Ask Sam letter


To Sam

my mum.

Ever since my baby brother died things have changed, now I'm an only child and my mums behaviour is extremely weird. I think she's mentally ill,and she's always changing her behaviour. First she's happy and then she's angry, she blames me for everything even if its not my fault. She hits me with the belt and she's slapped me in my face before. She used to hit me for a reason but now she hits me for no reason. I don't know what to do? And she refuses to go to the hospital to get better? I don't know what to do anymore. Please help?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for writing to me to talk about what’s going on for you right now. I can hear that it’s a difficult time and you have done really well to write to me and explain things.

It sounds like it’s been really difficult at home since your brother died. From what you’ve told me, your mum is emotionally, and physically abusing you. This is wrong. It shouldn’t be happening and isn’t your fault. You said that you think your mum might be mentally ill, but that is not an excuse for her hurting you. It sounds like your mum won’t get any help for herself, but you still deserve to get help for you.

It would be helpful if you could talk things through with someone you trust, such as a teacher, school counsellor, family friend or another family member. It sounds like your mum needs help to change the way she is treating you. Another adult might be able to support you with this. It’s worth knowing that adults who work with children (like teachers) are not allowed to keep it to themselves if they think a child is being hurt at home. So if a teacher finds out your mum is hitting you and blaming you for things, they will have to tell someone else, like social services. This should mean that you would get the support you need.

I can hear how strange and worrying it’s been to see you mum’s reaction to your brother’s death. You haven’t talked a lot about what it was like for you when he died. I want you to know that people will react in all kinds of different ways to a brother or sister dying. There are no “rules” about how you should or shouldn’t feel. If you wanted to talk about any feelings you have about your brother, you would be very welcome to talk to a ChildLine counsellor about that. You might also want to have a look at rd4u, which is a useful resource designed by young people for young people. There is a forum where you can talk about your experiences with others in similar situations and support each other through difficult times.

You can also talk to a ChildLine counsellor anytime by calling 0800 1111 or through a 1-2-1 chat via the website. Your safety is very important to us and if ever you feel in danger then you should contact 999 for immediate help.

I am glad that you contacted me to talk about what is happening, it was a very brave thing to do.

Take care,


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