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To Sam

My Grandad is being abused by my Grandmother..

Hi Sam, I'm a 14 year old girl who has lived with her grandparents her entire life.

Through my life It's been 'normal' for them to fight every now and again but in the last 2/3 years I've noticed it has gotten VERY bad.

No hitting but a lot of yelling, my nana always seems to emotionally abuse my grandad, calling him names, putting him down. I get brought into the fights like being told by my grandma 'I want you as a witness to the abuse he is making me SUFFER!' She always makes it seem like SHE is the victim! but she is not.

I hate taking sides with anyone but I feel forced to take her side because if I don't she'll cry and make me feel bad and ignore me and or yell and me. I don't know what to do anymore and because I'm older now I feel like I should do something.
I have also now resulted to self-harm every once in a while.. It just makes me feel the pain I think I deserve.

I went away on a sleepover last week and when I came back my Grandma said there was no fighting and jokingly said 'you should leave more often then we would not fight! haha' I think shes right though..

thanks for reading xx

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Family relationships can be difficult as there'll always be times when people don't get along. This can be because of other experiences that are happening in each person’s life which might cause stress. When someone is feeling pressured or stressed this might lead to arguments.

It can be very difficult to see people you live with arguing. And it can be hard to know what to do. The most important thing to remember is that what’s happening isn’t your fault. You didn’t cause the arguments and you can’t control them. As adults, they have a responsibility to take care of you. And it’s important they make sure you aren’t witnessing arguments and aggression that leaves you feeling upset.

If an adult feels they’re experiencing emotional abuse, it’s their responsibility to get help, rather than encouraging you to get involved and feel like you have to take sides, which isn’t fair on you.

It can be really helpful to speak to them about how they’re behaving and, more importantly, how it makes you feel at home. This might help them see things from your point of view. And help them get some support to help them with the difficulties in their relationship.

It can feel like it’s your fault, or that you could be doing more to help. And this can leave you feeling frustrated. But it’s not your fault and there are ways to help you cope with things without self-harming. It can feel like this is the only way to cope, but lots of people find that doing something they enjoy can distract them and make them feel better. Try our tips to cope with self-harming.

It’s so important to remember that you are not to blame, and you don’t have to take your frustrations out on yourself.

You could try getting support from the message boards where other young people support each other with the issues that matter to them. You can also talk to a counsellor. You never have to feel alone. And the more support you can have around you, the easier it will be to deal with what is happening around you.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

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

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