I will sum everything up quickly, over the past four or more years my mum has been drinking heavily and my dad works away so he has no power to help, my mum is abusive and very scary when she is drunk. She hits me, calls me names says she regrets me and gets so drunk she goes out for hours and comes back covered in blood and pee, she will then put a towel on and threaten to show me her naked if I don’t stop, which is nothing new since sometimes I walk home from school and she is lying naked. she started drinking heavily when her dad died but this is too much. I also have a social worker , who has tried to help my mum in every was but she isn’t accepting anything and now I have been told I just need to prepare myself for her killing herself. I am so sad about this I have no family to turn too because my mum drive them away and I only have one friend who I can talk too but it doesn’t do anything, I am depressed all the time and want to kill myself, I get so stressed I’m sick, I get so angry I lock myself in my room so I don’t hurt my mum, I can’t control myself or her. what should I do? (age 15, from Scotland)
A: Thank you for writing in. You need to get some help quickly, not just for your mother, but for yourself. You shouldn’t have to live this way. Your mum has a problem that is so far out of control by now, that she can’t get herself out of it without some serious help. She would need to go through detox at a hospital.
If you haven’t already, you need to tell your father what is going on. It doesn’t matter that he works away, he is your parent and keeping you safe is his responsibility. You also need to tell the social worker how bad things really are and that you can no longer live in this environment. Your mum may not be open to help right now, but you are because you are reaching out.
If your father or the social worker doesn’t do enough to help or it takes too long, I want you to contact Child Protection. You might want to contact them now anyway so that they can help you find a way out of this situation. Here is the contact information: https://www.glasgowchildprotection.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2053
Your depression and anger are normal. You are reacting to the situation and I’m sure you feel that you have no control. Please don’t do anything to harm yourself, you are already hurting enough. What you can do is ask for help, over and over and over, until a responsible adult steps in and finds a way to keep you safe. We all deserve to feel safe in our own home. Please hang on to hope, life won’t always be this way. Feel free to share my response with your dad, social worker, teacher, or other family members until someone helps.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts