Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Get attached to people too easily.

Ha! My name is S*. What I was going to ask about was this weird thing I do. If I meet an female adult that has shows lots of affection for me, I get attached to them. It doesn't happen instantly. Here's an example of a time. I met this woman at church she was really sweet and kind to me. We talked and she treated me like a friend. I talked to her some more on Facebook and in person, and I started developing a bond with her. Like she was a family member. I loved getting hugs from her and loved talking to her. Then I started to get attached to her. That's how it went with the other people I got attached to. I think I get attached to motherly figures. I was adopted when I was a baby by my great grandparents. When I met my mom, she found it creepy that I treated her like she was my mother, but she IS my mother. My mother now (great grandma)  and I fight a lot over stupid things. I don't feel comfortable  confiding in her, but these people I get attached to I trust and feel like I can confide in them. Is this bad that I do all of this? It's kind of weird. Is there something wrong with me?
Ask Sam


Hi S

Thanks also S for writing to explain everything. Being brave enough to share your letter and talk about things that you are unsure about, can often help others to have the confidence to do the same and it’s only then they are able to get some support, so well done for that. It’s also great that you are so aware of what’s going on for you.

I’d like to say that developing attachments in the way you describe is understandable, especially when someone is treating you kindly and with respect. At the same time, it sounds like you find it quite strange. It might be that you are looking to find some things that don’t feel quite complete or are missing in your life, such as the affectionate times you might have with a mum, like the hugs you mention or talking about what’s on your mind.

Although I really don’t believe this is “weird” or it means that there is something wrong with you, it's a good idea to think about boundaries with people who you don’t know very well. What I mean by this is that it is important to learn quite a bit about someone before getting too attached or close. That would help keep you safe and would also help protect you from being hurt if you became too involved too quickly. I hope that makes sense. Very sadly, not all people are as honest as we would like and this is why is it wise to be careful and think seriously when we feel keen to give and receive affection.

Some young people who are adopted can find as they grow up, that they have lots of questions about adoption or need to talk through their feelings about being adopted. If you feel this way, I think it could be very helpful for you to speak to a ChildLine counsellor and you may do that by ringing 0800 1111 (calls are free) or having a 1-2-1 chat with a counsellor, or sending an e-mail.

Something else that might help is if you check out the ChildLine message boards where young people who are in similar situations share their thoughts, feelings and ideas.

You might also like to have a look at the website After Adoption, this is an organisation for those involved with adoption and they have a Youth Line that you can ring on 0808 808 1234 (Monday-Thursday 9-6 pm, Tuesday until 8 pm and Friday 9 am until 4 pm).

Please remember that ChildLine are always here to support you and thanks again for writing to me, your letter is so important.

Take care


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