It’s My Fault My Family’s Falling Apart

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’m 12 and I had a bad experience with my stepdad, i don’t really want to go into it but i will just sum it up, he came home drunk and he touched me and got in alot of trouble with the police and now there is all these rules we have to follow and he is mean to me now.
after the bad experience he got into alot of trouble and i feel that he hates me now because i told the police on him. its all my fault, if i had kept it to myself my family wouldnt be scraping up as much money as they can just to pay a phone bill and everyone would still be happy and at least my stepdad wouldnnt be mean to me. He calls me names. you probably havent heard of it but there is a cartoon we watch on tv called family guy and there is a character called meg and she is fat and ugly snd shes a loser. my stepdad always says im meg (hes calling me a fat ugly loser in a nice way). and he continuesly says that im stupid and you know what, i am but doesnt mean he has to tease me abouit everyday. oh here he comes in now.

anyway, I am really really sad and ANGRY about this and i spend 3 or 4 days of my week sad and angry all day, I feel like crying right now but i have felt like crying for about an hour or 2. i am worried that im bipolar because sometimes im really really energetic and just really happy but then i feel really sad or angry. I know im depressed.and plus i have all these phobias that stop me from doing things and offect my everyday life, im scared of needles, sharp objects, injuries, blood, the dark, most indian guys (my stepdad is indian), and doing anything in the bathroom at night. these phobias make my life hell because i have to have needles at school, my friends chase me with pins everyday and i act like its a joke but inside it really does scare me and make me really angry.

so my stepdad and my phobias make me really depressed and im also worried i have bipolar. when i asked my mum if i could be bipolar she said no ur a girl you have mood swings and said that i could just have teen depression (im 12 im not even a teen). oh and my mum also makes me angry because payed so much money just to keep my stepdad in the country and i wanted him to leave. if he left right here right now i honestly woundn’t care. i would be happy. i think that my mum forgets that its not just about her husband, the kids have opinions too.

and i have 3 girls at school that are my worst enemys, they call me a cow behind my back but i hear them when there at the table right next to me in class, and they say hi to me in a strange voice but i just ignore them but it makes me so mad its not funny. and to add to all that my family is pretty much poor, 4 people (mum, stepdad, me and bro) and we live in a unit with 2 bedrooms so me and my bro share room and the house is always messy and i hate it because im a really neat person but i can’t do anything about it. i try to look good but im too poor to have nice clothes so i look freakin horrible all the time =(
and thats pretty much it i guess.
so i really need help with my depression its ruining my days.

A: That’s quite a letter. First of all — are you listening? — none of the family troubles are your fault. You didn’t do anything wrong! The person at fault is your stepdad. Apparently the legal system agrees.

I doubt very much you are bipolar. The thoughts and feelings you shared are usual for a girl who has had her trust broken by her stepdad or dad. I suspect the phobias either started with the incident or got much worse. That’s not uncommon either. On top of the family troubles, you are being bullied in school. As I read your letter, I had to wonder if there is any place in the world where you feel safe and supported.

You need help, not criticism and bullying. Counselors have experience helping kids like you who have so many troubles. I think you should talk to your mom about getting some therapy for you, if she’s the kind of mom who will listen. If not, please consider talking to your school counselor about how to get some therapy.

If you need to talk to someone while you wait for an appointmnet, you can call the Boys and Girls Town Hotline. There are counselors there 24/7 to talk to teens who are upset, confused, or troubled. The number is: 800-448-3000. Go to their website for more information.

You were smart to write to us here at PsychCentral. No kid should have to handle so many problems on her own. Now please do call the hotline and do everything you can to get yourself in to see a therapist. I’m sure you’ll feel better when you do.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 Jun 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). It’s My Fault My Family’s Falling Apart. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 19, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/06/08/its-my-fault-my-familys-falling-apart/