Ask Sam letter


To Sam

My Brother...

Hi Sam!
So I'm a normal teenage girl, I get good grades (not much in Maths or Science though!), I love acting, singing, dancing, writing  and I have great friends!
But I have a brother who is 20 and...he has ADHD, Aseberges and Dspryaxia. When he's away at University, and I know this sounds terrible, but home life is great when he's away (: But when he comes home all he goes on about it religion (he doesn't believe in God and that), politics and all this boring stuff! He gets angry if we don't agree with what he says and starts throwing stuff around and I HATE IT! My mum has also just beaten cancer and my brother just acts so selfish that I want to hit him. If he gets angry, I can't laugh at him or anything because he'll get even more angry. But if I'm not happy (which is rare, as I'm a smiley person :)) he can laugh at me and video me and my parents DO NOTHING! He gets whatever he wants and he's put my parents into debt a lot of times, which means I've had to wait 7 years for my bedroom to be decorated (so I'm a 15 year old girl with fairies over my walls...) My brother calls me names like 'slapper' and 'slag' just because I want to get married and have children. He claims I hate gays because I'm a Christian and I support gay rights as their lovely people! When I was little he tried to make me kiss him cos he needed practice and that's just disgusting! He calls me catholic because I don't want to have sex before marriage! I'm Methodist! I'm also singing in Italy in a cathedral for a solo and he refuses to see me! I hate him! But deep deep down I love him too. I don't know what to do and I'm scared as he puts a lot of stupid stuff on the Internet too!
Please please PLEASE reply Sam! I'm in desperate need of help! PLEASE!
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for writing to me and sharing what’s happening right now. It sounds like your life is very busy and you have found the things that you are really good at and enjoy doing. And as I read your letter, I have a sense of how upbeat you are much of the time and what a good sense of humour you have. Having a sense of humour can really help when things feel tough.

I can also see that there are situations when your brother’s behaviour feels annoying and hard to accept and I get the picture that you are more free to be yourself when your brother is away. It’s also clear that you do love your brother.

I also feel it’s understandable that if he calls you names or tries to make you feel uncomfortable about your opinions, that it’s upsetting for you. It’s not ok for him to call you the names you describe and even if his ADHD, Asperger’s or Dyspraxia might be partly the cause of this, it is still important for your parents to support you and to understand how this is affecting you. As well as looking after your brother because of his needs they must also look after and protect you and it is never acceptable for any person at any time to try to force you to do something sexual.

I’m wondering how much you might know about the mental health conditions your brother has. Sometimes knowing more about them, can help you understand the kind of behaviour they bring and that can be useful because it helps you know that his behaviour may affect other people and isn’t aimed at you alone. Although I say this, your brother is still not allowed to cause you any harm. A really good website to learn more about ADHD, Asperger’s and Dyspraxia is Youngminds if you would like to take a look. If you check out the Mental heath page on the ChildLine website you’ll find some great information there too.

I’m also wondering whether talking to your parents about the effect this has on you, might be something you would consider doing, or telling another adult who you trust. One way, would be to show them this letter, as I feel you have written so very clearly and explained everything so well.

There does seem to be so much going on for you and you can get more support with all of this by speaking to a ChildLine counsellor who would not judge you, only listen to help you find a way forward. You can ring ChildLine on 0800 1111 and calls are free or you could have a 1-2-1 chat on-line.

I do hope this helps and if you would like more support, please remember the ChildLine counsellors are there for you.

Take care


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