They’re short; they’re long. Some are poems. They’re all sad. Teens living through serious adversity because of interactions with their own troubled parents, and young adults struggling with memories as they live out the consequences of a troubled childhood. It’s a window into the lives of families that need or needed help. These are stories that are all too familiar to teachers, counselors, and social workers.
The letters are among hundreds sent over 10 years from teens and young adults around the world to two sites: EQI.org (“a place where you can find useful, practical and important information about emotions and life”) and WhatDepresses.Me. Steve Hein, who runs EQI.org, says that he and the woman who manages WhatDepresses.Me (and who prefers to not be named in this post — here’s her story) obtained permissions when they could. If the email addresses weren’t valid when they tried to contact the authors and the letters were from people under 18 years old, they changed details to protect the identities of the authors.
Here are excerpts from a few of the letters:
Things my mother has said to me…
– I wish I’d never given birth to you
– You’re not my daughter, no daughter of mine acts like this
– I’m everything, you’r (sic) nothing
– Anyone that cuts themselves should be locked up in a mental institution
– Piss off and never come back
Is cutting really a bad thing?
It doesn’t seem like it to me. You’re not killing yourself, only marking up your body. I’m careful that I don’t bleed to death even. But it feels good. Like it’s some release that helps me through the day.
I was sexually abused by an uncle
I’m no teenager anymore, I’m 21, but I cut myself (do