my friend is in real trouble

Dear Suzie,
there’s this girl who is a really close friend…well she’s really insecure and her mom is barely ever at home (she’s always wiv her byfriend) nd her bro (whos about 7) goes around wiv knifes threatening 2 killl himself nd has anger management problems.

well anyway, one night, my friend told me that she feels as if her mom duznt love her enough nd she ‘treats her mom nd bro as if they were enemies’. my friend has only two real friends that actually like her, as everyone else hates her (she dusnt no this)bcs they say shes so damn annoying nd they always get in major big fights with her anyway. well, me and another girl try to help her tellin her that she must change (we do do it nicely!) nd then she yells at us nd cries. then WE get in fights with her nd it realy isnt nice at all. she was jelous because i was friends with this other girl (close friends) nd she was jelous so she started yeling at me nd saying that she ‘loves me more’ than this other girl does. anyway, about two weeks ago my friend started cutting herself. she cries at school, when she comes to our houses, everywhere…and it’s really gettin bad.

one day she was in tears the whole time, because her mom had said that if her brother kills himself then its HER fault. her mother is really not nice and caring at all.
its really getting worse and worse, nd i dont no wat to do. it i try and help her she yells and starts to cry. please help me and tell me wat i should really do.

Poor you! What a very sad state of affairs – and what a scary thing for you to be trying to deal with. This friend of yours needs help, and her family most certainly need help and support but it’s not up to you to deal with alone.

She shouts at you because her mum has left her feeling so bad about herself, and responsible for her very distressed brother. But it’s not her fault, nor his. I can understand that you feel you have to deal with this on your own and maybe keep any secrets you think your friend has told you. But when it comes to this sort of situation, you don’t keep quiet.

I want you to talk to two sets of people. I want you to share with your parents what very sad and frightening circumstances your friend is in and that you are trying to help her as a good friend. And you, on your own or with your parents, must then speak to a trusted teacher to ask them to set some help in motion. The whole family need counselling support and if her mother won’t accept it, at least she and her brother should be getting it.

If by any sad chance the school aren’t prepared to help, then ask your parents to call social services. You shouldn’t have to carry this burden but neither should you or your parents stand by and let it go on. Good luck!

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