Pat's Answer

How do I get my parents to stop being in denial

Your Question

Sorry about taking so long to explain I don’t even know where to start with this one. So for the past couple of years I’ve had some pain in my back, legs and neck so finally just before lockdown in March I got an X-ray and it turned out I have scoliosis. My mum said to me it was my fault for having bad posture even though I have been trying really hard to stand up and sit straight. My parents are in denial and have refused to discuss it since and say they don’t even remember the x Ray results. I get the impression that there is something my parents aren’t telling me and that’s why they shut down the conversation about the x Ray results whenever I try start it. One of my shoulders is higher than the other and I’m quite self conscious of it and I worry a lot about the curve getting worse but I have no one to turn to.My question is how do I get my parents to stop being in denial? 


Welcome to Ask Pat. Thank you for reaching out to share what is going on with you in your life.   

We are sorry to hear about your medical issues and the pain you are suffering. You mention you got a diagnosis of Scoliosis last year and your mum told you it was your fault for having bad posture. You also mention your parents are in denial and are refusing to talk to you about the results of the x-ray. You feel maybe they are hiding something. You are worried your condition is getting worse. You also feel self-conscious as one of your shoulders is higher than the other. 

Your worries and feelings are totally valid and understandable. You have been so brave to reach out today. We would be concerned that you are not receiving the support that you deserve. Your parents have a responsibility to look after you, to care for you and to listen to you. It is important that you know that you have the right to get help and that your medical condition is not your fault. Do you think your parents know how you truly feel? What would it be like if you had an open conversation with them explaining your worries and concerns? 

Maybe you feel it would be easier to chat to somebody like a friend, another relative, or a teacher, someone whom you feel comfortable chatting to, who could support you. Talking to someone really helps. You have the right to get answers to your medical questions and talk openly to your doctor about any worries and concerns you may have.  Do you know if there are any support groups for people living with scoliosis in your area. Perhaps your doctor or hospital would be able to let you know. 

There are some articles on the Childline website that you may like to read. You can find them here  

If you feel that you cannot talk to somebody you know just yet, that is ok. How would you feel about contacting Childline? You already have done brilliant in writing to us. The Childline services are free and are open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The Childline team will listen to you. We will not judge you or tell you what to do. You can phone us on 1800 66 66 66, or text us at 50101 and there is our web chat service also, which you an access through www.childline.ieWe can help you to look at options that may be available to you. 

Remember, you do not have to go through this on your own. There is support for you at Childline when you feel ready to get in touch again.  

Take care of yourself,  


Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there’s nothing too big or small.