9 Ways to Survive Abusive Parents When You Can’t Leave Home


When you’re a child or underage teenager, you can’t just leave home if your mom or dad is abusing you. These tips on how to survive abusive parents when you can’t move out of your family home are inspired by a reader who said…

“You gave words of wisdom for adults whose parents try to control them,” says Ruben on 7 Tips for Dealing With Controlling Parents. “What about a 10 year old child with abusive parents? How can a child put into practice all your nice tips and tricks if their parents use physical and mental abuse? Sorry but the Internet is full of tips and tricks on how to do this and that but this is not gonna work with abused children. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe this an article about the ‘light version’ of controlling parents? Thanks anyway.”

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Ruben’s comment because it sounds like he’s in a lot of pain. He’s coping with parents who are abusing him, he feels trapped and hopeless, and he thinks he can’t find help or support on the internet. He can’t just leave home. Ruben didn’t ask for tips on how to survive abusive parents when you can’t move out of your family home, but I’m writing this article anyway.

Can you relate to Ruben? Are you trying to survive abusive parents – and are you stuck because you’re too young to move out? I’ve been there. My mom is mentally ill; she struggled with schizophrenia my whole life. I was in and out of foster homes throughout my childhood, and I never went to the same school or lived in the same home for more than six months.

Here’s how I survived.

9 Ways to Survive Abusive Parents When You Can’t Leave Home

When I was a kid, I didn’t think of calling a helpline – but I did call Social Services and talk to a social worker about leaving home. If you can’t take your parents’ abuse anymore, visit the National Child Abuse Hotline or call them 1-800-442-4453.

1. Learn what it means to have “abusive parents”

Would you believe that I completely forgot how my mom abused me and how bad the abuse was? It wasn’t until recently, when I read my diary from when I was 13 and in grade 8 that I realized that she was incredibly verbally and physically abusive. I always knew my mother was mentally ill and had paranoid schizophrenia, but it wasn’t until recently that I remembered that she was actually a very abusive parent. I guess part of how I learned to survive my mom’s abuse was to forget about how bad it was. I also didn’t know what it meant to have an abusive mother.

I won’t answer the “what is child abuse?” question here; you can click the National Child Abuse Hotline link above or search the internet for the textbook definition of abusive parents (look for tips on how to leave home while you’re at it!). Here, I just want to tell you how important it is to remember that sometimes we call something “abusive” when it’s just rules or boundaries.

My mom was not abusive when she:

  • Gave me a curfew of 10 pm
  • Grounded me when I was late coming home
  • Refused to let me stay up until 2 am
  • Made me go to school and do my homework
  • Told me to exercise
  • Made me to go church
  • Made me to go Girl Guides
  • Wouldn’t let me stay at the roller skating rink as late as I wanted
  • Wouldn’t let me hang out with certain friends
  • Got so mentally ill that she had to go to the hospital for shock treatments, and I had to live in foster homes

It’s important to recognize the difference between parents setting rules because it’s their job to protect and raise you, versus parents abusing you physically, mentally, emotionally, or sexually.



Want to Blossom?

Free weekly Blossom Tips! One email a week, short and sweet.

* indicates required



My mom was abusing me when she:

  • Hit me with “the stick” (a heavy piece of wood, much heavier than a wooden spoon. It really hurt)
  • Called me evil, bad, stupid, fat, and lazy
  • Refused to let me see our other family members
  • Hit my sister in front of me
  • Neglected me
  • Harmed our pets

That’s all I care to remember right now! I know I’d remember a lot more examples of how my mom abused me if I read my diaries from when I was a child and teenager, but I don’t want to. Why? Because it hurts. And because one of my most important tips for how to survive abusive parents is to grieve the pain and loss, but don’t let it consume or overwhelm you.

You are welcome to share your experience and story in the comments section below. Writing about what your abusive parents do and how it makes you feel will help you start healing and dealing with it.

Are you an adult who grew up with abusive parents? Read 3 Ways to Cope With Difficult Parents – for Adult Children. But if you’re a kid who can’t leave home and need to survive abuse, keep reading…

2. Talk about how your parents are abusing you

I didn’t tell anyone how abusive my mother was. I was ashamed and embarrassed. I felt like everyone had a “normal” mom and dad, and I was stuck with this crazy sick schizophrenic mother who called me names and hit me. Who could I tell? Nobody. I thought. Until I DID tell somebody. And then my life changed. I got to leave home!

How to Survive Abusive Parents When You Can’t Move Out

How to Survive Abusive Parents When You Can’t Move Out

Who can you talk to about your abusive parents? That is how you will survive. That is the ONLY WAY you will survive the abuse. You have to speak up for yourself! If you don’t make an effort to learn how to save yourself, you can’t expect someone to just rescue you. If you talk about how you are being abused by your mom or dad, then you might find out something really important: you might discover that you CAN move out of your family home after all.

If you talk about it, you might go beyond learning how to survive abusive parents. You might find a way to move away from the abuse at home. Wouldn’t that be something?

3. Don’t poke the bear

I usually knew exactly what made my mom mad…but not always. One of the worst parts of living with a mentally ill parent is the unpredictability. Sometimes I would get “the stick” for something little or stupid; other times I would do something really bad (eg, I got drunk and threw up all over the front hallway) and I didn’t get any punishment at all. I never knew what to expect, and I hated that. It was confusing, and it made me insecure and uncertain.

If you can’t move away from your abusive parents, then don’t provoke them. Don’t set yourself up for abuse by doing whatever it is that makes them abuse you. This is not to say the abuse is your fault! It is NOT your fault your parents are abusive. You are not causing them to abuse you or the other kids or pets in your family.

Be smart. Don’t do things you know will trigger your mom or dad. Stay away from dangerous situations. Protect yourself – and use the brains in your head for good, not for evil.

4. Write down everything that happens to you

In 5 Stages of Leaving an Abusive Relationship, I encourage women to document everything they experience. Write down the dates, times, activities, and places the abuse occurs. Write down who was involved, what happened, and how long it lasted. And hide your writing somewhere private. Ask your best friend, a relative, teacher, coach, youth leader or guidance counselor to keep it safe for you.

And, write down how you feel about what’s happening to you. This is how you will survive your abusive parents when you can’t move out of your family’s home. You need to stay strong and healthy; one of the best ways to do that is to express yourself. You should see what I wrote about my mom when I was 13 years old in grade 8! I wrote the ugliest, meanest, most honest things. I puked up my guts into those journals.

5. Learn your “Superpower Survival Powers”

Writing saved me. That, and God. Neither writing nor God took me OUT of my abusive home immediately (probably because if I was rescued right away I wouldn’t have anything to say to you right now). I learned how to survive abusive parents when I couldn’t leave home by writing about everything that happened to me, and by trusting God. As Joyce Meyer says, “God didn’t bring me out of it, but He did bring me through it.”

What are your Superpower Survival Powers? You may have 100 more than you realize! I want to know what your survival skills are. Here are some possibilities….

Examples of “Superpower Survival Powers”

  • The ability to speak up and talk about your abusive parents. A voice! You know how to talk, and that is pretty amazing
  • An internet connection that you know how to use
  • Your brain that figured out the first step for surviving abusive parents when you can’t move out (searching for help on the internet! Good job, brain)
  • A phone to call for help
  • Friends and family who care about you
  • The ability to write down how your parents are abusing you, and how it makes you feel
  • Your personality, your unique combination of talents and gifts that nobody else has

Here’s the Superpower Survival Power that saved me: I swallowed my pride, and called Social Services for help. I talked to a social worker and said that my mom is abusive and I can’t live with her anymore. I asked if I could go live in a foster home because my home environment wasn’t conducive to a healthy upbringing for a young girl (actually what I really said was “I hate my crazy mom. Can you get me the frig out of here?”).

6. Hold on to the fact that you are not alone

surviving parent abuse can't move outIn Spilled Milk, KL Randis tells the story of Brooke Nolan. She is a battered child who makes an anonymous phone call about the escalating child abuse in her home.

When Social Services jeopardize her safety and condemns her to keep her father’s secret, it’s a glass of spilled milk at the dinner table that forces her to talk about the parental abuse she was hiding. In her pursuit for safety and justice, Brooke battles a broken system that pushes to keep her father in the home.

Spilled Milk is based on a true story, but it is fiction. It is a novel of shocking narrative, triumph and resiliency – and it will help you see how courageous and strong you can be! Find other survivors of abusive parents. Gain strength from connecting with people like Brooke, and KL, and me. I survived childhood abuse to become a happy, strong, successful, married woman of faith who loves writing for a living.

7. Call for help – even if you don’t want to leave home

Asking for help is hard. But I did it, and I am SO glad I found the courage I needed to call Social Services! And I’m super proud of myself now. I was only 13 years old, and I knew that the only way I could survive my abusive mentally ill mother was to get the hell out of Dodge. So I called for help.

What about you? You may say “I have nobody to help me” but I don’t believe it. If you have an internet connection – which you do or how else would you be reading my tips on how to survive abusive parents when you can’t move out? More likely, it’s your fear and pride that is holding you back from calling a kids’ helpline or child abuse hotline.

And that’s cool. When you’re ready, you will reach out for help. You’ll take a deep breath and you’ll speak up. You’ll speak your truth, even if your voice shakes. You’ll save yourself. You don’t necessarily need to ask for help moving out of your family home – you might just ask for tips and ways to survive the abuse without letting it destroy your life.

8. Learn how to survive wherever you are

9 Ways to Survive Abusive Parents When You Can't Leave Home

9 Ways to Survive Abusive Parents When You Can’t Leave Home

Even if you call Social Services or a child abuse hotline – or you talk to a teacher or your guidance counselor at school – you may not be allowed to move out of your family home.

You may have to keep learning survival skills because the grownups may not be able to magically whip you a new place to live. When I called Social Services, the social worker asked me who in my family I could go live with. I suggested my grandma. My sister went to live with her dad. It was painful and said – I hated that I couldn’t live with my sister anymore…but we didn’t have to live with our mother, so there was that.

If you’re calling for help, read What You Need to Know When You Call a Shelter or Safe House.

9. Don’t self-destruct or implode

No matter where you end up, you will need to learn how to survive. That’s what life is: a series of things to survive and mountains to conquer. Don’t get me wrong – lots and lots of great, wonderful, miraculous, amazing and beautiful things will happen to you!! But bad things happen too.

I did some really stupid things when I finally was old enough to get my own apartment. I could’ve easily gotten pregnant as a teenager, or overdosed on drugs, or got killed drunk driving. So stupid! I didn’t think think of it as “self-destruction”, but that’s what I was doing. I didn’t cut myself or attempt suicide, but I could easily have ruined my life.

How are you self-destructing? It’s a natural way to deal with the pain you feel. You’re grieving what you should have had (i.e., a life that doesn’t involve searching for tips on “how to survive abusive parents”). To deal with the pain, you may be doing drugs, having lots of unhappy sex, eating too much crap, starving yourself, cutting yourself – there are 1,000 ways to self-destruct.

What do you think of these tips and resources on how to survive abusive parents when you can’t move out? While I can’t offer advice on your specific situation, I do read every comment. I encourage you to respond to other readers’ comments if you feel led, and to share your experience. Writing often brings clarity and insight, and can help you process your feelings.

xo


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

51 thoughts on “9 Ways to Survive Abusive Parents When You Can’t Leave Home

  • That’s my bird

    Hi, I’m a 15 year old human. I’m non-binary and LGBT, but I’m also a Christian. My situation is difficult because my parents are divorced, but they are really struggling with money. I can see my dad though, he lives nearby. The other problem is that I have a bird, that would need to stay somewhere with me. What my mom does is she verbally/emotionally abusives me. Both of my parents are older too. So what she does is:
    -controls all the finances,
    -guilt tripping
    -tries play with my emotions
    -took away my computer for two weeks
    -gets mad at me for small reasons
    -makes threats about myself and my bird.
    -wants me to care for her, even though she doesn’t support me much emotionally.
    -says she disappointed in me
    -expects too much of me and in general is somewhat hard on me
    -wants me to be realistic
    -tries to guilt me with Bible verses

    Good things she does:
    -makes me food
    -provides me shelter
    -provides me allowance
    -takes me to doctors and dentists
    -gives me a bed
    -gives me good business advice
    -sorta loves me
    -does my laundry/dishes/chores etc
    -sometimes tells me to read the Bible
    -wakes me up

    (The ironic thing is that she worked in mental health for many years, and doesn’t realize she’s doing this stuff to me…she works very hard.)

    Problems of leaving home:
    -I need to be close to my school
    -nothing is in Florida
    -mom controls the finances (But doesn’t have college money)
    -I need to go to private school
    -my dad doesn’t have enough money to take care of me ( he’s not abusive at all)
    -my bird needs to stay with me
    -we (my bird and I) need a place nearby to go that’s near my school, and near my dad.

    If anyone can help, that would be great.

  • Damon

    this really helped.
    i’m really glad i read this article!
    i’m asking a few of my friends if i can live with them, but if that doesn’t work, there is a youth home in my town. i’m not sure how i’ll get there, but it gives me hope.
    thank you.

  • LeAnne

    I know this article is geared towards kids, but I can empathize. I sustained a spinal injury at work in 2017. I started having seizures, so my doctor took a look at other things. He found that I have an auto immune disease. They are still trying to figure out which one.
    The clenched here is that due to the fact that I can’t work, I had to move back in with my parents. 3 of my siblings also still live at home.
    My family has always been abusive, but I didn’t understand that until last November.
    My boyfriend at the time beat me up pretty bad. My parents, who were my only transportation at the time, didn’t want to take me to the ER. My regular doctor wrote a note saying I had to go to the hospital for tests (yes, my doctor half lied for me). My mom did take me bc of the note. The people at the ER called the advocate counselor, and the police. It was scary at first, but the more I told my story, the more safe I felt.
    Going back home to my less than supportive family wasn’t pleasant.
    I am currently going to a psychologist, who has taught me that part of why I keep picking abusive partners is that a lot of what I grew up with (and still deal with) was abuse and neglect.
    I’m currently seeking help to move out.
    Please, don’t wait until you are 32 to get help. I have 3 kids I barely get to see. It breaks my heart everyday that the family I want to be with, my children, can’t be bc of the conditions I was brought up into believing were ok.
    You are wonderful, and deserve love, and support. Its scary. I’m not going to lie. I’m scared everyday right now until I can figure out another living situation, but trust me, You are worth it. Never think that someone else’s bad behaviour is your fault. You can’t control their brain.
    Lots of love to all of you!

  • Jay

    My dad is abusive and I’ve tried to ask and call for help but it only made my life living here worse. I told my school counselor in 7th grade who called social services and they came to our house. Nothing happened and I only got abused even more afterwards. My dad threatened to punch me in the face just yesterday and slammed my head against the wall of times because I got into a fight with my mom. I tried using online as a support but I can’t be online much anymore because I have no electronics of my own. The abuse started when I came out as transgender a year ago at a treatment center. The coping skills I use is art but I’m constantly told my art is shit and it’s not good. I cant transition yet because of my age and I’m scared to live at home. I feel like I have no one to turn to now. My dad has grabbed me, punched me, kicked me, called me names and told me to kill myself once. I need help, if I don’t do something then Im not sure what will happen to me.

    • S

      Is there anyone in another location you can talk to, maybe move to someone’s house (like a friend or relative)? If not, you need to make sure you know someone at school who you can talk to. I’m not licensed in any way, but I’m pretty sure talking to someone you trust (peer, counselor) will help heal you emotionally. Whenever you can access electronics, you can message me or anyone else here, and I’ll reply as soon as possible. It’s unfair to ask this of you, but you need to stay as strong as you can until help arrives–you are a stronger person than your father, because he is abusive and you aren’t. Keep that in mind. Your art is as good as you believe it is; after all, you made it, so you decide how great it is, not others. Again, any time you need to vent or simply talk to someone, I’ll make sure I can help.

  • im not putting my name

    my mom abused me 10 minutes ago this is what she did. at first I turned around when I was walking down the stairs and my mom was close to me so my elbow accidently hit her stomach it wasn’t that hard. then she got mad and kicked me in my side down like 8-9 stairs and I hit the wall at the bottom im 10 so im really light. I was crying then I got up we verbally fought she grabbed my xbox controller and took it down stairs. then I grabbed it and tried to go to my room but she grabbed me and slapped me and pulled my hair until I went to the ground in pain. then I got up she was in the kitchen we fought again verbally and she went to the living room and grabbed my controller and through it at my ankle I I fell on the ground in pain crying. btw when we were verbally fighting she said she hated me and wanted me to die. and my controller broke from the impact of hitting my ankle. please can somone please help she always makes up lies about how she doesn’t touch me I only hit her (sometimes I fight back) so no one believes me so I just stuck living with her I try to tell people at school but they think I kidding. I don’t know what to do.

  • Rosie Calamanco

    I am currently 14 years old, my birthday is in 17 days. I live with a mom who is bipolar. My 16 year old sister is what keeps me alive. I love her so much and though at times she is annoying I would die without her. Anyways I remember the year my mom tried to kill herself in the bathroom. My stepdad whom I love dearly as I love my sister was in a fight with my mom. I don’t remember what they were fighting about. All I know is that during the time I was 9 years old and my older sister was 11. I forgot where my dad went but when my mom tried killing herself in the bathroom he wasn’t there. I was in my bedroom half falling asleep and I remember hearing my sister open the bathroom door and then I heard the sounds of slaps. My sister saved my mom from killing herself. I remember hearing the screams of my sister as she shouted at my mother to stop. My mom stopped whatever self harm she was doing to herself. And I remember the sounds of my sister running to the living room while my mother chased her to the couch. I eventually got up from bed and opened my door and saw my mom beating my sister, she punched her in the face and screamed at the top of her lungs saying “YOU IDIOT! WHY DIDNT YOU JUST LET ME DIE?!” My sister was screaming and crying and saying that she was sorry. My sister was in a ball on the floor and I saw her face covered in blood. Eventually my stepdad came back home and made my mom stop. Even though my mom didn’t hurt me at the time I was too much of a coward to make her stop hitting my sister. Even now I’m too much of a coward. After my stepdad made her stop he took my mom to the hospital and my mom spent about a week or two in the looney bin. It was during that time my mom was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I remember being abused physically and emotionally as early of the age of 5. I remember when I did something bad like eat candy, or get into stuff that wasn’t mine, etc., my mom would beat me and then I would pee myself.(that’s embarrassing to say) when I peed myself my mom would slap me even more and scream at me to clean it up. After she would take me to the bathroom and make me clean myself. It wasn’t a regular cleaning myself time. It was a nightmare. She would make me take a cold shower and make me wash my peed clothes in the shower. She would shut the bathroom door and shut the light off. I would be in the shower washing my clothes as the cold water dripped against my scrawny body. She said I could get out once my clothes were clean and once i had an answer for why I decided to be a bad girl. During the ages of 5-10 she made me do this every time she beat me and I peed myself. Whenever she beat me I never cried. I never cried in front of her anyways but once my punishment was over and I was sent to bed I would cry myself to sleep. I never fully understood that what she did to me was abuse until age 12. At age 12 I learned to cope with the abuse. I did what she told me to do and did what she told me not to do. I remember one time when I was seven she beat the living sh*t out of me until I cried. She screamed at me and said “Cry damn it! Why won’t you cry?!” I forced myself to cry just so she would stop. I remember other times when she would drag me by my hair or when she punched me in the mouth and said “that’s what you get for being a brat. That’s what you get for being an ugly child. You’re not pretty anymore!” She would say this because I would cry that I had an ugly busted lip. I stopped peeing myself when she beat me at age 12. I don’t get why I would pee myself. I still don’t understand it. She’s had two kids since me and my sister. So it’s my older sister, me, my 9 year old brother, and a 4 year old little sister. My mom is really abusive. At times she says she loves us and that she only beats us when we deserve it. And at times after she abuses us she comforts us and I would feel so special when she would comfort us. It made me feel like she really loved us and then I would tell myself when she abused us it wasn’t her it was just her bipolar. But it’s not, I’m 14 and I have never really been able to be a child. She’s a great mom when she wants to be, she takes us to the zoo, museums, restaurants, parks, movies,and she buys us stuff and etc. I’m confused because she’s nice but then other times she’s not herself. But of course I know to keep my mouth shut because if I ever speak back to her I might as well be dead. Because she’s always right it’s dumb. Now when my mom abuses me I don’t cry. I just deal with it. The ways I cope now are going for a run. Playing basketball or reading. Yeah I’d be a bit sad if my mom was gone because maybe she does love me and because she does what she can for us and she’s the one that’s been here since day one. She recently divorced my stepdad and I hate it. I just want to get away from home or have someone to talk to. I won’t tell anyone about the abuse because if I told anyone my mom would kill me. I know she would. I really want to get away from home. I need to use my voice I know I do but if I did I might as well be dead. There’s a lot more of abuse stories that have happened in my life but I’m sick of writing of my past it makes me want to cry and I haven’t cried since the day my dad was in the hospital for heart issues. When I’m older I’m joining the army at age 18 to get away from home and to be able to afford college and become an FBI agent or prosecutor, my goal in life is to be as far from the type of women my mother is. I will never be like her, never.

    • Carer

      Wow, I just want to say are you reglious I would strongly advice you to maybe start going church and find God.
      I am 25 and living at home and my mum is abusive emotionally and mentally, stay sting nothing last forever l, and through my Lord and saviour heya Christ is the reason why I am able to stay strong until the day I leave (also my two sister and older sister) I am praying for you. God Bless!

  • Completely anonomuys

    The abuse is going on right now as i’m typing this..
    My dad raised his hand on me and screamed at me to sit down or there will be a red hand-print over my face. ( basically he said he was going to slap me hard.)
    I’m 13 and i live in a country where things like this are usually silenced.
    I’m screwed.

  • W.C

    I’m currently in highschool and have grew up with abusive Bengali parents all my life. I wouldn’t say it started to an extreme until a couple years ago. The abuse is both physical and mental, but the physical.abuse is worse. My parents usually beat me with a large wooden stick and with their hands. They di stop until the stick breaks or I run outside for the day. It isn’t all bad though, my parents place a huge emphasis on school and I go to a stem academy and Excell in school. I have great friends but they don’t know the full extent of the abuse. I’ve had to come to school and make up excuses for scars and bruises but I cherish time away from home the most. I live like an animal at home, never knowing if I will be beaten that day, and also whether I can get my school work done. My brother was in the same situation and has since moved to college and is immensely happy. I can’t wait till I go to college and move on. The most important part to survivjng and not killing myself is remembering the day I’ll be free at last

  • Talia

    I’d like to thank you for this article. Although it doesn’t exactly apply to specific situations, it helps a lot of people. I myself am currently trying to figure out whether my dad is abusive. If he is, I don’t know what to do. CPS has been called on him multiple times. He always finds a way to smooth things over. If he finds this comment, (which he most certainly will, hi dad) he will say he’s not abusive and I’m overreacting. Maybe I am.

  • Puru

    I am at present 20 yrs old. I had a abusive father and i tried everything i could possibly think of including not provoking, isolating myself, getting highest grades possible, never made friends. Everything! Then 2 yrs back when i couldn’t take any more, i called police. I wanted to get him arrested but a uncle convinced me the value of family and i (foolish enough) backed. Then his abusiveness decreased a bit but toxicity increaded. I was okay with that. But now my younger brother has become a bigger monster then him. He uses the mascle mass advantage that boys get at puberty to beat me. Whenever he wishes. He doesn’t even need provocation. And i simply do nothing about it! Sometimes i feel that maybe it is me, i mean earlier father now brother. I started feeling like probably I deserve what i am getting. Maybe father was right after all, i should have died the day i was born. Its suffocating to breathe. And i alredy exhusted every help possible, being to police, being to child help, being to psychiatrist. I can’t afford paid online tutor. Plz help! I need it..

    • golden_lexus

      Love, you are 20 years old… get a job and find your own place! Crash at a friends! You aren’t a minor, and you don’t have to deal with this

  • Dylan Marie

    Hey I’d like to add that if you’re like me and not being physically abused but rather mentally and emotionally abused and you don’t identify as a girl but your parents or parent or parental guardian refuses to acknowledge it or your preferred pronouns is emotional abuse and also I am not of legal age to even get a job, I’m getting emotionally and mentally abused by my parents.. so I have no money that’s my own, I have no way of leaving, so i am fully relying on my “parents” if you wanna call em that and of course there’s people at school but with my ‘record’ no one would believe me and I have no friends so you say you want to helps us and that this is a *super perky voice* HOW TO GUIDE or whatever. none of this is gonna help me get out of an abusive situation with no ability to leave or stay so what do I do?

    • Alex

      I am also in a emotionally abusive home and I’m a minor so I can’t leave but even if I could I unfortunately have to stay in contact even after I’m 18 because I’m a gymnast and they have to pay for it if I want to continue I’m also a trans boy but they say I’m ready for any boy stuff and still tell me to do girly things my therapist is partly to blame for that

  • alex

    I’ve reached out for help my family has had cases with children services and they have all been closed. no one listens to me or my siblings my mom is manipulative and very convincing so the case worker listens to her every time. she always makes it seem like i’m the one doing something wrong i’m Home schooled and have no friends I told my aunt about what my mom was doing but she didn’t believe me i am turning sixteen and i cant stay here any longer, my sister is 18 and she wants to leave and get the rest of my siblings out but she has mental and physical problems. I’m depressed and have been to so many different hospitals and always get sent back home. even if I turn 18 i feel like my mom won’t let me leave. I don’t have any social skills and bad grades on the home school program i do so i feel like i wont graduate from high school and be stuck at home forever.

  • Ashtin Cardwell

    Thank you for writing this but I literally have no one that can help me. My abusive parents have severed all connections to our other family members, family friends, and I am never even allowed to leave the house basically ever! I haven’t had a friend in years because I literally am not allowed to make any. Seriously! I have been dealing with the abuse for almost 8 years! I’ve tried running away, I’ve attempted suicide, (thank goodness I didn’t succeed on the latter) And I’ve just given up! I can’t call child services because my abusive dad always keeps the only working phone with him at all times! I have severe depression, and on top of all that My siblings hate me too! I can’t move out because I am only 13 and I’ve tried everything! What do I do?

  • Jo'Hanna Foster

    I am 14, and I was put into foster care at 5. I have been abused everyday of my life, physically, emotionally and verbally. I am tired of it. I don’t have a phone to call for help, and I can’t tell anyone because no one will believe me. Everyone thinks my foster/adopted mom is so sweet and kind, when in reality, she isn’t. What can I do? If I leave, she’ll call the police and say that I’ve run away because I don’t want people telling me what to do. That’s not the truth. I run away because I am TIRED of being treated like trash. Plus, she says she loves me, but she’s lying. If she really loved me, she wouldn’t abuse me. I can’t escape, and it’s ruining my life. What should I do? Please help…I can’t take it anymore….

    • Ashtin Cardwell

      This is my problem exactly, but the only difference is BOTH of my parents partake in my abuse, I am only 13 and have been abused for almost 8 years, they try to minipulate me into thinking I deserve their abuse. I really need help getting out of this.

  • ck

    Im still too young to move out, but i wish i could. She physically and emotionally abuses me. She beats the crap out of me for no reason, she pins me down onto the ground, not letting me escape.. She tells me lots of excuses. Then when i ask her : “are u telling me excuses? She drags me off the sofa and beats the life out of me.. the one thing that breaks my heart the most.. she threatens to hand my ipad to my aunt so that i cant play.. she knows my ipad is my one and only bff.. so she threatens to send it away whenever she wants to make me triggered or sad. Im already depressed at such a young age. Suicide is an option but its wrong to commit suicide in my religion, so i cant. Someone help me get away from this crazy wombat..

  • Janae

    I want to run away… My mother physically and verbally abuses me. I can’t take it, and I’ve been dealing with it for years. I’m 17 now. The thoughts of running away still linger in my head. At 5, I was molested by my half brother, who’s 7 years older than me. I have nightmares or get triggered by it now. I witnessed my father yelling and pushing his girlfriend. When i got a dog at 10, he’d pee everywhere and my mom would hit him, yelling at him. I felt so bad. Sometimes for small stupid stuff, she’d yell at me, shove me, knock me to the ground or grab me by the throat, pushing me against the wall, yelling at me. I used to dig my nails into my forearms to distract myself from the abuse. I stopped, the yelling matches began again, I wanted to feel pain so bad.

  • Steph

    I have a physically and verbally abusive mother, my sister and I always tried to find a way to get independence from her but that seemed to enrage her more, her excuse was that she was the parent and she works so we don’t have to work. Thus we have no money to move out. I’m pretty quiet and don’t have friends to rely on besides my sister. We used to have cats and she would threaten to throw them out if I told her to not hit me or if u wanted to leave just to not deal with her. She would threaten my sister about hurting her dog too. Just a day two days ago my sister and i were hanging out with our mom and she like always tries to find a reason to get nasty with us so we tell her to stop that we just want to have a nice day with her but she insisted on being angry. We left her and went back home. She comes back and sees us having dinner and starts arguing that we disrespect her are ungrateful. That we always use her money and stuff and then threw our drink across the room, we are tired of having to deal with this but we have no support other than each other. Our mom always threatens to kick us out or says she will leave us but if we don’t beg her she gets more angry at us. I don’t know what to do

  • Lay Anne

    Ive made a lot of dumb teenager mistakes. I was self destructive (still am) and really am just a rebellious depressed teenager.. the problem is that my parents take it a lot farther than most parents would. I’m not even sure if this is abuse because CPS swept my case under the carpet like it was nothing, but the way it makes me feel has me thinking otherwise. Also, like you mentioned, they can’t always do anything about it but it blows my mind how they never did anything for me. When I was younger (3-5 years old) my parents used to take away my bed (my mattress) until I cleaned my room… I was three years old when they started doing that. Not really abuse, I know, but they were just absolutely ridiculous. They’d also only feed me bread and water but I think that’s whatever. My mom had a roommate at the time (I was around 4-5 years old) named Theresa. My step dad Brian walked in on her taking a shower and pinned her naked to the ground and screamed in her face while I watched it all through the crack of the door. They acted like it was no big deal. I argued with Brian about whether or not a tomato was a fruit when I was 10 and he locked me up for nearly an entire summer… like a prisoner.
    My parents almost had a divorce because my mother had an affair when I was around 12-13 years old.. One day my mom was taking us to her affair’s house for a night and she needed diapers inside our house for my little sister. I ran inside and Brian was there, drinking in the kitchen. He saw me and started screaming “KISS ME! KISS ME” and yeah he was drunk and whatnot… but that was out of line. He chased me to the van and continued to say that… to this day, my mom says that I shouldn’t be freaked out by that and that he must’ve mistaken me for her, but I remember him yelling “KISS ME LAY” so I know damn well he knew it was me. I will forever hate Brian. Obviously for good reason.
    I’m always being locked up. It doesn’t matter what I do. I tend to turn to addictive substances like alcohol or nicotine and alcohol because I just can’t stand being sober in my own home anymore. I came home drunk at 3am one day (I was 15 years old) and my parents threw me at a table leg, then forced me to the ground. Brian sat on me while my mom grabbed scissors and cut my hair off while they screamed names like “whore” and I can still remember my mom saying “how many guys have you seen tonight you whore?”. Yes, I was intoxicated. I wish I was drunk enough to forget my parents calling me all those names. When I went to school the next day the detectives heard my story and CPS and the cops went to talk to my parents… but they’re manipulative. The cops no longer believed me because I was intoxicated the night it happened. Even after I showed them my chopped to pieces hair they didn’t do anything. I had to live with the people who did that to me, so I became even further depressed.
    I tried to kill myself by jumping out of my moms van because I couldn’t take it anymore. My mom swerved and I lived to see another day. She brought me to the hospital and they brought me to a mental institution. Basically a nut house. I liked the nut house, though, oddly enough. After all they put me through, it makes sense that I was a depressed nut. It didn’t help me because I knew I would be returning the house —and back into the “care” of Brian and my mom — right after. I spent 8 days there. Then I went into therapy for a while but the effects didn’t last long. I feel like therapy only helped my situation because my parents were scared of being reported by my therapist if they didn’t “improve”. I wish my therapist had called CPS because now, 6 months later, I am back to suffering.
    The only reason my life improved was because my therapist made my mother force Brian to mostly stay out of my life. She brought reason into my family. It was the clearest my life has ever been.
    I’m 17 years old, so obviously I wanted to be like any other teenager and “live it up”…I’m a senior in high school so I started making a few dumb decisions again. My life has gone back to shit lately because I was raped at a party… I don’t know how to not hate myself for it and my depression has come back. I attempted suicide the other day.. I just didn’t take enough pills. I’ve started cutting again. I’ve lost nearly 20 pounds. I smoked pot for a while to help with the anxiety, and it’s honestly the best antidepressant I’ve ever had. But I started smoking less because I wanted to quit with a friend of mine.. she and I decided we wanted to be healthier.
    But then I started drinking again.
    It was only for a week, but I was getting drunk every day. At lunch, before class, in the shower, whenever I could drink, I drank. At lunch one day though, my parents went into the family van (where all the leftover pot was && the alcohol && my vape) and found everything.
    Think they took the 3am drunk thing was bad?
    Now it’s back to the name calling and I’m locked up in my own home. I’m just a prisoner here. This happens every single time I get depressed.. I’m locked in a hell for a home with a mom and a Brian that almost seem to enjoy locking me up and calling me names. They are now threatening to call the cops on me or sign me in to a psych ward so I can’t graduate when I intended to.
    I tried telling my mom about what happened to me.
    She doesn’t believe me because I never reported it and says I probably deserved it for putting myself in that situation. Let me repeat that: my mother said that I deserved to get raped.
    I can’t report it because it’s a bit more complicated than that.. I got myself into a deep hole so the only thing I can do to help myself is try to get over it. Not to mention I’ve waited too long to report it. Trust me, it’s just one more thing to hate myself for.
    My mom saying I deserved it though? Sure as hell didn’t help.
    If you were looking for a happy ending, my story’s not it. At least not yet. Because I’m either suffering && locked up in this house for the next 177 days until I turn 18 or I’m being sent to a psych ward.
    On the bright side of things, the friend I was getting healthier with? She and I are now dating and she’s helping me get through this the best she can. Her family is the closest I’ll ever have to a good happy family and I’m pretty sure I’ll be moving in with them on April 9, 2019 (when I turn 18❤️❤️) until she and I can get our own place together. I also plan on starting to see a therapist again to help battle my depression once again. It gets tiring and I keep having suicidal episodes, but I also will try to get my green card to help if I’m still battling depression after I turn 18.
    Wish y’all the best of luck,
    Beautiful article and I’m glad you’re better now,
    Lay
    Psssss sorry for the long rant

    • Janae

      I’m so sorry about that Lay. I, too, deal with a father who doesn’t care and an verbally and physically abusive mother. She’d hit my dog, slap me, yell at me, or grab me by my throat pushing me against the wall. I’m 17, stopped harming myself, actually started a little bit in elementary school, instead now i just cry in my room. I’m going in a trip to D.C., but she won’t give me my passport and wants to come with me. I don’t want that, but if I try to express my feelings or concerns, she shuts me out. I have had constant thoughts of running away. My family thinks I’m a fat, useless loser. I hate myself. They body shame me. I fast from time to time. I was molested at the age of 5, and I’ve had nightmares about it or similar situations. I’ve been harassed more than once. God, I need to get out…but I don’t know where to go. I can’t take the abuse anymore. I just want to be loved and protected by someone who actually loves me. It’s a shame I don’t know what love is…

      • P

        I know its difficult i have an entire family body shaming me. And childhood was enough traumatic to make me male phobic. I can’t bear to touched by a male no matter what! I am trying to gat over it. People say share but sharing hasn’t helped my case a bit. Instead now people just distance them from me so that they are safe. No one is coming to the rescue. Help urself. If u r really overweighted then do efforts to lose weight but do that for urself. U will be healthier and health does bring happiness. Stop seeking their approval. Abusive parents are bottomless hell. There is nothing u could ever do to be worthy enough.its little something i learned too late. But its alright. Late is better than never

  • Afaf

    I’m 19 still in 10th grade because of the financial issues that my family had and going physical and verbal abuse from my mother and verbal abuse from my dad and now from my older brother .. My mom have been physically hurting me since I was a teenager told to myself that I would get out of here when I will get older but now I’m 19 haven’t completed my high school won’t get a job and I feel so helpless now I don’t even talk about it to anyone even if would my mom would torture me after that I don’t know for how long I have to go through this . So yeah that’s my story and I don’t see anything getting better

  • Z

    My dad has been both physically and mentally abusive in the past and for a very long time I blamed myself for him hitting me or constantly insulting me, I thought it was just part of our culture. I thought it was always something I did and I just had to be better. He completely shit on my self-esteem and it’s only been a year since I recognized his behaviour as abuse. Since then I’ve called a few hotlines but there really is no great solution to this other than just living out my sentence for two more years. Most of the thing’s he’s done to me and my siblings I have wiped completely from my memory but I remember new things everyday like how he used to beat us with a curtain rod or how he punched two of my teeth out for no apparent reason. He was the reason for my first attempt at suicide and my self-harm starting at the age of 11. The worst part of all this is he’s so extremely indifferent and unaware of his behaviour. He still continues to believe there is something wrong with us. He’s gradually getting better with medication but the slightest thing he does triggers me and I have to relive a thousand memories that just sends me spiralling into panic attacks. I really thought he could change with medication but just a few days ago he threw plates at my mom and her feet were bloody for weeks. After I leave college I’m never coming back. It helps to know there so many other people that are going through what I’m going through but it also breaks my heart. You guys are so strong and I wish you all the best.

  • Laurie Post author

    One of the best tips on surviving abusive parents when you can’t leave home is a comment from a reader, below:

    “I can’t wait to leave either. We need to hold on to that leaving date and remember that we’re responsible for our own happiness.”

    You may be young, you may feel helpless and hopeless, and you may be right about both! Maybe you are helpless and hopeless right now. But this is a season in your life that will pass so fast. I couldn’t WAIT to be out on my own, to leave my abusive mother. In fact, I called Social Services and asked to be put in a foster home – that’s how bad it was. My mom suffers from schizophrenia, and it was really bad to live with her.

    Take stock of your situation. Can you survive the next X number of years with your abusive parents? If not, talk to a guidance counselor, social worker, or even the police. It sucks, but if your parents can’t take care of you….somebody has to! And if nobody is volunteering, then you need to find a safe place for yourself.

    I know it’s not fair, and it hurts. You deserve good, healthy, supportive parents. You didn’t do anything to deserve abusive parents, and you don’t deserve to be stuck trying to survive and not being able to leave home.

    How can you ease the pain of the next few months or years, living with your parents? What can you do to make life easier, better, healthier…and even happier?

  • :)))

    My mom is abusive aswell both mentally and physically although she hasn’t hit me since I was younger. To get away from it I applied for a university overseas in England. Although she found out and won’t let me accept my offer. I’m not financially independent and honestly will not be able to afford it without help from my parents. My dad is fine but pretends he doesn’t see when she does stuff. I used to go hang with friends in town to escape from it but I think she’s copped onto it and won’t let me go out anymore, she’s been doing this for the last few times I want to leave she’ll be sweet to me the whole day let me get all dressed up and ready then won’t let me leave like it’s some form of entertainment for her, and if I don’t react in a way she can see I’m physically upset or cry she’ll do even worse stuff. It’s like I’m living a Cinderella story i have three other siblings but I’m the only one who does chores even tho I’m the one with exams coming up. I’m just so frustrated and there’s so much more I can’t even type. I applied for a job and did an interview that seemed to go well and everything has gotten so much worse the idea of me having financial independence seems to irk her and now going away for college seems impossible. She brings it up all the time saying menacing things like if I don’t go to college in Ireland i should forget going at all or that’s she’ll make this summer horrible before i go and it’ll just be me and her in this house and she’ll deal with me. Just so many things I’m hoping If i work full time I’ll have a little escape but I honestly considered killing myself today

  • C

    I’m 19 years old. I will be finally moving out in August so I will be able to escape my abusive household but it feels like because I’m leaving things have gotten worse. My mom was raised in a physically abusive household and married my emotionally abusive father to escape from it. So I suppose she has always been emotionally abusive because it’s what she has been around her whole life. But it got alot more noticable after she married my stepfather 6 years ago. My stepfather is another piece of work, but I don’t care about him. I only care about my mom. Whatever he says, she listens to . When they first started dating, he told my mom that she coddles me too much, so she stopped showing me affection and comforting me when I cry. Then she gets upset when I refuse to show her affection. If she has a bad day, she will take it out on me; she will yell at me for anything I do, and say I don’t care about her because I always make her angry. That’s what I hear all the time. My stepdad is pretty abusive to both my mom and I, and for that reason I don’t like him. I’ve tried expressing that to my mom, but she gets very angry and says things to hurt me because I “hurt her”. If she is hurt, she needs to hurt me too. I really am so tired of it, and so I applied and got accepted to a university a year earlier than I was supposed to, because I reached a point where I can’t handle living here much longer. If i didn’t get into my university, then I probably would have taken a break from school and worked full time in order to move out. Now that I am about to move out, all i hear is “why does it matter, you’re leaving me anyway” or “I left my house because of my parents too. I know what you’re doing” or “you’re leaving and you never ever spend time with me. I don’t know why you are like that with me.” It’s as if she is making me guilty because I am leaving. I really just need to find out how to cope with being here my last 4 months..but it’s so hard. The finish line feels so close but so far away.

    • P

      I’m leaving in September too. I managed to escape to my boyfriend’s during some of high school but he broke up with me and i was forced to move back here. Not more than a week has gone by and she’s yelling and screaming the house down, accusing me of conspiring with her friends against her, slamming doors so loud i think they’ll break, and being so horrendous that my dog is shaking under the table.
      I can’t wait to leave either. We need to hold on to that leaving date and remember that we’re responsible for our own happiness.

    • lala

      You are not alone, I read your comment crying, I even went through the same thing but mines is soo worse
      I cant even begin talking about it
      gets me so emotional

  • Buinny

    I am in a situation where my father is verbally and mentally abusive to myself (15) my younger brother (13) and my mother. I am the only one in the family who feels it something to call out, my mother has admitted to his abusive tendencies and has been fluctuating in her decision of wether or not she is going to leave him. However she does nothing and enables his treatment of the entire family. We take care not to set him off but similar to your article the smallest thing can escalate. Once my brother left his video game chord out and it frustrated my dad so he screamed and yelled for three hours (something that happens approximately every other day) calling him and me names. My mother was not home and he grabbed a belt and threatened to belt him until he bled. Thankfully he waited until my mother came home because she stopped him from doing that, but just the fact that in my brain I was seeing who we could go to(we have no other family in this state), how I could keep my brother from him, and how I could convince my mother to leave him… that weighed heavy on me months after it happened. A week after that event however my mum had to leave for a business trip in New York, she was scared to leave my brother and I so she called my grandfather (who lives out of state) to come and watch us. My dad threatened to have him arrested for trespassing if he set foot into our house, my grandpa didn’t come and I havnt seen him since. There are many other similar events that happened involving my dad sleeping with another women after he got very very drunk, him insulting me daily about my quietness and my facial Condition (he forcefully grabs my face and pushes up my bangs accusing me of messing with it but I haven’t and he just wants to be mean) and him being cruel and short tempered. It wasn’t always this way, I wasn’t always scared of my dad and I didn’t always recognize my home life as abusive. Sometimes in my mind I still doubt if it really is since he doesn’t abuse us physically. My mom recently was going to leave him, she called a lawyer and everything but he spontaneously took her on a trip and now she won’t and she kissed him. She kissed the man who has made me cry so much the night before a school day that I ditch because my eyes are too red and swollen from the night before, the man who told me to kill myself when i was struggling with depression and blamed it on me and my actions instead of maybe helping me to get help, the man who yells at my brother who’s on the spectrum for his tweakiness and how he can’t sit still and convinces him that he’s utterly stupid. I wanted them to separate, which seems weird, but I wanted my mum to have custody and to be away from my father. And that’s not going to happen and they will continue to take away everything, my art, my music, my friends until they have left me so empty I can’t fught the abuse anymore and I give in to sugaring the situation and idolizing my father like my brother does. I don’t know what to do, I don’t know how to react. I’m alienated because what he says hurts me so badly and apparently I’m the only one still held up on it daily. My brother tells me that it’s better to kiss his ass than to fight it, and my mum tells me that men will be men. I’m so sick and tired and just done of it.

  • A

    I never said anything abt my parents bcz I thot may be something is wrong with me but I read the signs of mental abuse n realised they were abusive especially my mom. And in my country parents r respected so much that u dare not say a word against them otherwise u r considered an ill mannered child.
    Since childhood they hv been belittling me in front of relatives friends teachers ..everyone. My mom calls me mad calls me ugly n says no guy will marry u.U r worthless.I am looking for job I was good at studies n I cud hv cracked some big exam but she starts shouting n taunting when she sees me with a book n doesnt let me study.

    I get very ill confined to bed for days or monthz bcz of their taunts.

    N there is no law or rule in my country to protect against such abuse as in our country ppl find it hard to believe that parents can be bad.

    I just hate everything no matter how much I try I dont think Ill ever get out of this hell.

    I love my parents but they just mock at me they r heartless n I hate to say this.

  • Ash

    Having an abusive family n not being able to leave it bcz u have no where to go n getting mentally abused in home is better than getting abused outiside. Which makes people stay where they r n face abuse.
    We can only pray until God saves us from such sick environment.

    There is no future n no hope when both of your parents are mentally ill.They dont let u study so that u get a job n come out of that hell.
    They take away every support system n behave as if innocent.

    I dont know how to survive.

  • Alexis

    I’m 18 and just graduated. I’m saving up to move out of my mom’s house, but won’t have enough money or a roommate until 6 months from now. I don’t know how I’m going to survive in this time. My mom had post partum depression for the first 14 years of my life (btw I was unplanned), never hugged me when I cried, tried to diagnose me with personality disorders, told me when I was 10 that she couldn’t wait until I was 18 and could move out. There was a time I had a knife to my wrist in the kitchen and she looked at me and said “do it”. She has told me recently “I never want people like you in my life”. Her new husband likes siding with her too. I have to find a way to figure this out because if I’m not here, I’ll be homeless. I have to be here for 6 more months and I don’t know what to do

  • Rose

    I’m a 12 year old-I turned 12 in August-and I have been emotionally abused since my mom lost her baby when I was 5. I was blamed for the loss of her baby. When I turned 9 or 10, my mom began to physically abuse me. When I made a mistake, I was abused. If I say the wrong thing, she yells and tells me how much she hates me and says that she wishes she had had my sister first and then stopped having babies. When I get in a fight with my sister, I am told how much she hates me, and depending on what happened, the abuse sometimes turns physical. About a month ago, the abuse got so bad I threatened to call the cops. She had been hitting me with a flyswatter and a big, thick, cylindrical stick (which my dad normally used to check how much air was in his tires). Once I had made the threat, she stopped. Other times, when it was emotional abuse, I have actually considered running away to my friend’s house(she doesn’t know about the abuse). I am really depressed and have had suicidal thoughts (including an actual suicide attempt, which included me taping a thick pillow to my face to try to suffocate myself). My (other) friend does know, but she doesn’t know how to help me. She wants me to be happy, but she says she doesn’t know how.

  • Anna

    I’m 17 and I’ll be 18 and 9 months. My dad has always been emotionally abusing me but I didn’t realize that it was a form of abuse till recently. He has also abused me physically yesterday for the first time. I can’t go anywhere, my mom doesn’t want to leave him and we moved to a different country last year so my family is very far as well as my friends and I’m alone at home with my parents. I graduated already but I don’t have a job and can’t work because of my foreign status. My dad said he’d stop if I was nice but I still have so much hate in me from yesterday.. I wanted to tell our pastor but he threatened me if I told anyone. I also keep everything in writing just in case and I managed to record him insulting me. I just needed to to tell someone. Thanks for reading.

      • S

        I know what that is like, and I know that most of this won’t help… but you have to keep talking to a close friend. Just stay strong and talk to ANYONE you can trust till you are older. Then you’ll be able to live without depending on your parents. It’s very hard to stay strong, but just remember that you have a whole life ahead of you… don’t let your parents take that away from you. Focus on something you love to do, and maybe in the future you might decide to help other people in similar situations.