A Hopeless 15 Year Old

Published: October 23, 2017
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I'm dealing with so much stress right now. My mom raised me since I was 4 because my Dad was very abusive to my sister and I, so my mom left him. My mom has been through a lot raising my sister and I and I feel like she is taking her anger out on my sister and me. She would hit us if we do things wrong like pull our hair and push us to the floor. My grandparents know about this and if I tell them my mom keeps hitting us, they would get so worried and would have anxiety. This is why my sister and I don't tell our grandparents because we don't want them to feel that way. Is this child abuse? I've also gone through a lot in school and I feel like the friends I hang out with use me. They would always yell at me and tell me what to do and I would have to pay for them to buy lunch. If I didn't stop hanging out with them, I wouldn't have friends. I really dealt with a lot in my life and I don't really know what to do atm. Do you think if I kill myself it would make things better? Sincerely, A Hopeless 15 year old
Signed: A Hopeless 15 Year Old

Dear A Hopeless 15 Year Old,

TeenHealthFX can appreciate that you may be feeling a lot of pain right now about all you have been dealing with, however, suicide is definitely not the answer. What would be helpful is for you, your sister and your mother to get the support that all of you need, and that all of you have been needing for quite some time. FX can appreciate that your mother has been under a tremendous amount of stress over the years, and has probably been dealing with her own sadness and anger. While this does not in any way justify the pain she has caused you, it does mean that she is not a bad person and could mean that there is the potential for her to be there for you in the way you need her to be as long as she gets the support and help that she needs.

You dealt with an abusive father and since then have been dealing with the result of your mother’s stress, pain and anger in terms of the angry and aggressive way she has responded to you. FX can only imagine the anxiety, sadness and anger this has caused you. You want to spare your grandparents from dealing with any worry, which has left you dealing with this all alone. On top of which, it doesn’t sound like you feel happy and secure in your relationships with your friends. So FX can appreciate your struggle right now and is sorry that things have been so hard for you. But, again, hurting yourself is not the solution. What would help is for you to have trusted adults in your life who know what is going on and who can provide you with the support and guidance that you need. You might start by talking to a counselor at school. That way you will have someone available to you at school who knows what is going on, and you will have someone who can help you and your family get the help that is needed. For you specifically, it would be beneficial to be meeting with a reputable mental health professional, such as a clinical social worker or clinical psychologist. A therapist can help you address all that has gone on in your family, as well as what is going on in your peer group.

FX can appreciate that it might be hard to think of reaching out for help in terms of trusting that people will want to be there for you and be helpful to you. But there are trustworthy adults out there, such as your teachers, school counselor, private therapists and even your doctor, who will want to help you through all of this. So please reach out for help as soon as possible so you can get the support you need and so you don’t have to deal with this all alone anymore.   

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

If you get to the point that you are seriously considering suicide or are afraid of your impulses then you need to seek help immediately. You can call 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room. In northern New Jersey you can also call the crisis hotline from Morristown Medical Center at 973-540-0100. Outside this area call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, available toll-free 24/7. You can also use the Crisis Text Line by texting “connect” to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. This service is free and available nationwide 24/7.

Signed: TeenHealthFX