Home Depression THere’s never peace in our house and I don’t know what to do.

THere’s never peace in our house and I don’t know what to do.

by Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Hey. Well, I’m not exactly sure where to start so maybe I should give you a little background information. I am 15 years old and in high school. About 4 months ago my step father ummm “touched me” inappropriately. I take full responsibility for it because I know it has to be my fault. He has done it twice and that’s all. It’s been about 3 months now so I know it will never happen again. I’m not really worried about it that much.

I think though that I have depression. I go to school in the morning and I can’t focus and then I come home and I don’t want to do anything. I stay up until 4 am and I wake for school at 5am. I’m tired but it doesn’t matter how tired I am I still won’t sleep. My mother and step father fight all the time. My mom, when not indulging in an argument with him, yells at me. It’s never peace in our house. I have a younger sister who pretty much gets all the love. But she’s not free of the violence. My MOM beat her with a belt. < -- can you believe this? Well now the option has come up that I can live with my real dad and step mom. I'm just having a really hard time making this choice. He lives in another state tw. Also, my mom has always used my dad as a threat to me. Like " IF YOU DO NOT KNOCK THIS OFF YOU CAN JUST GO LIVE WITH YOUR FATHER AND SEE HOW MUCH HE CARES ABOUT YOU, I'M SO SICK OF YOU ATTITUDE." I don't want to hurt my moms feeling either, but I'm not happy with my life. She calls me a Bitch and though I'm no therapist she is, and I'm pretty sure you don't call your teenage daughter that when she already knows she is stupid and fat and has no self esteem. I have stooped down to cutting... yeah I know "how emo" right? Well, the cutting has stopped for now due to the horrendous marks that just won't go away. Another thing for me to stress about. I get stomach aches all the time and just wish for once life could be easy. I don't know where i went wrong but some how i did because the bad never stops. I get called "paranoid" because the first thing on my mind where ever I go is what everyone is thinking about me. When someone laughs i think there laughing at me. I always try to please everyone and lately I'm not pleasing anyone, not even myself. Do you think you can please help me out a little? I'm looking for what ever advice I can get. I have no one else to ask. Thanks!

My dear girl, What do you mean you take full responsibility???? You are the kid. Your StepDad is the adult. He knows what he did is wrong. Touching you in any sexual way is a crime! On top of that, your Mom and StepDad are fighting all the time and calling you names. I’m very, very worried about you and your little sister. We don’t know whether your StepDad has done the same thing to her. Neither one of you has a safe and nurturing home to grow up in. You are right to be looking for some help.

You are a sweet girl to not want to hurt your Mom’s feelings but I don’t see any way for things to get better – for her as well as for you girls – unless you tell someone what is going on so you get some help. No matter how much you want to please and protect people, you can’t expect yourself to handle something this complicated and painful on your own. Sadly, it doesn’t sound like your Mom would believe you if you told her about your StepDad or your depression so you need to go to someone who will.

You didn’t mention whether you have a good relationship with your bio-Dad in spite of your Mom’s threats. If you do, you could start by talking to him. If you don’t know him very well, it would probably be better to start with your school guidance counselor or school nurse or your medical doctor. Any one of them will know how to get your family the help they need.

If that idea is too scarey or if you need to talk things over with someone to help you decide what to do, you could call the Girls and Boys Town Hot Line at 1 800 448 3000. I just spoke to a very kind person there who told me there are counselors available 24/7 to talk to kids like you who need support. You don’t even have to tell them your name unless you want to.
Please write again and let me know what you decide to do.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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