My Family Hates me

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’ve been depressed since i turned 1st grade. Each year my family problems gets bigger and bigger. I don’t know how to handle them anymore. My mom keeps on smoking. My dad is always away. My grand parents are always asking for money. Now school is starting, i still can’t write (I injured my self) and i told my mom about it, she ignored me 5 times. My only friend now is myself. I remembered my mom kicking me, punching me, and slapping me. I keep asking to myself, “What did i do wrong?” and people telling me i bring bad luck to them. I don’t know what to do. Please help me. Me and my brother also tried talking to our mom, but in the end, she end up getting angry and told us things won’t work out. Now I’m turning High School things are still messy. And, I can’t concentrate on my school, I can’t be good friends with everyone because I’m the only problematic child in school. My auntie told me that our family should get a councilor but my brother told me its no use talking to them when they won’t even listen. Please.. Please help me.. I’m very bad at talking in english but please i hope you understand..

A: I’m so very sorry that you don’t feel you have anyone to turn to. I doubt very much that you’ve done anything wrong. I doubt very much that you bring other bad luck to other people. It sounds like the adults in your family are overwhelmed and depressed and are looking for someone to blame. For some reason, you’ve become what is called the family scapegoat – the person who is blamed when people can’t or won’t manage their own problems. It’s an unfair and sad place to be in.

Reading your letter, I’m curious about your aunt. I wonder if you’ve talked to her as much as you could. Is there any chance she would talk to your mother about getting some counseling? Is she willing to have you spend more time with her?

Your brother may be right that your parents won’t listen to the kids but can the two of you listen to each other? You both understand what it’s like to be a kid in the family and how stressful it can be. There’s no reason that siblings can’t also be friends and a support for each other.

If neither of those possibilities can work for you, please understand that you aren’t alone. Not everyone gets the family they deserve. Some kids have to just do the best they can until they can leave.

If your family doesn’t get any better, spend as little time at home as you can and focus on making a positive future for yourself. Find activities like sports or volunteer work or a job that will keep you busy after school and on weekends and will introduce you to new people. Save your money. Work hard at your studies so that you can apply for scholarships to go to university. In a few years, you’ll be old enough to leave home and start a life of your own. You can make it a good one.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 5 Jun 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). My Family Hates me. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 30, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/06/05/my-family-hates-me/