Ask Sam letter


To Sam


Hi, I have been having a problem with shoplifting for the past month now. Today, I was greedy. Too greedy. Careless and not subtle. I got caught. A haul of £300 of stuff. The beeper went off and I...well ran. And left my stuff in the store. Just pelted it, Ive never been so scared in my life. I got caught at the end of the road. The guy was sympathetic, as I was in tears and shaking by now. He banned me from the store, took the stuff and was very easy on me. He let me get away with alot. I know it looks all fine, but that was my favorite store, the one and only store that I loved. I walk past it every day, and now I will get arrested if I enter it again. I feel so so guilty, and terrible. I dont know what to do. I have no idea, just this pang of hurt inside me. And these flashbacks of cryig and pleading. I dont know what to do. What if they call the police? They have my fingerprints. Im only 14, and my parents would take away my whole life, and leave me with nothing if they found out. My mum found me in tears outside the house and asked me whats wrong. I had to lie, I made up this b******* about my friend. I just feel so much guilt and regret, it eats away at me constantly. I called one friend who I can trust, and childline, I still cant bear it though. Any advice? I need help quickly, I cant stop crying or shaking and thinking about it. Help please!
Ask Sam


Hi there,

It’s good to hear from you and I am glad you’ve got in touch.

I can hear how what happened has had a really big effect on you and left with many feelings of regret. When people are growing up they may do things that they later regret and feel that they have made mistakes, which can linger in our minds, sometimes causing us to ask questions about how things might have been if we had acted differently.

Making mistakes is a normal part of life. What is important is that we learn from what we did wrong and understand better the consequences of our actions. From what you said the consequence of not being able to go into your favourite store is something that is really on your mind.

I can hear how you’ve been left with some really strong feelings of guilt which were made worse by lying to mum. When people have strong feelings like this, it can be important and helpful to talk about them and get them off your chest. Many young people tell me that talking has helped them to understand their problems better and to be able to deal with them more easily,

You said that you have a friend that you can trust - what would it be like to talk to them about the feelings you have? Perhaps you could think about this as, quite often getting other peoples viewpoint can help us see things a bit more clearly.

In the explore section on the ChildLine website there is some information on coping with feelings of guilt or you could chat to other young people on the emotions message board.

A ChildLine counsellor is also someone you could talk over your feelings with. ChildLine counsellors don’t judge and would be able to keep what you’ve said confidential.

You can get in touch with a ChildLine counsellor by calling free on 0800 1111 (the number won't appear on a phone bill, including mobiles), email or log on for a 1-2-1 chat (like instant messenger).

Take care,


Need help straight away?

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

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