My parents pick on me

Dear Suzie, 

          I’m 16 and two years ago I met and fell for someone on the internet who turned out to be a rapist. When i found out i stopped e-mailing him but he continued to e-mail me. After a year the e-mails started getting threatening. And last Christmas he sent a death threat. I told my parents and after a week or two of begging they contacted the police. Ever since then my parents have been picking at me and giving me spiteful comments over it. They think it’s just a joke and just laugh at me. I’ve tried to tell them how i feel but they just see it that i won’t join in the joy but every time they do it its like another whole in my heart and i’m desperate. I start my exams in two weeks so need to sort it now. Can you please help me? 



What a horrible thing to have happened to you. But I do wonder what your parents were thinking about. Did they not believe you?  Sometimes, parents want so much to protect their children that they can’t bear the thought they might have let you down. They may have refused to contact the police because they didn’t want to recognise the danger in this man and the very real fear and upset he caused you. To do so would have meant they would have also faced up to the fact that they hadn’t protected you from him.

 And now, they want to make a joke of it either to go on defending themselves, or because they think by making light of it they may get you to feel less traumatised. Clearly, that hasn’t worked and no wonder; being defensive and not listening to you isn’t going to make this go away.

 Whatever happened and why ever it happened is now irrelevant. What matters is that you are upset and feel your parents aren’t listening to you.  Until you feel heard and valued, you’re going to feel let down by them. If you feel you can’t get through to them by trying one more time to say “Mum and Dad, this really frightened me and I need your support and understanding about it” then it’s time to call in outside help

 Do you have a teacher you trust who you can ask to see and explain exactly what you’ve told me? Or a relative you love and trust such as a grandparent? Or can you see your doctor – your doctor must see you on your own and keep what you say between you unless you give permission for it to go further, especially since you’re over 16.  Get some help – you deserve it. Good luck!

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