Ask Sam letter


To Sam

I want to be emo…

I'm 14 and I've wanted to be an emo/goth for about 3 years now, but my mum is strong catholic and is strongly against them :( It's really annoying because i don't feel comfortable with the way i currently look, i want to look how i do on the inside. Do you have any advice? How can i get my mum to be ok with this decision? Because she simply won't allow it.. if worse comes to   worse she'll probably disown me 
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your message. I can hear that things are difficult for you at home with you and mum having such a difference of opinion about how you should look.

It sounds like you’ve put a lot of thought into being an Emo/Goth and that it’s something you feel would really reflect who you are inside. I can hear you are uncomfortable with your current image because it doesn’t feel like “you”. I imagine it is very frustrating not being able to be true to yourself in the way you look.

I know that you say that mum is strongly against you being an Emo/Goth. I’m wondering if you have talked about this with mum to find out exactly what it is about being Emo/Goth that worries her? Is there a way you can help her understand why dressing Emo/Goth would make you feel more comfortable? A lot of adults are not sure about what being Emo or Goth really means so she may have got some ideas about it that are wrong. It might be that there is a possibility of finding a compromise, if you are able to talk to each other calmly. You have a right to express yourself, but while you are living with your mum, you might need to find a way of doing that she doesn’t find offensive or upsetting.

In your message you say that if it comes to the worst that mum will disown you. I just want to let you know that at 14, the law still sees you as a child, and your mum cannot just walk away from her responsibility to look after you. I wonder if this is something she has threatened you with, or whether anything similar has happened in the past? You have a right to be safe, cared for and loved, even if you disagree with your mum.

It doesn’t say in your message if anyone else knows about your concerns with mum. Is there another family member that would be able to help support you with talking to your mum? Or perhaps there is someone at school that you can talk to about your feelings and frustrations.

If you need to talk things through a bit more, you can always get in touch with a ChildLine counsellor. You can contact them either on a 1-2-1 chat, for free on 0800 1111 or you can send an email. It might give you some additional support to have a look at the Messageboards. I know there are already some threads about being Emo/Goth and you might want to think about posting your own message on there too.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

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

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter