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To Sam

living away from home

I moved out of my house 18 months ago after suffereing years of abuse. I ran away, expectig my dad to leave my abuser but he told me never to come back. I witheld information from the police, social services, etc. to protect him and I wish I didn't.
I moved in with a family that I didn't know and they haven't fostered me. They recieve no child benefit or anything like that. They are nice but they have been snappy with my lately. I have no real family left so I have no one to turn to when I want to escape. I feel like I don't belong. My mum 8 years ago and since then I have lived with many different people. Only one household didn't abuse me and I miss them but they gave me up because they didn't want me. I hate myself. I want a mum and dad. My friends always complain about the silly things their parents do but they should be lucky to have nice parents. If my mum was alive I would happily hold her hand to school everyday even though I'm in my teens! Feeling like I don't belong anywhere and that I have no support and family is really making my depression a lot worse. Not sure what else I can do.  Ran out of therapy options, on anti depressants and I am barely staying in school.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your letter. I’m really glad that you decided to get in touch. I can hear that you have been through a number of very difficult losses over the years and that you’ve experienced a lot of change, things sound like they have been pretty tough for you recently.

It was wrong of anyone to abuse you at home and it sounds like you feel really let down by your dad who should have been protecting you.

You’ve told me that you withheld information from the police and social services in the past because you were trying to protect your dad and it sounds like now you are feeling more ready to be honest with the support services available to you.

I’m glad to hear that you have found a family who you’ve been able to stay with. It seems like you’re worried about them becoming snappy- and you sometimes feel a bit trapped with your situation.

Whether you are living with your own family or other people, there will be times when you need to talk with each other so that you can get your needs met, and help to make your home a more pleasant place to live. When you have been abused in past, it can be difficult to do that. You might find talking to a ChildLine counsellor can help you think about how you could talk to the people you're living with about how you're feeling, it can be a chance to practice what you want to say so that it doesn’t feel so strange and scary when you try it for real.

If you feel that you have reached the point where you need more practical help, ChildLine can always help you to get to get in touch with a social worker if you want to talk to them about what’s happening and find out more about what support is available now. You might want to tell them more about your past and present situation and talk to them about what you want to happen.

Shelter has some great housing advice for young people. They also have a helpline you can call free from a landline or phone box on 0808 800 4444. 

Another option is to go to the local council housing office and ask them about housing. You might have to put your name on a waiting list but it’s a good idea to get your name on it as soon as possible.

You’ve also talked about your depression and finding it hard to stay in school. If your school is not already aware of your situation you might want to talk to them about what’s happening. They may also be able to help push for some support for you.

You might also consider talking to a ChildLine counsellor anytime via 1-2-1 chat (a bit like instant messenger) or by calling them on 0800 1111 (this is a free number and it won’t how up on your bill) about what’s been happening, how its making you feel and what you want to do next.

ChildLine is also a place where you can talk about your mum and the nice family that you have lost in the past. Losing someone close to you is very difficult and no one can know how it’s going to make them feel. Cruse Bereavement offer counselling services to young people as well as adults. They have a young person’s peer support page called RD4U. They also have a free phone helpline on 0808 808 1677.

Take care,


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