Ask Sam letter


To Sam

My Mask.

Hi! I'm 12. I live with my mum who I generally get along with, my sister, who's 13, who has Downs Syndrome and my dog! My dad works away. Sometimes, I don't see him for a whole year before he comes home.
Recently, everything's been piling up. Sister, Dad, friends. I'm annoyed about my friend's priorities. They cry over a boy, I cry over a-
Well, that's the thing. I don't cry. It doesn't solve anything. No tears can heal my sister or bring my dad back. It's like I have to wear a mask. I have to smile and cover it all up. I don't want any fuss or attention. I don't need it. It's not going to do anything.
I really want to let all my emotions out, but I can't. I'll loose respect. I'll just be the lost little girl with a careless dad and crippled sister.
It's hard for me to explain everything. I guess there are no words. Please reply, I really need a light in the storm. x
Ask Sam



Thanks for your letter telling me about your family situation and how you feel about it. It sounds as though you feel trapped by a difficult situation that cannot be changed. Sometimes, it can help to think about how we view this situation and how we let it affect us. Changing how we think about a situation can be helpful when we cannot change the situation itself.

You say that you want to let out your emotions. One way of doing this is by crying, yet you say that you don’t cry because it doesn’t solve anything. It can be true what you say - that tears will not heal your sister or bring your dad back but it might be a way of helping you to cope. I want you to know that it’s okay to cry. Crying is a normal way of coping with feeling upset and sad. 

Another way that people let their feelings out is by writing them down in a diary or journal. Some people also draw or doodle in their journal as a way of expressing difficult emotions. If you were worried about someone finding your journal you could make it on the computer and give the document a password so that only you can access it. You might like to express yourself creatively and there is a Creative tool on the ChildLine website where you can create images and keep them in your locker. You could also try expressing your feelings on the creative writing message board or through poetry and get support from other young people who maybe in the same situation.

It can be good to share feelings with other people, although it’s important to choose the people you speak to carefully, especially if you want things to be kept confidential and treated with care. I’m wondering if there might be someone that you feel you could talk to about your concerns, perhaps an adult you trust like a teacher or a family member. 

It might be that you felt sending this letter helped and this could be the start of being able to let your emotions out to someone. 

ChildLine have counsellors who you can talk to about anything that is on your mind. Perhaps you might consider talking to them. You can talk to them by phoning free on 0800 1111, chatting to them on 1-2-1 chat or by sending an email.  

Take care,


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

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