook about having kids like "ugh kids are so stressful and they never listen" and "being a mom is sooo hard!" and "my kids are always on their phones and never do what i say!" when we dont have phones and we are generally well behaved.

i feel like a burden to her, please help.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Being hurt physically and emotionally is always wrong and the people you live with should try to keep you safe. You might feel hurt and frightened when someone at home is abusive and other people involved might have difficult feelings about this as well.

Once the abusive person has left home you might feel relieved and glad to be safe but it can take time for everyone to recover fully from abuse. Your family members might be affected differently  and sometimes your parent or carer might need some support to move forwards after the abuse has stopped.

It’s not ok for your mum to compare you to your dad, as being angry sometimes is normal. People can be angry and not be abusive. It’s always okay to express your emotions in a safe way, even if other people tell you that you shouldn’t, because how you feel is important.

If someone finds some emotions difficult to handle, they might try to stop other people expressing them. That might be because feeling under pressure or stressed can make it hard to listen to someone else or to recognise that other people have been hurt as well. Your mum might need her own help to avoid hurting your feelings because of the impact your dad’s abuse is having on her.

Not being allowed to express how you feel and being compared negatively to an abusive parent is a type of emotional abuse and it’s important that you get the help and support you need. It would be a good idea to talk to another family member that you trust about this. If things don’t improve at home you can always talk to a teacher or to children’s services for more help. If you need to talk more about how this situation makes you feel, our counsellors are here to support you and could help you decide what you want to do next.

I’m glad you wrote to me and I hope this advice helps.

Take care


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