I feel trapped and I don’t know what to do. Since I was young, my mom has been physically and verbally abusive towards me. My earliest memory dates back to when I was in 2nd grade and she beat me for getting a blue instead of a green in the behavior color chart. My mom would hit me with objects, hit me with her hands, sit on me so I couldn’t breathe, etc. I remember a time my mom had bought a pack of Hershey bars. I loved candy so much that when I was younger I ate it all. She found out and I fessed up immediately. She proceeded to drag me into her room, lock the door, and beat me so badly that I had bruises on my face and cuts on my arm. She covered the bruises in makeup and told me to tell others I fell downstairs if they asked. Another time, it was so bad I was suffocating and couldn’t breathe because she was choking me so badly. Ever since then, I’ve been having panic attacks and flinch badly whenever she comes near me. The physical abuse wasn’t even the worst part. It was when she would ignore me and act like I didn’t exist for weeks or even months at a time. Every time we fought, she would kick me out of the house, and tell me I wasn’t her mother and I shouldn’t have been born. At one point in my life, before I went to bed every night, my only prayer to God would be to not wake up the next morning. I wanted to kill myself every day. I cut myself in places no one could see to make the pain inside feel better. I would’ve hated her with all my heart, but she’s my mom. She put the clothes on my body and food on my table. Whenever I needed something she would get it for me. I don’t understand how she could switch up like this all the time. She works really hard, so when I want to hate her for what she does, I feel guilty because of all she’s done for me. I’m 15 now, and I just had another fight with her. I felt angry at her because I felt like she favored my brother over me, and I was angry at her because she was making my dad’s life a living hell. My parents have been unhappy together for a while, and my mom does even worse things to him, but she’s been making obvious hints that she wants to leave him and that they should separate. I have to be the therapist for my dad and my mom at the same time. My dad’s always complaining every day about the new things my mom has done to him. My mom is always grumbling about the new things my dad has failed to do for her. I have no one I can express my frustrations to, not even my closest friends. I’m scared my dad’s gonna leave, and I’m scared that my mom might abandon me and my two younger siblings as well. They’re both only in middle school, and I’m worried about how it might affect them because I’m barely holding myself together. I worked hard in school and got straight A’s since I was in 6th grade so I could get my mom’s approval, but it’s like everything I do means nothing to her. I always seem to find something to do that brings disappointment to her, even if I don’t mean to. Compared to other kids, I really don’t feel like I’m that bad. I don’t drink, smoke, do drugs, sleep with boys, sneak out, get bad grades, get in trouble at school, NOTHING! I get straight A’s and even play sports as well, I’VE EVEN WON SCHOLARSHIPS! But nothing I do is ever enough for her, to her I’m just a selfish, rude, pain in the butt that’s only brought disappointment and pain. I’m tired of getting hit, and I’m tired of the new drama all the time. I’m stressed about school, stressed about extracurriculars, stressed about my parent’s relationship, stressed about EVERYTHING. I’m typing this in my dad’s office, underneath his table on the floor because I’ve been kicked out of my room and have nowhere to sleep. I don’t even know where to start if I want to leave home. I’m too young to get a job, a place, or anything. Where do I start? I really want to get out of this environment but I have nothing to my name if I ran away, not even a pair of shoes. What can I do?
FIRST THINGS FIRST:
- Thank you for taking the time to share a situation that must be so difficult – not even that – but impossible to live in. My heart hurts for you as I read and respond to this story. Before we get into anything else let’s talk about safety…
- Have you reported any of this to anyone at school? You could tell anyone with whom you have a comfortable relationship – a teacher, guidance counselor, coach or some other adult.
- Have you ever called 911 after or during a time when you parent has beaten you? What is happening to you is beyond acceptable parent discipline and would qualify as child abuse in any state. Calling 911 would bring authorities to your home to intervene.
- TeenCentral has a blog about how to help kids find their own ways out of abusive situations when they feel trapped like you do. Please CLICK HERE to read that information.
- Please remember if you are ever feeling so unsafe that you may want to harm yourself, you can reach out to the National Suicide Hotline. They are available 24/7 and help individuals in suicidal crisis with support. The National Suicide Hotline has counselors working around the clock that are available for you to speak with by calling 988 or visiting their website https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.
- If you feel more comfortable texting with someone consider texting “HOME” to 741741 to the Crisis Textline. They also have counselors available 24/7 to provide support to all individuals in crisis. You can also visit their website at http://www.crisistextline.org/.
- Have you ever spent time talking with a professional therapist? If you have not, please consider this as an option. You can always talk to a school counselor, your doctor, or even a teacher to help guide you through this process and talking to you parents about it. It is important that you have the opportunity to be heard and receive the support you need.
As said earlier above, what is happening to you is not okay. What you describe is not discipline, but severe child abuse. And even though your mother does provide things you need, as she should, that does not give her the right to hurt you in this way. Your feelings about this are valid and it’s reasonable to want real help for this problem. We encourage you to be brave and speak up to someone who can help you in your life like the people we suggested. TeenCentral will always be a place you can come for feedback and suggestions!
WHEN YOU’RE READY:
- Take some time to read through some of the content on our website. Hover over the Learn tab and check out Family section. The Family section offers a lot of information and guidance for interacting with family members and navigating through difficult/challenging conversations with them.
- When you are done there, please head over to the Tools tab. Here take time to explore the Conflict Conversation Organizer, Anger Map, and Fighting Fair. These will also help you have those difficult conversations with family members and others.
- Have you ever had the opportunity to sit back and think about who you have in your corner? Consider checking out Support Plan in the Tools section. How about any coping skills? Coping skills can be anything that helps ground us or calm us. Think about what you enjoy doing and makes you happy. Some ideas are journaling, exercise (check out the Wellness section in the Learn tab), playing/writing music or a musical instrument, or even arts & crafts such as drawing, coloring, or even building small crafts such as bird houses.