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what should i do?

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  • what should i do?

    Hello,
    I'm sixteen (seventeen in five months) and I can't deal with my family anymore.
    My older brother (nineteen) is emotionally and verbally abusive, and has been for as long as I can remember. Not just to me, but to our mother as well. He has a temper, and is very racist/sexist/homophobic (basically, anyone who isn't him is bad/wrong). I'm very afraid of him, as he is taller and stronger than I. I worry that if I stand up for myself he'll hurt me. My father is rarely home, but when he is, all he does is complain about us. He vilifies himself to make us feel guilty. (for instance, he'll say that everything in our lives is bad because of him, yet get offended if we say he hurt our feelings) He also bullies my brother for his acne, and me for my mental illnesses/"daddy issues". My mother isn't as bad as the men, but she refuses to acknowledge their behavior as bad. She says they're only joking, and that I should learn to deal with it because people like them are everywhere. I'm terrified constantly, and my health is starting to suffer from the constant anxiety and panic attacks. Should I tell my therapist how bad things at home are? I have no friends or family i could stay with. I'm absolutely alone.

    - clementine

  • #2
    RE: what should i do?

    Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline -- we are so glad you found us for help and support.
    It sounds like home has a lot going on for you. Living with family members can be hard, especially when they do not hold the beliefs we hold ourselves. However, whether they agree with what we believe in or not, no one has a right to hurt you or make you feel unsafe. If you ever do feel unsafe, you can call the police for help.

    The dynamics within your family seem strong an intimidating. Do you think there’s a way you could find support to voice your opinion/feelings without fear of being hurt or attacked? For instance, if you expressed your feelings to your mom, do you think you two could then talk to your brother and dad together to set some ground rules for how you all communicate to one another? Another option you have besides you and your mom talking to them would be to contact us for a conference call. We offer that, where you would call us and then we would do an outgoing call to your dad and be the mediator between the two of you. This is one way to open up the lines of communication between you guys. If not, maybe looking to a trusted adult who can help you with that would be a good idea.

    If you call us directly at 1-800-RUNAWAY, we can discuss options like this to make home a less stressful place to be. You have a right to be happy, healthy, and safe, and we are definitely here to help. Even if staying at home is not an option for you, we would rather have you in a shelter than on the street and can look up resources in your area. We are anonymous, non-directive (meaning we aren’t here to tell you what to do), and want you to be safe in any decision you make.

    Thinking you are completely alone can be a sad feeling, but always remember that there is someone here for you at the National Runaway Safeline (1-800-RUNAWAY) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We wish you the best, and encourage you to contact us if you find yourself needing more help.

    Best,
    NRS
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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