Ask Sam letter


To Sam

dont know who i am anymore!

Sorry this is so long, lots of things building up.

Okay so about three months ago i was sexually assaulted by my mums boyfriend of three and a half years. He had my complete trust and me and my mum are both devestated and in shock still. The hardest part is that we were also just about to move in with him and now our whole life has absoulotly changed and its really hard. As much as i hate him for what he did and put me and my family through, i miss him and his two sons who were like brothers to me.

Anyway whats really bothering me is that my best friend completely doesnt understand what im going through. Obviously i need to put it behind me and move on with my future but she goes along the lines 'shit happens, get over it' she really doesnt understand how hard it is. She tells me to cheer up and i feel im always expected to be feeling super happy and have to put a face on.

I once talked to her about how i felt and she responded with(and this makes me annoyed) ''yeah ive been through the same thing three times, my other two friends had it happen to them aswell'' So shes comparing me who had to physically go through the painful ordeal with herself who knew others that it had happend to. This just really annoys me and i dont know what to say to her. This same friend has often said im lying also and this really really hurt me, at a time i needed support to hear something like that made me feel sick. So i dont know what to say to her?

Also ive been on antideppresants for about a month now because of what happend and i really dont know who i am anymore ,im so confused. When i do go out with friends i can literally be fine one minute then the next i feel extremely alone and scared even when im surrounded by them. The worst part is that they know im on AD's but think im completely fine and dont even think to see how i am or listen to my worries. I also dont know if this is normal but since ive been on these AD'S ive become very anxious about everything eg: falling of a chair, asking someone to meet up, being in a car. And this isnt like me, it might be because of what happend earlier this year but im just not sure.

Finally my last rant,because i did report what happend to the police i obviously dont have my phone any more. And by saying this i probably sound like a moody bratty teenager but the difference it would make if i had it back!I feel that because at this time i already feel pretty alone and upset but then not haveing the means to actully comunicate with people has made me feel worse. Again my friends will happily sit in the same room as me texting/bbm'ing away and im just sitting there.But the worst part by far is that everytime they do this it just reminds me of what happend and why i dont have my phone. Gr.

anyway again sorry for the long-ness of this letter if you even get to the end!
and any advice would be so great, its just nice being able to right down all my worries and thoughts. And after haveing done this i might actully start to do it more often.

so thanks :)

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you so much for writing to me and telling me what a difficult and distressing year you have had. I appreciate it can’t have been easy to write down all these thoughts, feelings, and experiences as honestly and as openly as you have done, so well done for that.

There are many things going on for you in your letter, but firstly I would like to stress to you that everything you are feeling is very normal and natural. What happened to you should never have happened, your mum’s boyfriend will have known it was wrong and it was absolutely not your fault. You talked about feeling shocked and devastated at the moment and there is no right amount of time for you to feel that way. You shouldn’t have to feel pressured to put on a super happy face and pretend that everything is ok because as you know, it doesn’t work that way and it takes time to heal.

I can hear how unsupported you feel by your best friend. It sounds like she’s almost trying to rush you into moving on from the sexual assault when you’re still coming to terms with what has happened and trying to process it in your own way. It’s not helpful for her to compare your experience to somebody else’s experience, as no two situations will ever be exactly the same. The feelings that a situation creates are different from person to person, as we’re all individuals who think and feel differently.

It’s difficult to know the reasons why your friend is acting this way. She may think she’s doing the right thing by playing down what’s happened, or she may be trying to avoid the topic because she’s scared of talking about it, or unsure of how to help. It saddened me to read that she suggested that you lied about what happened. Whatever the reasons for her behaviour, it’s not ok that she has left you feeling so disbelieved and so hurt. You say she is your best friend so I’m guessing there was a time in the friendship you did get on better with each other.

I wonder what it would be like to spend time talking to her about how you are feeling at the moment? Perhaps you could explain what sort of support you were hoping she could give you. If you think it might be difficult to speak to her face to face, perhaps you could try putting it in a letter? If she doesn’t listen or doesn’t seem willing to change the way she is acting, you might have to make a difficult decision about whether you still want to be her friend. Some friends are great fun to be with when times are good, but not great when we need their support in the tough times. Only you can know whether there are still enough positive things in your relationship for you to want to continue with it right now.

You mentioned that your doctor has prescribed you antidepressants and that you’ve got some worries about those. You did really well to ask for support from your doctor with how you’re feeling. It would be really good to go back to your doctor and ask if the anxiousness might be linked to your medication, as that’s something he or she should be able to give you some support with.

You also mentioned your frustration about being without your phone, and I can hear what a big deal that is for you. I don’t know how long that the police are likely to need to keep it for, but that sounds like the sort of question that Victim Support might be able to help you with. They’ve got a great website for young people who’ve been victims of a crime, and you can give them a ring to get advice and information. You might also like to look at the ChildLine message boards as there is a good community there who you might find supportive.

You don’t need to apologise for the length of your letter to me. I read every word and was very impressed at the way you’ve coped. I know it’s not easy but remember you have done all the right things, talking about it and reporting it. Reporting abuse is never easy and I want to let you know what a brave and strong individual you are.

A lot of what you have told me could be explored in more detail if you would like to contact ChildLine and talk to one of the counsellors, either by calling 0800 1111 or on the 1-2-1 chat. I hope that has helped you, remember you are never on your own you always have the support of ChildLine.

Take care,


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