Alex's Answer

I'm having a hard time coping

Your Question

I’m having a hard time coping with everything that’s happening at home. My dad is shouting at my mum, she can cope and she is strong. This has been happening since before I was born. He always says we don’t do anything when really we do everything. I also one day came across a message on his phone from his secret girlfriend and it had very graphic text messages. This happened when me and my brother were in France away from my mum and I had a small panic attack. Even now I still get small panic attacks. I’m worried when my parents divorce my dad will take me and I won’t get to see my mum everyday. I’ve tried to tell myself that it will be okay but I still get really worriedly and I don’t think my friends really understand what I’m going through. I don’t know what to do anymore. Please help.


Hi there, and welcome to Ask Alex.
You have explained to us how you are having a hard time coping with what’s happening at home. You say your dad shouts at your mum, and this has been happening since before you were born. You also mention that he would say you don’t do anything, but you do. You explained as well how you got distressed by reading a very graphic message from his secret girlfriend. You are worried about the possibility of a divorce, in case you never get to see your mum every day if that happens. You believe your friends do not understand what you are going through, and you feel lost, so you are asking for help.
This must have been very hard for you to explain. We are very sorry to know you are experiencing all this. It sounds like a lot.
Witnessing conflict between parents can be tough and damaging for any kid or teenager. Being shouted at or experiencing how someone we love is shouted at is also damaging. From what you explained, you could be witnessing a situation of abuse or being abused yourself emotionally. You have a right to be safe and protected from harm. Túsla would be the responsible agency for improving the well-being of children and their outcomes. They would also be the ones supporting families going through a rough patch. Túsla can be contacted through their portal or by calling the area office. To contact them, you will need the support of a trusted adult. That can be another family member, a teacher, or a neighbor.
Calling Childline is another option to report your situation to Túsla. Childline is available 24/7, 365 days a year. They will listen to you and support you to make you safe as soon as possible. They can be reached by phoning 1800 66 66 66 or through the Live Chat on Perhaps, you just want to talk about your situation, and that is fine too. Childline is confidential so we do not know where you care calling from, unless you tell us. So Childline is a safe place for you to talk about whatever you choose to.
If you were at imminent risk of getting hurt or someone you love was, the Gardai would be the body to call: 999/112.
We hope this helps. Please don’t hesitate to reach out again if you need further support.
Take care of yourself,

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