Alex's Answer

I have an unhappy relationship with my foster parents

Your Question

Hi Alex, I’m in a really confusing and upsetting situation… my foster parents really keep saying stuff that hurts me for example they told me ‘ To build a bridge and get over it’ referring to my past trauma they just keeps saying get over it n how there’s others far worse.. they also says other things that are way worse. They are not the nicest people, but around others they are completely different, way nicer.. I mean maybe I’m over reacting but if I refer back to something wrong n mean they said they try say they never said that, almost feels like I’m being manipulated n that it never happened but I’m sure it did happen.. they never really say anything good about me to my face or anything, never said they loved me etc other day she told me some news that would clearly upset me so I started getting angry and cursing, her grandchild was in the car at the time, I shouldn’t of cursed I know that, he’s younger you see, but I was angry n upset like clearly noticeable, she asked if he was ok. Didn’t seem to care if I was ok, what I did was wring but still, please tell me if I’m over reacting 


Hi there, 

Thank you for getting in touch with us here at Ask Alex. It sounds like there is a lot going on for you right now with your foster parents around how they treat you, and things that they have said that have been hurtful. 

You say your foster parents are not the nicest people to you, that they can act completely differently around other people and they are dismissive of your past trauma. It’s understandable that this would be very confusing and upsetting for you. You have the right to be treated well in your home, and for that to be a place where you feel safe and protected. You have shown great courage to share with us what has been going on for you. 

We would be worried to hear that your foster parents can sometimes pretend they didn’t say things that you remember them saying, and you feel like you are being manipulated. This could be incredibly perplexing and upsetting for you. This can potentially be a sign of something called ‘gaslighting’, a form of emotional abuse.  There is an article here on the Childline website which has more information about it, but it is important to remember that it is only gaslighting if there is a repeated pattern of manipulation. 

Is there anyone else in your life who you trust and feel comfortable talking to? It could be someone like a teacher, a social worker or a trusted friend. It is important that your voice is heard, and you have the space to share how you are feeling. You also mentioned past trauma, have you been able to get support with this? You have the right to seek help and support from a professional to help you work through your thoughts and feelings from the past. There is also an organisation called EPIC which stands for Empowering People in Care. They provide support for young people in care and their website is, maybe you’d like to take a look at it.  

We are also always here for you at Childline 24/7, 365 days a year, if you would like to talk to someone about how you’re feeling. We won’t judge you or give out to you, and it is your space to talk about whatever you want, as much or as little as you want. You can get hold of us via our chat service (, we also have a text service (50101), or you can give us a call on 1800 66 66 66. 

You have been really brave to get in touch with us, and remember, you’re not alone because there is always someone here at Childline to listen to you. 

Take care, 


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