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To Sam

Me, My body

My weight has always been a touchy subject for me. I come from a strong, catholic Portuguese family, they're loving and i've never had any problem with going to them for anything but my weight. They make jokes and somethimes call me names for fun i've never told them but it kills me to hear that from them.
I've always been the type of girl who always smiles, laughs and cheered but now i just can't find my old self. I overheard my family talking about me one day and they commented on how big i  was compared to the other girls and all i could do was cry. It came to the point where i would stare at my legs and start punching as hard as i could out of frustration for being the weight i am and letting my self get like this. My mum later on noticed the brusise but never made a case, but i wish she would have, i wish she could seriously listen to me and not say im being stupid and have nothing to worry about because that's the easiest thing to say because thats all she knows as shes never been my weight. Big.
I want advice on how i can approach my parents with out them taking me as if what im feeling is a joke or thinking im going through an adolesant stage of stupidity and self loathing.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your letter. When you talk about your family, it shows just how close you are to them and how much you care about them - and how it usually feels like they care about you. I’m worried that the way your family have been acting about your weight has had such a massive effect both on your relationship with them and how you feel about yourself. It shows a lot of courage that you were able to write to me about this and I’m glad that you did.

It sounds like you’ve been feeling like a different person lately, and that it’s hard not being able to find that old self who used to smile and laugh. Sometimes people can say things without realising just how hurtful it is. This could be what's happening when your family have been making jokes about you. It’s important to remember that whether it’s intended or not, it’s never okay for anyone to make jokes about you that leave you feeling down about yourself like this. I was wondering what your family would want to do if they knew how much they were hurting you.

When you talk about your mum, I can see how much you want her to be able to see what you’re actually going through. It sounds like she’s not really seeing how you feel and taking it seriously. I’m worried that you’ve been taking it out on yourself by hitting your legs. When you spoke about your mum seeing the bruises I was wondering what you would most want to say to her, if you could say absolutely anything.

There’s no right or wrong way for you to bring up how you’re feeling. Sometimes it can feel easier when there’s something like those bruises to start the conversation but it’s important to remember that it never has to be that way.

It can really help to try putting it down in a letter first. This could let you talk as much as you want about how you’ve been feeling in a way that you’re in control of. Sometimes young people might feel it’s best to leave the letter or give it to someone, like your mum. Sometimes though, just writing it can be a starting point to thinking about what you want to say.

No matter what anyone else says or does, how you feel about yourself is more important than anything. It sounds like you’ve been self-conscious about your weight for a while. It seems like your feelings about it can sometimes overtake the other parts of you that you usually liked. It would be good to take a look through our page on Self-esteem to think about ways to help you feel better about yourself. You could also read our advice about how you look.

Whatever you decide, it would be a really good idea to talk to a Childline counsellor about how you’ve been feeling. They’re there to support you in thinking about the future but also to give you a safe space to express how you’ve been feeling. You can talk to them online, by calling for free on 0800 1111 or even by writing an email.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

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

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