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To Sam

2 year anniversary of dads death coming up

Hi...My dad died when I was 16 on 6th December 2010. He'd been ill for over 9 years with kidney failure which resulted in him having to go on dialysis. For 9 years I watched him in pain and now that he's gone, I know that he's free but it's so hard for me. I cry a lot about it, I'm 18 and I feel I should be a lot more mature about everything but I'm really not. I don't think people know the extent to which it affects me. I can't talk to my mum about it because her and my dad split up when I was 11 and they were never really on each others good terms after that so I feel really awkward and out of place talking about how I feel to my mum. My boyfriend's there for me, but sometimes I feel it annoys him because I try and talk to him about it a lot. He still has both parents so doesn't understand what I'm going through. Sometimes it gets so bad that I end up hurting myself. I've self harmed because of it, I've made my self sick on purpose because of it and I've also taken overdoses before. I don't want to die, I just want the pain of it all to stop, because I feel like it's too much for me.
Any advice at all you could give would be greatfully apreciated, thank you :)
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your message. You’ve done the right thing by looking for advice. I can hear in your message that you continue to feel a lot of pain about your dad’s death. Loss is one of the hardest experiences that people can go through. It doesn’t matter what age you are when you lose someone, the feeling of pain can be really tough to cope with. Everyone will react to loss differently and not all of these will be positive such as not talking about your pain or self-harming.

I often get letters from young people who tell me self-harming is their way of dealing with being overwhelmed by their feelings. From what you’ve said, it seems like self-harming, making yourself sick and overdosing has been your way of trying to cope with some really tough times. It’s good that to hear you say that you don’t want to die. I’m guessing you realise that overdoses can be really dangerous and could put your life at risk. Talking is the first step in getting the support that you are clearly looking for right now. There is more information about getting help to cope with self-harming in Explore and on the Site’s website.

You have mentioned that you don’t feel able to talk to your mum and you don’t feel your boyfriend fully understands. Perhaps you could think about speaking to other family members or friends who may be able to relate to the feelings you are having. You may find it helpful to speak to a GP about how you’re feeling. They may be able to offer you some more advice or suggest bereavement counselling. Counselling might be a chance for you to talk about your dad and look at other ways to cope with your feelings. Sometimes having someone there just to listen to you and not judge how you are feeling can be a positive experience.

You may also want to look at Cruse’s website for young people. Cruse are a charity who provide advice and support about bereavement. They also have a free helpline you can ring on 0808 808 1677 (Mon-Fri 9.30-5pm).

Childline counsellors can also talk to you about your dad, and about alternatives to self-harming. If you’d like to talk to a counsellor you can call the free helpline on 0800 1111, log in for a 1-2-1 chat or send an email.

It’s also worth looking at the message boards about dealing with bereavement. There’s lots of messages on there from young people in similar situations that may be useful for you to read.

I hope this helps.

Take care


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