Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Lying and being strange

Hi, i sometimes just lie, sometimes about stupid things, and sometimes about big things. Like a few weeks ago I said I had been sexually assaulted, but I hadn't. I don't lie for attention, for sympathy, or to big myself up, it's just like I lie about bad stuff, by saying it happened to me, but just because I feel like I deserve it all, so I say it has happened. If I lie about it enough, even I believe it's true. Also, I feel like I have to keep the real me hidden away all the time, because if I don't, I'll be second best to everyone. I can't be myself, because if I am, then I get annoyed easily, and lash out so everyone thinks I have anger problems, even I think that. I just don't know if I can cope any longer.

thank you, F

Ask Sam


Hi F,

Thanks for your letter.

You’ve done really well to be so honest to me, it seems like it could have taken a lot of courage.

You have told me that you lie by saying bad stuff has happened to you - like telling people you have been sexually assaulted. I can hear you saying that you feel you deserve it all and it seems like you might have very little confidence in yourself. Lots of young people struggle to cope with having low self-esteem and I wonder if you think that’s going on for you.

It sounds like you feel that other people are better than you. You feel like you have to keep yourself hidden away because you would be second best if you were being yourself. You have told me about getting easily annoyed and lashing out, which could be really difficult for you to cope with. Perhaps looking for some support with your anger issues could be a way to start building your self-confidence.

You don’t tell me anything about who you live with or how the people you tell about these things react when you tell them. Some young people speak to trusted adults or professionals to get help, perhaps you could think about talking to your doctor about what kind of support is available in your area. This will depend on how old you are. There does seem to be a lot going on for you and you don't have to try to deal with this on your own.

You could talk to a ChildLine counsellor about finding ways to cope differently with your feelings towards yourself and to make sense of where and how to get help. I am particularly concerned as you are saying that you are not sure if you can cope any longer. Talking to someone helps lots of young people. You can speak to a ChildLine counsellor free on 0800 1111, log in for a 1-2-1 chat or send an email. They are always there to listen and support you. You might also find it helpful to have a look at the building confidence and self-esteem page.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

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

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter