Ask Teen Line

Check out what other teens have been asking about. You may find an answer to your question.

If you don’t find an answer, please try to email us via the Talk Now page, call us at (310) 855-HOPE (4673) or (800) TLC-TEEN (852-8336) (toll-free in USA & Canada), OR text TEEN LINE by texting “TEEN” to 839863.

Text “STOP” to opt out. Standard message and data rates may apply. For terms and conditions go to: http://www.preventionpaystext.com/policies/.

Common Questions

  • Abuse & Violence

    • I get a panic attack every time I see my ex-boyfriend/abuser.
    • ×

      I get a panic attack every time I see my ex-boyfriend/abuser.

      Female, 14 years old, PA

      Question/Issue:

      Is it normal to be terrified every time I see my ex-boyfriend/abuser? Because every time I see him in public, I have a panic attack.

      Teen Line Wrote: 

      Thank you for contacting Teen Line. I am so glad that you reached out to us. It must be so hard to have to see your ex-boyfriend/abuser sometimes then experience these panic attacks. I want you to know that it is completely normal for you to be having these reactions. It is perfectly normal to be scared and terrified around this person when abuse is associated with him. It must have been really tough and scary to have to see him and have to revisit that time in your life.

      It sounds like you may have some PTSD from your past abusive relationship by the fear you said you are feeling. I want to give you some resources on how to cope with your fears, how to understand the, and how to maybe overcome them: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd-trauma/ptsd-symptoms-self-help-treatment.htm - this is a resource that will help you understand what PTSD is and how you can help yourself cope with it. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd-trauma/traumatic-stress.htm this is a resource that can give you support on how to deal with the dramatic stress when you are having a panic attack. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_loxoCVsWqzLptVD96E-DOlzWhbXT_H8 This is  Kati Morton's YouTube channel regarding to PTSD. Kati Morton is an online therapist and a great resource that can provide you support and guide you through your fear.

      I also want to give you some information to some ways that can help you deal with your panic attacks. Mindfulness and meditation are great ways to help you feel more calm and less stressed the next time you see him. Here are some useful resources: https://www.calm.com/ is a website that will lead you through guided meditations that can help you calm down and be more intune with your sense. After a panic attack or during, this can help you release some of that panic and stress. http://mindfulnessforteens.com/ is a website that will also give you some techniques on how to be more at peace.

      Again, thank you so much for reaching out. It was so brave of you to share what's going on. I want to encourage you to call in to Teen Line if you want to talk more about this at (800) 852-8336. You can also text "TEEN" to 839863 if you feel more comfortable communicating through text.

      I hope you find these resources helpful because you deserve support. Stay strong.

    • My friend's dad is abusing her and I'm scared she's going to commit suicide.
    • ×

      My friend's dad is abusing her and I'm scared she's going to commit suicide.

      Female, 14 years old, Netherlands

      Question/Issue:

      My friend from school is cutting herself and I am scared that she is gonna commit suicide because her dad is abusing her, he hits her and I am scared that one day she stops fighting.

      Teen Line Wrote:

      Thank you so much for reaching out. It was so brave of you. You are being such a good friend by contacting us. It must be so stressful to know that your friend is cutting herself and that her father abuses her. It sounds like because your friend is going through such a hard time that it has taken a toll on you. Being nervous that your friend may commit suicide is super hard to handle on top of teen stuff. I don't want to leave you hanging without any resources so I hope these websites help you out.

      I know this email was meant to benefit your friend but I also really care about your mental health through this whole process and want to give you some ways to handle the stress. There is a great website called: http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/pages/tip-99-coping-skills.aspx that has 99 ways to cope with whatever is stressing you out.

      You can also check out this app called "A Friend Asks." It is an easy way to access a guide to warning signs, resources, and ways to help friends who may be suicidal.

      There is a great YouTuber named Kati Morton who makes amazing videos about everything from social anxiety to suicide. She has a great playlist about depression and self-harm which may be educational for you but also helpful for your friend. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_loxoCVsWqzZv5mmk-Xw4IvoHRzc7ki4 and https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_loxoCVsWqxUuzhjHu7Ra_UyKd4tEde2.

      Also, you said she struggles with self harm and so there is this project called the Butterfly project. The whole thing is explained on the website, but it is basically a creative way some people use to stop cutting: http://butterfly-project.tumblr.com/

      Finally, the Netherlands has a great website for kids suffering with child abuse: https://www.vooreenveiligthuis.nl/veilig-thuis

      You can also call us at (310) 855-4673 from 6pm-10pm  PST or visit our message boards at https://teenlineonline.org/board/

      I hope your friend finds the help they need and that this email helps you de-stress yourself.

    • I can't handle my mom's mental abuse.
    • ×

      I can't handle my mom's mental abuse.

      Non-conforming gender, 15, IL

      Question/Issue: 

      Ok, so my mom has been mentally abusing me for years and I've finally decided that enough is enough. I want to move out, but the laws near me won't allow it, I think. I just want others' inputs before I make a decision.

      Teen Line Wrote:

      Thank you for reaching out to Teen Line. It must be so difficult to deal with your mom mentally abusing you. It is not okay for her to do this.

      I want to give you a resource called List of 99 coping skillsIt has many different activities you can do to try to help you cope with what you are going through. Also, if you ever feel unsafe at home, you can call Child Protective Services at (800) 422-4453.

      I would highly recommend calling us here at Teen Line at (800) 855-4673 anytime from 6pm-10pm Pacific Standard Time, or text "TEEN" to 839863 from 6pm-9pm PST so we can know more about what you are going through and we can give you better resources.

      I hope you find this helpful.

    • When does punishment become abuse?
    • ×

      When does punishment become abuse?

      Female, 13 years old, PA

      Question/Issue:

      When does punishment become abuse? Recently my dad has been angry at my brother (a junior) for difficulties with his senior project. Corporal punishment has come into play, & sometimes my brother cries. My mother is present, but she doesn't intervene usually. Has it gone too far? Should I call for help?

      Teen Line Wrote:

      Thank you so much for contacting Teen Line, I'm so glad you reached out to us! It really seems like your brother is facing a lot right now, and I want you to know that you did the right thing by contacting Teen Line. Your dad has no right to hurt your brother in any possible way. Parents are supposed to love you, and help you through hard times, what he's doing is absolutely not acceptable. If a parent is hurting a kid, then it is considered abuse. This sounds serious enough, that i recommend calling us at 800-852-8336 or text "TEEN" to 839863 for a text conversation 6pm-9pm PST.

      I wonder if your brother has talked to anyone else about this such as a friend, school counselor, or anyone he trusts. Maybe that can also help him get more information, and new ways to deal with the situation, and further steps to be taken.

      childhelp.org is an organization that lets you anonymously report child abuse if you feel it is necessary. Their number is 800-422-4453 available 24/7, and you can find more info on their site. Helpguide.org is a fantastic site that provides a ton of articles relating to your situation as well.

      Thank you for contacting Teen Line!

    • I feel unsafe in my foster home.
    • ×

      I feel unsafe in my foster home.

      Female, 17-year-old, Delaware

      Teen Question/Problem:

       In 2016, I was placed in a foster home that I was previously in before. They placed me back there because I didn't have anywhere else to stay. During those few months I went through hell. She mentally put me down and physically attacked me. In 2017, me and my foster parents got into an hours long disagreement in the home and later overheard her on the phone trying to plot against me and try to throw me into jail.  I then made a report the next morning to my teachers and people in my support system. I felt like they weren’t in my corner and were very unhelpful. I need help.

      TeenLine Wrote:

      Hey _____

      Thank you so much for reaching out and contacting us here at Teen Line. I'm really glad you found us. First off, I'm so sorry that you are having to go through all of this. From group home to group home and to a foster parent who is verbally abusive, you have gone through so much. All this seems so difficult and yet you have been striving. It really seems like you are in a very unsafe situation right now and I really want to help as best as I can.

      The best thing I would recommend is to call 911 when your foster mom becomes aggressive or when you feel unsafe. Another resource is the Child Help National Hotline, the number is 800-422-4453. and they are open 24/7 or you can text "CHILD HELP" to 847- 411. I also strongly recommend calling us here at Teen Line. Our number is (310) 855-4673 and we are open from 6- 10 PM PST. You can also text "teen" to 839863. Lastly I want to give you the number to the National Runaway Safe line open 27/7 the number is 800-RUN-AWAY (786-2929) and Angels Flight a shelter network opens 24/7 the number is 800- 833- 2499.

    • I've been having a lot of thoughts about hurting other people.
    • ×

      I've been having a lot of thoughts about hurting other people.

      13 year old, Female, United States

      TEEN LINE QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      I've been having a lot of thoughts about hurting other people, and it isn't only when I'm angry; its all the time. I don't think other people think about killing the way I do but I've thought like this as long as I can remember. I've taken screenings and read numerous books in a semi-attempt to help myself without others, and coupling this with hours of self contemplation and thought I've come to the conclusion that bipolar disorder as well as depression may be a problem as well. I'm not at risk for suicide, however I had been cutting for about a month before my mom found out and chastized me for it. I haven't cut since then, although I can feel the impulse to every now and then when I start feeling numb or blank. I do not want to tell my family however in order to recieve professional I help would have to. The only solution I can think of to receive help and some sort of evaluation specified to me and my issues is to find an anonymous online source, however I am having some difficulty in doing so, which brings me to my point: are there any teen or children's mental health organizations with a website through which I can contact a professional that you know of? I would use a chatroom for support however
      1) I don't feel this would help me much
      2) I honestly feel like talking to them would set them off and I don't want to INADVERTENTLY kill someone.
      3) I would feel like I'm seeking needless attention or like the people in the chat room would think of me that way. Already writing the letter is making me apprehensive enough, but I've written this much of it so there isn't much pointing in deleting it and sulking off to my corner...
      Any help or references you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

      TEEN LINE WROTE:

      Hi                      ,

      Thank you for contacting Teenline. You are so brave to reach out. Wow. This sounds like a really serious situation. I can't imagine how it must feel to not understand why you feel this way. It must be hard to try to find a solution or an explanation but not being able to. I'm sorry you'be been having to figure this out alone.
      There are a few things that might help you cope with this situation. You may have already tried this, but writing in a journal can be helpful to organize your thoughts and feelings. You can also take a walk or listen to music to distract you or help clear your mind and get away from negative people. I really encourage you to talk to an adult you trust. This person can be an extended family member like an aunt, or someone else like a school counselor, or a doctor. A doctor would be a really good option because they have a big knowledge of mental health conditions and will be able to help you and how you're feeling. Their outside perspective on the situation will hopefully be beneficial, and they'll guide you in taking the necessary steps to get the help you need.
      I would really encourage you to contact our hotline number to talk more about what you're going through. You can reach us by calling 310-855-4673 (6-10 pm PST) or by texting "TEEN"to 839863. If you don't want to talk to someone here, you can go to our message boards. At www.teenlineonline.org/board, you will find our message boards that have discussions between teens around the world. There, you will find many people who are in your situation and you can share your story about your family or your mental health concerns. butterfly-project.tumblr.com is a website that provides support and resources with self harm.
      In addition, there are a few websites that might help you specifically figure out what you need. www.teenmentalhealth.org has a lot of information about general mental health. www.helpguide.org has articles about mental health and well-being. Lastly,www.halfofus.com could be a really helpful site that explains more about mental health.
      Most importantly, you should speak to a doctor or call in to our hotline.
      I hope you find these resources useful and you get the help you deserve.

       

      a TEEN LINE teen
    • I am currently in an abusive relationship.
    • ×

      I am currently in an abusive relationship.

      20 or older, Female, CA

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      I am currently in an abusive relationship with my ex-boyfriend. I keep going back to him no matter what he does. I don't know how to make it stop and I am really confused. Please help me, I need your guidance.

      TEEN LINE WROTE: 

      Hi ______,

      First of all, thank you so much for contacting Teen Line tonight and sharing your story.Your situation sounds really hard, and I'm wondering if you have spoken to anyone about what you are going through, like a close friend, parent, or therapist. Also, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24 hours a day at 1(800)799-7233. Your safety is really important to us, so if you need any guidance please call in. Teen Line is available as well at 1-800-852-8336 from 6-10pm so we can hear more about your situation. You could also visit the teenline message board at www.teenlineonline.org/boards for you to talk to other teens going through similar situations. Thank you so much for emailing in tonight. Abuse is never okay and I hope this email was helpful.

      a TEEN LINE teen

    • I don't want to go to a foster home.
    • ×

      I don't want to go to a foster home.

      15 year old, Female,  NH

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      I don't want to go to a foster home because I'm scared of what it will be like. I am a very shy person and I know that if I go away into foster care I won’t be able to talk to my boyfriend. I am scared and  don't want my parents to hurt me. I am alone and my grandparents on my mom’s side are abusive.  Honestly, it feels as if I don’t have any valuable reason to live anymore because my family makes me feel so unwanted.  I've tried counselling, meditation, and a suicide mental institute. Nothing seems to be working, what can I do?? :(

      TEEN LINE WROTE:

      Hi ______,

      Firstly, thank you so much for contacting Teen Line. It is really brave of you to open up to me about your current situation. I can't imagine how scary it is to have your grandparents on your mom’s side be abusive, as well as being in fear of your parents hurting you. It seems frustrating to want to be somewhere that your boyfriend can contact you. I'm so sorry that you're going through so much pain that you don't see much reason to live anymore, and that worries me. I want you to know that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and although it may not seem like it right now, things can get better. Contacting me at Teen Line was a great first step, and if you keep reaching out, things can change for the better. You sound like a great person, and I imagine that there are people that are close to you that really care about you. Have you thought about talking to a close friend, trusted adult, or school counselor about how you've been feeling? It can be really difficult to hold in everything you're feeling, and it’s great to have people you can open up to about anything. I'm not sure what is happening that would cause you to go to a foster home, but if someone in your family is abusing you, your local Department of Children and Family Services does their best to keep families together, not separate them. You can check it out here: http://www.cfsnh.org/. Also, if you are ever having suicidal please contact the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 877-727-4747 to talk to them in more detail about what’s been going on. It would be great if you could check out the Teen Line Message Boards at http://teenlineonline.org/boards/ where you can see how other teens have dealt in similar situations  to yours. Feel free to also contact Teen Line anytime from 6-10pm PST at (310) 855-4673 or text "teen" to 839863.

      Thanks again for contacting Teen Line, and I hope that my referrals help you get the help and support you are looking for.

      a TEEN LINE teen

       

       

       

       

    • I grew up without my birth father until recently.
    • ×

      I grew up without my birth father until recently.

      15 year old, Female NM

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      I grew up without my birth father until recently. I had a step father who would always put me down and hurt my feelings. My mother practically raised me and has always been there for me.  Last year I decided to write a letter to my birth father and 3 months after my 14th birthday he responded. I finally met him around the holiday season and everything was going so well, I also met my paternal grandparents. Things changed for the worse when soon after Christmas he sexually molested me and I ended up in a mental hospital for a while. I don’t know what to do? I moved to Texas but I returned to my home town recently and I am not happy here. Please help.

      TEEN LINE WROTE:

      Hi Jessica thank you so much for contacting us here at Teen Line it was very brave of you. It sounds like you are going through a very tough time with your family. When your step-father puts you down always remember he has his own unresolved problems. I'm sorry to hear about your birth father, fathers should never touch their daughters, hit their daughters, or even be disrespectful. He should be protective of you, nice to you and kind. Since your birth father has sexually molested you he obviously has many problems of his own and he should be going to get help, not you. What your father has done to you is categorized as child abuse, and it can be reported to the police because it is illegal and it is NOT okay. One way you can resolve your problems with your father is to discuss it with someone like a school counselor or a trusted adult. Also it sounds like after all of these events you are feeling depressed and to alleviate some of that pain you can maybe join a sports team or a club or have a hobby so you have something to look forward to after school. Also if you ever want to talk about this I urge you to call us in here at Teen Line at  310 855 4673. If your ever feeling unsafe with your mother you can always call the Child Help National Abuse hotline at 1800 422 4453. Once again I would like to thank you so much for contacting us here at Teen Line.

      a TEEN LINE teen

       

       

    • My boyfriend and I recently split.
    • ×

      My boyfriend and I recently split.

      Female, 19 years old, CA

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      My boyfriend and I recently split. He is threatening to take his life and I’m not sure if he’s being serious or just dramatic. I honestly have no idea what to do… Please help

      TEEN LINE WROTE:

      Hi _______,

      Thank you for contacting us here at Teen Line.  I'm so sorry to hear that your ex boyfriend is threatening to take his life, that sounds very overwhelming to have to go through.  I'm wondering if you would feel comfortable telling a trusted adult or school guidance counselor about this? It’s very important that someone knows about his situation to make sure he's safe.  Also, I'm wondering if you'd be willing to give him the number to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at (800)784- 2433, open 24 hours, where someone will always be able to talk to your ex boyfriend and help him.  Maybe he would be willing to call us at (310) 855- 4673, open 6-10pm PST, where a teen will always be able to talk.  Also, you should always feel free to call us as well.  If you ever feel like your boyfriend is in immediate danger, PLEASE call 911.

      I hope everything turns out okay ____.

      Sincerely,

      a TEEN LINE teen

       

  • Anxiety & Stress

    • I'm really nervous about high school and worried about the future.
    • ×

      I'm really nervous about high school and worried about the future.

      Female, 14 years old, CA

      Question/Issue:

      I'm really nervous about high school, and I have a really big phobia of getting old, so when I think of being a freshman next year, I get REALLY nervous. What should I do ?

      Teen Line Wrote:

      Thanks so much for contacting Teen Line, that was incredibly brave of you. I'm so sorry that you've been struggling to sit with the idea of getting older. It's understandable to me that entering high school would bring up these difficult yet common thoughts.

      Here is a relevant article from a website I love about coping with getting older:  https://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-cope-with-the-fear-of-aging/. It talks a lot about loving yourself and shifting perspectives.

      Additionally, here is a video from a mental health professional, named Kati Morton, on YouTube about coping with starting school: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHsG59dwfoQ. Here is another video from her about dealing with anxiety :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gr7MjaJbh9M. I would also encourage you to talk to parents or other adults you trust about the phobia you expressed, everything you are experiencing is completely valid and deserving of help.

      Lastly, if you would liek to talk to another teen, feel free to call into the Teen Line hotline: (310) 855-4673. We're open from 6pm-10pm PST. You can also text in by texting "TEEN" to 839863. Here as well are our message boards if you'd like to share your story:

  • Depression & Suicide

    • A sweet and nice boy asked for a nude picture which I sent it to him and now everyone knows what my areas look like.
    • ×

      A sweet and nice boy asked for a nude picture which I sent it to him and now everyone knows what my areas look like.

      Female, 13 years old, NV

      Question/Issue:

      Someone catfished me with a guy who was very sweet and nice, then he asked me for a nude picture and I sent him one. The next thing I know, everybody knows what my areas look like and I saw an Instagram account with my bust on it. I just feel like ending it all and I'm so close, this is urgent.

      Teen Line Wrote:

      Thank you for contacting Teen Line. It was so brave of you to reach out and tell us a little bit about what's going on. I am so sorry that you are going through this. It must be so frustrating and painful to have trusted a guy with such a photo and then having it leaked, especially on social media. It is not fair that this is happening to you and not okay for you to be deceived like this. I want to let you know that how you are feeling is completely okay and you are not alone. I am here to give you the support you need to get through this.

      First of all, I want to make sure that you are safe. Here is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline that you can call any time when you are having thoughts about hurting yourself or ending your life: (800) 273-8255. You mentioned that you are considering ending it all and I am worried for you. You can get through this. I am here to help you. I want you to get the help and support you deserve. Thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself are dangerous and I don't want this for you. You are strong and you can overcome this. I want to provide you with some healthy ways to cope with what's going on that doesn't involve self harm. Have you ever considered talking to someone about what's going on? Is there a trusted adult, friend, counselor, therapist, or family friend that you can reach out to and vent to? It can be very therapeutic to talk about what's going on and share your emotions with someone. Maybe they can help you understand and cope with what's going on. I don't know if you have a therapist already, but if you don't, would you consider getting one? They can be a great unbiased source that can help provide you with some support and can also help you find safer ways to cope. I want to suggest Kati Morton, an online therapist, that can help you make your first appointment, but also has videos on how to deal with various issues. Here is the link to her video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZH3HQU_ewU

      I also want to provide you with some healthier coping skills. Do you have any hobbies that can keep you busy and distracted, do you enjoy listening to music, exercising, reading, journaling, etc. All of these are great ways to help you feel better and more in tune with yourself. Journaling, or writing down your feelings, is a great way to come to terms with what has happened and overcome it. 99 ways to cope is a great website that can give you more ways to cope. Here is the link: http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/pages/tip-99-coping-skills.aspx.

      You said this is urgent and I really want to make sure that you are safe and not considering hurting yourself. I encourage you to call in to Teen Line at (310) 855-4673. Our lines are open between 6pm-10pm PST daily. You can also text "TEEN" to 839863 if you are more comfortable with texting. We want to hear from you, so please don't hesitate.

      I also want to encourage you to check out the Teen Line message boards where you can contact other teens who have or are going through similar situations as you. They may be able to provide you with some comfort and help you navigate this tough situation. You can access these message boards at teenlineonline.org/boards.

      Again, thank you for reaching out to us. You are so brave and you deserve help. Stay strong.

    • I feel depressed and my mom is threatening to kick me out.
    • ×

      I feel depressed and my mom is threatening to kick me out.

      Male, 14 years old, NY

      Question/Issue:

      I need help with my depression. It's been happening even worse with all the issues with my parents, especially with my mom. She keeps on saying she will kick me out of the house and I feel worse and worse.

      Teen Line Wrote:

      Thank you for contacting Teen Line; it was so brave of you to reach out. It sounds like you're going through a difficult time right ow with your mom and your depression. Dealing with parents is always hard, and I'm sorry she keeps on threatening to kick you out. It's understandable that this makes you feel worse because she's your mom and you probably care about her a lot. It must be hard to battle issues with your mom and your depression at the same time.

      If you haven't already, I wonder if you could try talking to a school counselor, an adult, or just someone you trust, it may help and you wouldn't have to go through this tough time in your life alone. Also, you might try checking out this list (http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/pages/tip-99-coping-skills.aspx)  to find ways to cope.

      You might try looking at Kati Morton's YouTube videos on depression. She offers solutions, defines depression, and how to get help. She might be helpful. You can also check out https://www.helpguide.org/home-pages/depression.htm. This website has articles regarding depression and how to cope with it as well. . au.reachout.com also has resources concerning arguments with parents, which might help you deal with the situation with your mom.

      Finally, you can always call Teen Line at 800-852-8336 from 9pm-1am (EST) or text "TEEN" to 839863 from 9pm-12am (EST). The message boards are also available at teenlineonline.org/boards where you can talk to other teens as well.

      I hope this helps.

    • I feel like none of my friends are actually my friends.
    • ×

      I feel like none of my friends are actually my friends.

      Female, 15 years old, NY

      Question/Issue: 

      I feel so alone a majority of the time and I feel like none of my friends are actually my friends. I got with a guy and we started dating. Then I was being called a whore. I'm still being called that throughout school and I broke up with him a month ago. Now I'm being called a bitch and worthless amongst other names. I have a suicide plan but I'm not sure I actually want to go. Everything is just hard right now and I don't know what to do.

      Teen Line Wrote: 

      Thanks so much for contacting Teen Line. I'm so glad that you've decided to reach out. I can't imagine how hard it must be to feel so isolated and degraded, and it makes total sense that you would be unsure of what to do. You don't deserve to be treated this way and I want to make sure that you are okay both physically and psychologically.

      You mentioned that you have a suicide plan which worries me because my primary concern is your safety. I'd like to provide you with the number for Boys Town National Hotline, available 24/7 at 1 (800) 448 3000 which is full of professional listeners who are more than happy to talk with you. You may also find the number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, available 24/7 at 800-273-8255 to also be a useful resource if you feel the desire to speak with anybody about what you are dealing with.

      I'd like to provide you with a few resources regarding conflict resolution and communication that you may find helpful. The first is the reachout link https://au.reachout.com/mental-fitness/communication-skills which provides its users with tips of effective communication and confrontation strategies. If you are having any hardship with coping with what's been going on, you may find the website http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/pages/tip-99-coping-skills.aspx to be useful in finding a coping mechanism that fits you.

      I'm wondering if there is anybody that you could feel comfortable talking to about what's been going on such as a parent, therapist, school counselor, teacher, coach or sibling. Teen Line listeners unfortunately do not use skype but if you can, I'd strongly recommend that you call Teen Line at (310) 855 4673, available from 6-10pm PST or text us by texting "TEEN" to 839863, available 6pm-9pm  PST. Please feel free to also visit our message board at teenlineonline.org/board, where you will find a safe space to contact others for empathy and support.

      Thanks so much for contacting Teen Line and best of luck!

    • My friend is thinking about suicide and she's not listening to me.
    • ×

      My friend is thinking about suicide and she's not listening to me.

      Male, 17 years old, CA

      Question/Issue:

      I have a friend that is currently planning to commit suicide. She's not listening to anything. I'm very concerned, what can I do?

      Teen Line Wrote:

      Thank you so much for reaching out to us. I can only imagine how scare and stressed you are right now. I'm really glad your friend has someone like you to look out for her. I want to give you some resources that might help both you and your friend.

      First, here's the number to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. The line is open 24/7. I recommend giving this number to your friend, so she can use it if she needs it. It would be great for her to save the number in her phone for quick access.

      I also wonder if there's an adult in your life you can reach out to for help. I think it's important that you both get support in this situation. You shouldn't have to go through this alone, and confiding in another person you trust can make a huge difference.

      You may also find this article on suicide prevention helpful: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-prevention/suicide-prevention.htm It includes tips and strategies for communicating and supporting people who are feeling suicidal.

      You can call us from 6pm-10pm PST at (310) 855 4673, or text us from 6pm-9pm PST. You might also want to post to our message boards at  teenlineonline.org/board for guidance from other teens.

      Thanks again for reaching out to us. This is a really difficult situation to be in, and I hope you guys find the support and peace you both deserve.

    • I'm depressed and people won't listen.
    • ×

      I'm depressed and people won't listen.

      Female, 12 years old, AL

      Question/Issue:

      People won't listen to me and I'm depressed.

      Teen Line Wrote:

      Thank you for contacting Teen Line, I am so glad you reached out.

      It must be so frustrating for you to feel like people you talk to are not listening. It can be so difficult to want to talk about what you are going through and have people to support you and understand, but feel like you don't have that. It must be so hard dealing with your depression-- you deserve to have people listen to you.

      I hope this helps.

      I understand you feel like people won't listen to you, so it may help to open up to someone whose job it is to listen or an adult you trust like a parent, teacher, coach, or guidance counselor at school. Talking to someone like this about what you are going through can help you let out all your thoughts and get help and advice. Another thing that may help when you don't feel like talking to anyone is journaling. Journaling can help you get all your thoughts and emotions out on to paper and make how you're feeling clearer. Here are some resources that may help you.

      The first resource is calling Teen Line at (310) 855 4673 or toll-free in CA (800) 852 8336, 6pm-10pm PST, texting "TEEN" to 839863, or visiting the online message board at https://teenlineonline.org/board/ . Teen Line can help you talk more in depth about what you are going through and understand and make clearer what to do. Another resource that may help you is calling or chatting with a counselor at http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/Pages/home.aspx . Your Life Your Voice allows you to talk to a counselor about whatever you are going through and get help and support. The last resource that may help you is watching Kati Morton's Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_loxoCVsWqzZv5mmk-Xw4lvoHRzc7ki4 . This channel provides many videos that explore how to deal with depression, immediate solutions, and how and when to get help. Watching the videos on this channel is a different approach at learning about depression and can help you grasp a better understanding on depression.

      I hope you find the help you deserve.

    • My friend has depression and may be suicidal.
    • ×

      My friend has depression and may be suicidal.

      14, Female, Washington

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      My friend has depression and is suicidal and I want to help her but, I don't know how. 6 years ago, I lost my dad to suicide and I feel stupid for not recognizing my friend's situation. How do I help her?

      TEENLINE WROTE:

      Whenever your friend feels suicidal, please urge her to call a suicide hotline. Teen line teens are always here to listen from 6PM to 10PM Pacific Standard Time at (310) 855 4673. Whenever teen line is not available, The Boys Town National Hotline is available 24/7 at 1 (800) 448-3000, as well as Didi Hirsch at 800-273-8255. If calling in is not an option for your friend, your friend can text us by texting “TEEN” to 839863 from 6PM to 10PM Pacific Standard Time or text The Boys Town National Hotline by texting "VOICE" to 20121 from 4PM to 1AM Central Standard Time. If your friend is not comfortable with calling or texting, live online chatting with a counselor is available 24/7 at the websites https://www.imalive.org/ and http://www.crisischat.org/chat/ and available from 6PM to midnight Central Standard Time at http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/pages/ways-to-get-help.aspx. Your friend is not alone in dealing with what she's going through. Please tell your friend to reach out to any of these resources whenever she feels suicidal and needs someone to talk to.

      I wonder if you or your friend have a trusted someone to talk to about this. Talking to a trusted adult, friend, or even a teacher or guidance counselor at school can get you valuable resources and feedback. When your friend wants to distract herself from negative thoughts and want to cope with what she's going through, listening to music can be a good way to cope. Journaling is also a good way to deal with negative thoughts as you write down your thoughts onto the paper. If your friend doesn't like to listen to music or to journal, the website http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/pages/tip-99-coping-skills.aspx has 99 other activities she can try. Another website, http://mindfulnessforteens.com/ offers a powerful way to handle stress that your friend may find helpful.

      There are also many articles and information about suicide that you and your friend may find very helpful. http://www.speakingofsuicide.com/ is a website based on suicidal individuals and those who have known or have lost their loved ones to suicide. If you are lost in how to help your friend when she is feeling suicidal, the websites http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/when-your-friend-is-talking-about-suicide and https://www.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-prevention/suicide-prevention-helping-someone-who-is-suicidal.htm have ways on how to respond and support suicidal loved ones. If your friend wants resources to find out how she can get the help that she deserves and cope with suicidal and overwhelming feelings and thoughts, the websites https://www.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-prevention/suicide-help-dealing-with-your-suicidal-thoughts-and-feelings.htm and http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/Suicidal-thoughts-wanting-to-end-your-life are some websites that your friend can reach out to. The teen line message boards are also available at https://teenlineonline.org/board/ whenever you want to read how other teens like you and your friend were able to deal with and overcome their situations. You can even post your own story to get feedback from fellow teens like you.

      Hope you found this helpful. Stay strong, a TEEN LINE teen

    • I'm breaking apart inside.
    • ×

      I'm breaking apart inside.

      Female, 15 year old, TX

      Teen Question/Problem:

       I'm depressed. I get bullied, my grandpa recently died and my parents don't care. I feel like I'm breaking apart inside.

      Teenline  Wrote:

      Hey ______

      Thank you so much for reaching out to Teen Line. I am so glad that you found this contact.

      Wow, you seem to be going through so much right now. I can imagine you must be experiencing a lot of pain. I am so sorry that you are getting bullied. It is never okay to bully and I want you to know it is never your fault. I am also so sorry to hear that your grandpa died. This must be so hard for you. I can imagine all of this added on top of your depression must be very overwhelming.

      I would love to give you a few resource to help you cope with what you have been going through. First, Reachout.com and Helpguide.org has some articles explaining depression and identifying the different types and causes. They also discuss some ways to deal with depression. Kati Morton, a YouTuber, has a video entitled 'Depression Playlist' that talks about how depression could be started and provides possible solutions and how and where to find help.

      Helpguide.org also has some articles about how to understand the grieving process and talks about possible ways to cope with grief and loss. Kati Morton also has a video called 'How to Deal with Grief When Someone You Love Dies'. This video may help you explore how you can best cope with your loss. You can also try to create a memory box of your grandpa. You can do this by finding a box and decorating it and then, putting items that represent memories you have with your grandpa to honor him into the box. You can also find a teen grief support group near you through the site, ourhouse-grief.org.

      I would also like to give you the site pacerteensagainstbullying.org. This site has many helpful resources; for example, they have articles about bullying, stories written by people who have been bullied, and quizzes to determine if you are being bullied. They also have guides to create "student action plans". Reachout.com also has some articles and advice on what to do if you are being bullied.

      You may also find it helpful to journal your thoughts and feeling so that you may better understand your own emotions. Doing something you love may help you clear your mind; for example, going on a walk or run, listening to music, drawing, watching TV, or playing a sport. I also think it may be really beneficial for you to talk to someone about everything you have been going through. You could talk to a trusted adult or friend, a school counselor, or a therapist if you are seeing one.

      I would also like to give you our Teen Line message boards at teenlineonline.org/board. Here, you can share your experiences and feelings with other teens who may be going through similar things, You can also call our hot line to speak with a teen at (310) 855 4673. Also, you can text "TEEN ' into the number 839863 to chat with a teen.

      Again, thank you so much for taking the time to contact us. I really hope you find the help that you deserve.

       

    • My mom has PTSD and lately it has been getting worse.
    • ×

      My mom has PTSD and lately it has been getting worse.

      18 year old, Female, Canada

      TEEN LINE QUESTION/PROBLEM: 

      My friends mom has PTSD and lately it has been getting worse and my friend feels like it's never going to get better and she feels like it's her fault that she can't do anything to help. I've tried to tell her that it isn't her fault and it's not on her to fix her mom but I don't think she understands. I know that she cuts sometimes to try to deal with it but I don't think that she has in a while. I've told her about the butterfly project and other tricks that should help stop her wanting to self harm. I've tried to get her to talk to our student counselor but she says that she's been to a therapist before and it's not for her. I've also told her about how there are so many hotlines that she can call or that she can email like this one but she refuses to do so. I'm not completely sure she realizes that what she is doing is bad. But what really makes be nervous is that she called me tonight to talk and she told me that she thought about asking me permission to commit suicide. We have had a conversation before about this and I told her that it was not an option and that it would get better. She told me that she wouldn't do it unless I gave her permission to. So tonight she wasn't asking permission to she just said that she thought about it. I don't know if she will ever get to the point where she will go through with it but I don't know what to do. The only help she is accepting from me is a distraction and the occasional piece of advice towards not thinking about self harm and her mom. I don't want her to hate me forever if I tell someone but she needs help and I don't know how to get it for her.

      TEEN LINE WROTE:

      Hi                    ,

      Thank you for contacting Teenline. I'm so glad you reached out. I can't imagine how hard it is for you to have to take care of your friend while also having to manage your own feelings about it. It must be so exhausting and overwhelming for you to have all of that on your plate. You are so strong and so brave. You are an incredibly good friend for doing all of those things for your friend. She is so unbelievably lucky to have you.
      You have been an amazing friend to her, but it's important that you still take care of yourself because this can be a really emotionally tolling situation. It would be great if you could seek out that counselor just so you can have a support for yourself. I would really encourage you to contact our hotline number to talk more about what you're going through. You can reach us by calling 310-855-4673 (6-10 pm PST). If you don't want to talk to someone here, you can go to our message boards. At www.teenlineonline.org/board, you will find our message boards that have discussions between teens around the world.

      The resources you have given your friend are excellent. It is really important to keep trying to get her to talk to a counselor, doctor, teacher, or any other trusted adult like a family member or friend. Just so you have them, I want to give you some ideas and resources in case you need them on hand. The butterfly project is an excellent resource. Some things your friend can do in the place of self harming are drawing with a red marker or pen, snapping a rubber band on her wrist when she wants to cut, or putting ice on the spot where she cuts to feel pain but not be hurting herself. In addition, she can call the suicide hotline at 800-273-8255.
      I hope you find these resources useful and you and your friend both get the help you deserve.

       

      a TEEN LINE teen

       

    • I'm both female, male and in between.
    • ×

      I'm both female, male and in between.

      13 year old, Genderfluid, Maryland

      TEEN LINE QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      My parents don't get me. I'm both female, male and in between. Most of the time I'm male and my parents don't agree with me. They are super religious and force me into dresses and other girly stuff when I don't like it. It makes me feel bed sometimes (I used to be seriously depressed). Sometimes I wish I was normal.

      TEEN LINE WROTE:

      Hi                  ,

      Thank you for contacting Teen Line-- it was very brave of you to reach out & I hope I can help!
      It sounds like you're in a lot of pain right now because of your parents not being understanding of your gender & how you want to express your fluidity. I can't imagine how difficult it must be having your parents force you to dress in a way that makes you so uncomfortable and depressed. I'm so sorry you have to deal with them not being accepting and supportive of you being trans. I'd like you to know that no matter what your parents or anyone else says, the way you feel inside is the truth. If you feel genderfluid, that's simply what you are and no one else can change that about you. Your experience of gender may be less common, but it doesn't make you abnormal-- you are unique and wonderful in your own way! I hope that you have people around you who will support you and remind you of this. Remember that your parents can't continue choosing your clothes forever, and eventually you will have much more freedom to choose how you want to express yourself.
      Since you're going through a difficult time, and used to be very depressed, it is important that you continue to take care of yourself. Coping skills can be as simple as taking walks, drawing, listening to music, or any other hobby you enjoy that can help you keep your mind off of these problems. I also recommend speaking with a friend or a trusted adult like a school counselor if you can, since being able to talk about what's going on with your parents can really help you feel more understood. If you don't have someone to talk to, journaling is also a great alternative-- just being able to write out your thoughts & feelings can be very stress relieving. Youtuber and therapist Kati Morton has some awesome on managing depression, problems with parents, coping skills, and more on her channel.
      I'd also like you to know about the Trevor Project, which is a 24/7 LGBTQ youth crisis hotline. Their phone number is (866) 488-7386. They also have TrevorText by texting Trevor to 1-202-304-1200 (Thursdays and Fridays 4-8 pm ET) and TrevorChaton their site (every day from 3-9pm ET). The Trevor Project also has a safe LGBTQ social network for teens, calledTrevorSpace, where you can make friends with other people and get support from the community. Teen Line has a message board for gender/sexuality as well, so you can talk with other LGBTQ teens about what's going on and read about their experiences too. Lastly, I recommend looking for other genderfluid teens on youtube, since many talk about how their struggles and how they coped and overcame them.
      Thank you again for contacting Teen Line-- I hope things get better for you,                :) <3

       

      a TEEN LINE teen

       

    • Since I was 12 years old I have been depressed and suicidal.
    • ×

      Since I was 12 years old I have been depressed and suicidal.

      15 year old, Female, CA 

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      My problem is, since I was 12 years old I have been depressed and suicidal.
      I just don’t see the point to life or happiness anymore and I’ve lost all interest in things I used to really enjoy doing.I barely eat or talk and I never sleep. I just can’t.I don’t know why, either. I have a really loving, caring family and I have a lot of friends but I just feel like if I wasn’t there, no one would really care. I seem to upset people in my friendship group just by existing and today, I told a person I thought was my closest friend about how I was feeling. He simply said ”If you committed suicide, I wouldn’t really care.” that thought has bugged me all day and I have just noticed how unimportant I am.

      I want to die and I am going to whether I get advice or not. Advice may keep me a few days longer but I want to do it quickly, with minimum and as soon as possible.
      I am afraid of death, I am an atheist and I don’t know what is beyond death. I hate pain and blood but I really want to get out of this world as soon as possible.
      Please help me…

      TEENLINE WROTE:

      Hi,

      Thanks for contacting Teen Line. It sounds like you have depressed for awhile and you feel kind of numb. Sometimes, when you feel really alone internally you may have trouble associating with those around you. Another factor that could hinder in your ability to trust in friendships is insensitive comments like the one you mentioned your friend making. I can imagine feeling deeply upset and angered by people's inconsideration and I understand how it may feel like they aren't supportive at all. What really concerns me is the extent of your desire to commit suicide. It seems like you are intent on killing yourself and that is worrisome, because suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I'm sorry you’re going through this emotional isolation and anxiety but it can get better.

      First, I think you could try making new friends who you enjoy being with and make you feel loved/supported. If this numbness you said you experience continues then you could think about exploring your passions, to feel more fulfilled. If you want to talk to another teen you can call Teen Line 6-10 PM PST at 310-855-4673 in a non-judgmental place. Also, I really want to encourage you to call the Suicidal Prevention Hotline at 877-727-4747 available 24/7 for more information and referrals regarding these really serious urges you've been having. You mentioned how you hate pain and blood and I want you to know that suicide is not the only option to escape your pain.
      a TEEN LINE teen

  • Drugs & Alcohol

    • My life at home isn't so great at the moment.
    • ×

      My life at home isn't so great at the moment.

      16 year old, Female, NJ

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      My life at home isn't so great at the moment. My dad has developed an alcoholic addiction due to depression. Fast forward to 3 years later and the situation has not improved. He comes home drunk every day after work and fights with my mom. It’s really sad that my little 11 year old sister has to hear all the yelling and see my mom cry afterwards. My dad has tried reaching out for help at addiction centers but he never stays for more than a few weeks. I'm embarrassed of him because of the way he acts when he's drunk in front of our neighbors and people in public. One time he embarrassed me in front of a friend from school when she came over to work on a project. And another time, he almost got us into a fatal car accident while driving to a school event at a science center. I don't speak with him much now because I feel like I lost him as a dad a while ago, and he's a stranger to me now.
      My father’s alcohol abuse is not the only problem in my family right now. My little sister was recently diagnosed with ADHD and she takes medication to help her stay focused in school, but at home she acts really aggressive towards me. She always picks up a fight with me over the silliest things, even when I ignore her. When my mom hears her fighting, she yells at me and I get in trouble for something I had nothing to do with. When my boyfriend comes over, my sister is super disrespectful towards me and treats me like garbage. Sometimes, she curses and tries to hit me. It really hurts that she has no consideration for her big sister, especially since I've been taking care of her while my dad struggles to get better.
      People have noticed that I've lost weight and it makes me uncomfortable to hear that since I already have body image issues. I've been trying to distract myself by doing other things but nothing seems to help. I haven't talked with the guidance counselors at my school because I feel like they can't do much to help,It feels as if  I have to deal with this by myself. I start my senior year of high school this fall, and I want to make the right choices and move ahead with my life.

       

      TEEN LINE WROTE: 

      Hi ____,

      Thank you so much for contacting TEEN LINE and sharing what has been going on in your life recently.  It was so brave of you to reach out and contact us.  It really seems like so much has been happening lately, and you do not deserve to be going through all of this.  It must be so hard to see your dad come home drunk and fight with your mom, especially knowing that your younger sister also sees this happening.  You must feel embarrassed of your dad's behavior in public, and it seems like you have been really affected by your dad's behavior.  You do not deserve to feel as if you have lost your dad; I am so sorry that you have to go through all of this.  It also seems really annoying that your sister has been picking fights with you over the silliest things and treats you like garbage.  It is so admirable of you for taking take of your sister right now and it must be so hard to see her treating you so poorly.

      You do not deserve to be going through all of this alone right now, and I am wondering if there is anyone you can talk to about what has been happening.  You mentioned that you feel as if your guidance counselors will be no help for you, but maybe there is someone else you can confide in.  Talking to a close friend, trusted adult, or close relative may help you receive the support the comfort you deserve right now.  You can also search the Internet to find a therapist that lives around you to talk to someone for free confidentially.  You deserve to be happy at home, and I encourage you to check out http://al-anon.org/how-to-find-a-meeting, a resource that offers support for individuals with family members that have drinking struggles.  You can attend an Al-Anon meeting near you, share your experiences that you have had with your dad, and learn effective coping mechanisms to deal with your dad's behavior.  You can see that you are not alone right now and other teens have family members that have drinking issues.  If you are not comfortable talking to someone, you may find relief in journaling, exercising, singing, dancing, listening to music, playing a game, or sketching.  Doing something that truly makes you happy make help you at this time.  You are also welcome to call TEEN LINE any night from 6-10 pm PST at (310) 855-4673 and talk to a teen about everything that has been going on lately.  You also mentioned having to deal with body image issues.  You deserve to start your senior year on a good note, and I hope these options help you.

      -A Teen Line Teen

       

    • I've had a rough year so far.
    • ×

      I've had a rough year so far.

      13 year old, Female, OR

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      I’ve had a rough year so far. I left my mother because she basically chose drugs and her abusive boyfriend over myself and my siblings. My life is so difficult because of this and I do not know what to do. Lately, I have been thinking about self-harm and suicide.

      TEEN LINE WROTE: 

      Hey ­­­­­_______,

      Thank you so much for contacting TEEN LINE. It is really brave of you to share what is going on. I am really sorry to hear about how hard your year as been. It is so hard to feel neglected by a parent at such a young age especially if she chooses drugs and an abusive boyfriend like your mom has. It takes a strong, tough person to go through something like what you are going through. It also saddens me to hear that you are thinking of self-harm and suicide. I strongly urge you not to do either of those as you are a much better girl and don't deserve to resort to either one of those. I recommend you find another way to cope with your sadness, such as writing in a journal, exercising, or squeezing something. I also want to let you know that life will get better, so stay strong.

      I want to make sure that you are somewhere safe as you had to leave your mom, if you are not please call the National Runaway Safeline at (800) 786-2929 right away to get help. If you are ever thinking of suicide please call the Suicide Hotline at (877) 727-4747. It also may be helpful to call Department of Child and Family Services at (800) 422-4453. You are also free to call into us at TEEN LINE anytime from 6 pm to 10 pm at (310) 855-4673. You can also post on our message boards at http://www.teenlineonline.org/boards/.

       

    • I've been having really bad drug cravings.
    • ×

      I've been having really bad drug cravings.

      16 year old, Female, TX

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      So I have been having really bad drug cravings and flash backs of doing my D.O.C (meth) and today I was in a flash back for 45 mins smoking an e-cig like it was a meth pipe. In this flashback I was rocking the e-cig while i was hitting it and now i am craving drugs really bad I don’t want to do it because I am just getting my life back together and on track. I talked to a military recruiters today and I have really been buckling down to graduate on time because I am really behind on all my school work. . When I have these cravings it really tears me to shreds because I almost ruined my life with those drugs and I have such high goals for life and I want to be in the military and get my Ph.D in Psychology. I am scared one day I am not going to be able to control my flash back , or mistake a flash back with real life. I guess what I’m trying to ask for is if you have any ideas on how I could figure out a way to force myself out of a flashback? I do have a therapist and a psychiatrist and they have given me a lot of great ideas like grounding techniques and color counting. (where you count as many colors as you can see in the room) However, these strategies have not really helped. I would just greatly appreciate any help I can get. Thank you for your time and your response.

      TEEN LINE WROTE:

      Hi there,

      Thanks so much for reaching out to Teen Line. It sounds like your flashbacks are really scary. Not knowing what is real and what is not can be really awful. I am so sorry that you are going through that. I want you to know that the longer you go without using, the flashbacks and cravings will become less and less. Your brain literally has to re-program itself and adjust, but it will happen. It may feel at times like it won't get better, but I assure you that it will if you do not use. In the meantime, it will be important for you to get support during this time. It's great that you have a therapist. I think that the grounding techniques are the best way for you to be present and get out of a flashback. Sometimes they are too powerful and will take over, but other times they may be shortened or you will prohibit them completely. Listening to the sounds you hear in the room can help bring you back. Sometimes it's even helpful to put an ice cube in your hand, because the intense cold can bring you back to the moment. Are you in a recovery program like AA or CMA? Those are great for support and to keep you on the path of sobriety. You may want to reach out to other teens who have gone through drug issues on our message boards. The website is:

      https://teenlineonline.org/boards/

      Or you can always call us at 310-855-4673 between the hours of 6-10 pm PST.

      Thanks and take care,

    • My father has tried to stop smoking recently.
    • ×

      My father has tried to stop smoking recently.

      15 year old, Female,  VT

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      My father has tried to stop smoking recently. Ever since he’s stopped smoking (cold turkey) he has been acting crazy. He lashes at me verbally and at times he acts bipolar.
      He also blurts out the most random things like: ’I hate humans,’ ’What’s the point of living?’ and ’Why don’t you go live with your mom and leave me the hell alone. (My mother abandoned the both of us when I was three years old to become a prostitute.)

      He always tells people to go f*** themselves, and also tells me this. Today he almost got arrested because he was aggressive to police officers. .I’m becoming very depressed from how he’s acting and I need some advice of how to deal with this.
      Please help?  I do not know what to do anymore

      TEEN LINE WROTE:

      Hi _______,

      Thank you for contacting Teen Line.  I can imagine that you are going through a difficult time right now.  It sounds like you're feeling very confused and distressed about your dad.  It is understandable that you feel depressed because of how he is talking to you.  I can imagine that you must feel hurt because all the negative things he's saying.

      Have you gone online and seen what it's like to quit smoking?  One of the online support groups are www.quitnet.com, which you can go on to find out more information about quitting.

      Also, have you talked to a trusted adult about it or maybe one of your friends? They are great help and sources of comfort.  Writing journals are also a great way to help put your feelings on paper and out of your head.  Do you have a hobby that you like doing, such as exercising or playing a musical instrument?  If you ever feel down after your dad screams at you, you can use your hobby as an outlet to your pain.  Don't hesitate to contact us at Teen Line at (310) 855-4673 from 6PM-10PM PST available 7 days a week.

      Best wishes,

      a TEEN LINE teen

       

    • Lately, I have felt like no one is there for me when I need it.
    • ×

      Lately, I have felt like no one is there for me when I need it.

      14 years old, Female, NC

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

       Lately, I have felt like no one is there for me when I need it. I feel as if… I have no one and all everyone wants to do is bring me down. Every depression test I have taken has said that I have severe depression. Recently I met a guy who I thought loved me for me, but he just lead me on and left me soon after.

      I already have problems at home with my dad because he is an alcoholic. It does not help that I have been bullied since the second grade for no reason at all. I started high school last year and many kids at my school do not like me. I try to be this happy person but I am tired of hiding the scars on my body. I have cut almost everywhere and even on the side of my neck. I have attempted suicide about 4 times and occasionally I smoke with my friends to relieve stress. I seriously need help! I just want to talk to someone that understands.

      TEENLINE WROTE:

      Hi ________,

      Thank you for reaching out to Teen Line. I'm so sorry that you have had such a hard time. It takes a lot of courage to ask for help and it sounds like you have been in pain (emotionally and physically) for a long time. I can't imagine living with an alcoholic dad, dealing with a broken heart and having to deal with bullies. I hope you can find someone to talk to like a counselor or another adult?  It concerns me that you are taking it out on yourself by cutting. You can always call Teen Line and talk with one of us. There is also"cutting" information and support ww.self-injury.net. There is also a bullying website www.bullying.org and of course you can always contact the Suicide Prevention Hotline 24hrs if you are feeling really vulnerable 877-727-4747.

      You are strong (just writing your email is proof of strength) and you are not alone.

       a TEEN LINE teen

       

    • My mom is an alcoholic
    • ×

      My mom is an alcoholic

      17 year old, Male, FL

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:
      My mom is an alcoholic and I just want her to stop. Our relationship is terrible, and I don;t know what to do. My step dad is the same, and won't say anything to her.

      TEEN LINE WROTE:
      Hi, I'm so glad that you contacted us here at TEEN LINE. It sounds like you're feeling anxious about your mom's drinking, as well as your relationship with her. It is never easy to deal with a parent who is also an alcoholic, because their drinking affects their relationship with you, and as a result affects you directly. It is even harder to deal with it alone. I am wondering if you have a trusted adult you could talk to about your situation, such as a relative, teacher, or school counselor. Sometimes talking to a third-party can help you gain insight on your situation, as well as weigh whatever options you have. I also want to give you the number to Alateen, a twelve-step program designed for relatives and friends of alcoholics. Their number is (757) 563-1600, and their website is http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/. It might benefit you to look into local meetings. If you want to talk to us some more, TEEN LINE is open seven days a week from six to ten PM PST. Our number is (310) 855-4673. We are here to listen.

      a TEEN LINE listener

    • My mom has been drinking ALOT
    • ×

      My mom has been drinking ALOT

      13 year old, Female, NV

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:
      My mom has been drinking ALOT. I hate it when she does. She spends all of the family money on it. Shes always drunk. SHe leaves for 6 hours at a time at night. She smells like vodka HORRIBLY. I have to hold my breath around her. She wont stop. None of our family will come over because they dont want her to drink so i never get to see brothers or sisters or nieces... I am embarrassed when friends come over because she smells up the whole house and acts insane... I am so done with it and I dont know what to do...

      TEEN LINE WROTE:
      Hi,
      Thanks for contacting TEEN LINE. It sounds like you're very frustrated with your mother. An alcoholic's lifestyle effects them and the people around them tremendously, and from your email, it seems that you have definitely been exposed to some negatives of your mother's dependence. Have you discussed her behavior with another family member? Maybe with open communication your family can work on getting your mother help. Your mom's alcoholism is not a shameful topic, in fact many kids have parents that struggle with it. They even have programs dedicated to teens in your situation. Alateen is a mutual support group for teens who know alcoholics, and they have locations all around the nation. Here's the website http://www.nevadaal-anon.org/alateenhome.html where you can get information and find a meeting near you. I also encourage you to call us at TEEN LINE to talk. Our number is 310-855-4673, and we are open every day from 6-10pm PST. I hope you know that no matter what you are not alone.

      a TEEN LINE listener

  • Eating Disorders

    • I'm really self conscious about my body and nothing is working to help me change it.
    • ×

      I'm really self conscious about my body and nothing is working to help me change it.

      Female, 17, Minnesota

      Question/Issue:

      I am 17 years old, 140 lbs, and 5'8. I have bigger thighs and I really want to make them thinner because they rub against each other and make me self conscious and uncomfortable. I would also love to tone my stomach and have abs. I do a lot of cardio at my community center and ab workouts, but nothing seems to be working. For the past couple of months I've been dedicated to eating only two times a week, but I do eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner before 8pm. Do you have any ideas on how I could actually see changes in my body and the amount I weigh?

      Teen Line Wrote:

      First of all, I just wanted to thank you so much for reaching out to Teen Line. I'm so glad you took the time to contact us. Struggling with eating, weight, body image, and lifestyle can be so difficult as well as overwhelming and I'm so sorry that you have to deal with this right now.

      I was wondering if you have talked to an adult or friend that you trust about how you are feeling such as a teacher, parent, coach, therapist, or pediatrician. Trusted adults are often good to talk to because they have previous experience and can help to give you advice. If you see a doctor or pediatrician regularly, they may also be able to talk about healthy ways to lose weight.

      Because thinking about body image and weight can be so overwhelming, I was wondering if you would be open to trying out some coping skills. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, it can sometimes feel good to take a hot shower or bath, listen to music you like, hang out with friends, or play with a pet or even keep a special journal just for you where you can write down how you are feeling and what you are thinking.

      In addition to the coping skills, I was hoping you would be willing to look at some resources sort of surrounding body image. The first is this movement on Tumblr called the Internal Acceptance movement. It's basically a body and mind positivity page that I think you might find interesting. The link to their page is http://internal-acceptance-movement.tumblr.com. I also wanted to give you this article from a website called  yourlifeyourvoice.com about this thing called the mirror rule where you work of saying positive things about yourself in the mirror. http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/Pages/tip-the-mirror-rule.aspx. Lastly, I wanted to give you this article from Teen Vogue about 5 body positive things to say to yourself.

      I hope this helps.

    • I might be developing an eating disorder.
    • ×

      I might be developing an eating disorder.

      Female, 18 years old, GA

      Question/Issue:

      I think I might be developing an eating disorder.

      Teen Line Wrote:

      Thank you so much for contacting us at Teen Line, it really means a lot. I'm really sorry that you think you might be developing an eating disorder, because it's never easy to handle stuff like this.

      I was wondering if you had someone to talk to about this. I think having someone to talk to might be really helpful, like maybe a school counselor. Also, a school counselor or your doctor might be able to find you help. No one should have to go through this alone, and I want to make sure that you have someone you can talk to. Because of what's been going on I was wondering if you'd want to check out some coping strategies. Some teens like to meditate or journal, but if neither of those are your cup of tea, here's a good website for some coping mechanisms that could be useful for when you're going through a tough time: 99 coping skills.

      You said that you think you may be developing an eating disorder, and I can totally understand how scary that must be. I want to give you some resources on eating disorders that hopefully can help you understand what's going on. Here is the website for the National Eating Disorder organization, and it has a bunch of information and resources on it that I think could be really helpful to check out. I also want to give you a YouTube playlist by a woman named Kati Morton all about eating disorders that I hope you find useful.

      I also really want to recommend you calling into TeenLine. You can reach us at 310-855-4673 to talk to another teen from 6-10pm PST or you can text "TEEN" to 839863 from 6-9pm PST. We would really like to hear more about your situation so we could help you further. I also encourage you to check out the Teen Line message board where you can share your story and check out stories similar to yous written by other teens.

      Thank you again for reaching out and I really hope you find the help that you deserve.

    • I feel like I am too fat
    • ×

      I feel like I am too fat

      17 year old, Female, Canada

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      I feel like I am too fat for anything. So many people including my friends say I am skinny, and that my body looks great. However, deep down I feel ugly and fat. I often complain about my weight and how unhappy I am with my shape. I tried everything to get rid of  my extra belly fat but it won’t go away. My mom agrees and she thinks I could lose a few pounds. What can I do? This has affected me so much, and I feel I am too ugly to even have a boyfriend. I always turn down any potential guy because of my insecurities. I feel that if a guy asks me out it would be as a joke. Please Help me.

      TEEN LINE WROTE:

      Thank you for contacting TEEN LINE. I am so sad about what are you are going through and how you don't feel comfortable with your body. Having your friends not agree with you can get annoying and frustrating. It also makes me really sad that your mom does not support you. You don't deserve to be treated like this. You can try talking to your friends and explain to them how you feel, so they understand you. Also, don't forget that appearances aren't everything. What also matters is what is inside like your personality. You sound like a great girl and who deserves people in your life that make you happy. You mentioned about your eating and I am concerned that you may not be eating healthy. If you would like to check out resources that deal with this you can go to www.nationaleatingdisorders.org. If you just want to talk about this you can contact TEEN LINE at 310-855-4673. You can also post on the TEEN LINE Message boards, which is a teen forum where teens can talk to other teens with similar situations. I hope everything goes well and thank you for contacting TEEN LINE!

      a TEEN LINE teen

    • I have been depressed for a while.
    • ×

      I have been depressed for a while.

      15 year old, Female, FL

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      I have been depressed for a while. I reached my limit, to the point where I will stop eating. I can’t look at myself in the mirror and I do not consider myself to be pretty. Ever since I was in the sixth grade my biological mother taunts me about my weight. I have been going through so much lately, and since December I have been eating on and off. I lost thirty pounds but today when I weighed myself it shows that I gained back ten pounds. I do not know what to do. I still feel horrible inside and out; everyone is worried about me including myself

      TEEN LINE WROTE:

      Hello _____,

      I want to thank you for reaching out to Teen Line. It takes a lot of courage to tell someone about this. It sounds like you are feeling very upset about your body and your weight. You mentioned that your feelings have started to affect your eating habits. I imagine that it must be very hard for you not to think that you are pretty, and to have your mother taunt you about your weight. I wanted to let you know that what your mother is doing is not okay and that nothing that you could do would make you deserve to be treated like this. You mentioned that you lost 30 pounds by eating on and off. I wanted to let you know that eating disorders can be dangerous and can have long term effects on your health. It must be so scary for you to have so many people including yourself worried about you and your eating habits. Sometimes talking to a trusted friend or adult can be helpful to sort out your feelings. If you don’t have someone in your life you feel you could talk to about this, you can always call in to Teen Line. We are open from 6 pm-10 pm PST. The number to call is 310-855-4673. We also have a message board on our website that you could post on to talk with other teens facing similar issues. If you want to talk more about your eating habits, you can contact the National Eating Disorder Association. They are open from 9am to 5 pm EST. Their number is 800-931-2337. I really encourage you to call in to this hotline because they have great resources and provide valuable support.

      Best Wishes,

      a TEEN LINE teen

    • I have an eating disorder and depression...
    • ×

      I have an eating disorder and depression...

      15 year old, Female

      TEEN LINE QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      I need serious help. I have an eating disorder and many other too along with depression and self harm. I stress about everything and experience anxiety/anger attacks almost daily. I can’t talk to my parents about & the only people trust are friends I met online. I can only meet my best friend in four years, that is if one of us doesn’t kill ourselves. I have big dreams but I’m not talented enough to achieve them. Everything keeps getting worse. I’ve tried to kill myself twice. One of them was two days ago. I don’t know what to do. My life has no meaning and I have no reason to stay. Please help me if possible

      TEEN LINE WROTE:

      Hi ______,

      Thank you for contacting us here at Teen Line, it takes a lot of courage to open up about how you're feeling and what you're going through.  It sounds like you've been going through some very overwhelming times.  I can only imagine just how much stress you've been under, from coping with your eating disorder, depression, anxiety and anger attacks, and self harm.  I'm so sorry to hear that you can't talk to your parents about what you're going through, but I'm glad that you trust the friends you've met online.  Would you ever consider opening up to them about what you're going through?  I'm really concerned about you,  and I want to make sure that you're okay.  Although self harm is a way to cope with all your pain, there are other possible ways to cope, and I'm wondering if you'd be willing to try them.  For example, I'm wondering if you've heard about the Butterfly Project?  To read more about it in detail, you can check out: http://butterfly-project.tumblr.com/.  In short, you would draw a butterfly on the part of your body where you would normally self harm, and name it after someone who cares about you.  Then, when you feel like self harming, you can look down at wherever you would harm yourself, and remember that someone in your life loves you and cares about you, and wants you to get better.  Also, www.self-injury.net is another great place to find information and support on self-harm.

      I'm wondering if you've ever tried physical exercise, listening to music, or journaling about how you're feeling?  Those activities or other activities similar to those can often help keep you occupied, which can help you cope with everything.  I hear you not trusting a lot of people, but being able to talk about how you're feeling is really important.  If you' ever feel like everything gets too unbearable and you're thinking of committing suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and (800)784- 2433, where someone will always be able to help you.   You've been going through so much, but the fact that you're reaching out for help like you just did, is an AMAZING first step.  If you ever want to talk to someone about your eating disorder, you can always call the National Eating Disorder Association at (800) 931- 2237, open M-F 9am-5pm EST.  Also, if you ever want to talk to a teen about what you're going through, please feel free to call our hotline at (310) 855-4673, open 6-10pm PST.

      Hang in there.

      Sincerely,

      a TEEN LINE teen
    • I have depression and anxiety.
    • ×

      I have depression and anxiety.

      14 year old, Female, MA

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      I have depression and anxiety. I take medication for both, but nothing helps. Every day all I can think about is death. Nothing good ever happens to me and if something good does happen, it immediately gets knocked down again by something bad. I’m not pretty or skinny like the girls at my school. They’re all happy, rich, have boyfriends and good looking bodies. I’m sick of looking at my disgusting body and my repulsive self. Nobody even cares about me or how I feel. I just want my life To be over.

      TEEN LINE WROTE:

      Hi ______,

      There is so much going on in your life right now, and I really want to thank you for emailing us. It sounds like you are feeling really alone and like you have no one to talk to, which I know can be really difficult.  Feeling like no one is there for you when you are always there for others is really disappointing and discouraging. It seems like you are comparing yourself to people quite a lot, and I know how painful that can be.  I know its hard to see people and think, why can't my life be more like theirs or why can't I be more like them, but sometimes, people who look like they have it together are really having a hard time. You mentioned that you are feeling suicidal and I have to say, that really worries me.  I'm wondering if there is anything you like to do that really makes you happy, like a sport you really enjoy or a club at school you are passionate about.  I'm wondering if there is anything else you could do to help you cope, like write in a journal or draw.  Sometimes it helps to just get your feelings out on paper.  I also really want to encourage you to speak with a trusted adult about how you are feeling.  Someone like a parent or maybe an aunt or uncle you are close with, if you would feel comfortable doing so.  You can also call the suicide prevention hotline.  They are open 24/7 and their number is 877-727-4747.  Feel free to call us as well.  We are open everyday from 6pm to 10pm PST and our number is (310) 855-4673.

      a TEEN LINE teen

       

    • I just can't cope like this on my own anymore.
    • ×

      I just can't cope like this on my own anymore.

      14 years old, Female, United Kingdom

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      i self harm, run away, push away my friends and family, always put depressing statuses on facebook, have suicidal thoughs, and starve well ’try’ to starve myself, i just cant cope like this on my own anymore and i think its time to come out of my closet and tell someone so i looked at chat rooms on the internet and i found this, can you help me?

      TEEN LINE WROTE:

      Hi ______,

      Thank you so much for contacting us here at TEEN LINE. I am so sorry to hear what you are going through, and it must be so difficult having those thoughts often, and that can be very frustrating. I know you say you have felt like killing yourself, and maybe it's hard to see that your family, friends and other people really care about you. Also, its good to remember that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Have you tried talking to someone trusted about this? Someone like a family member, a school counselor, a good friend, therapist, etc? It is really important to talk to someone face to face about this and let your emotions out, because it can be really beneficial in a positive way and I really care about your well-being. I want to refer you to www.self-injury.net, which can help you with your cutting. For when you want to run away, I encourage you to check out http://makerunawayssafe.org.uk/ and they can help you make safe decisions the next time you might want to run away. And about wanting to starve yourself, I want to refer you to www.nationaleatingdisorders.org. You can also call the Samaritans when you are feeling suicidal, and they are available to you 24 hours a day and their number is 08457 90 90 90*, and they do charge. Here at TEEN LINE we also have a great thing called messageboards, at www.teenlineonline.org/boards and it is something where you can read and respond to people dealing with a similar situation as you. Thank you so much for contacting us here at TEEN LINE, and it is a big step forward into helping you solve your situation.

      a TEEN LINE teen
    • There’s times where I feel like I’m not important
    • ×

      There’s times where I feel like I’m not important

      13 year old, Female, NC

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      There’s times where I feel like I’m not important and I feel like committing suicide  so I can leave this world.  I have problems about my body and I'm always thinking of other ways to kill my self.  What can I do?

      TEENLINE WROTE:

      Hey _______,

      I'm so glad you contacted us at TEEN LINE. It sounds like you're feeling very overwhelmed and upset, and it makes me worried to hear that you're feeling that way! I would strongly encourage you to tell a parent or any other trusted adult about how you're feeling. You don't deserve to be feeling like this, and I want you to feel better. Writing in a diary or talking to a friend could really help you lift some weight off your shoulders. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and I believe that you can get through this.

      You mentioned you constantly think of ways to kill yourself, and that worries me. I want to give you the number to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline in case you're thinking of hurting yourself. Their phone number is 1(877) 727-4747. Don't hesitate to call.

      Call us in here at TEEN LINE, we would love to talk more in depth with you about what you're going through. Our phone number is 1(310) 855-4673 and we are open from 6p.m.-10p.m. PST.

      Hope to hear from you soon, stay strong.

      a TEEN LINE teen

    • I’ve had this eating problem for about 3 years.
    • ×

      I’ve had this eating problem for about 3 years.

      16 years old, Male, Aus

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      I’ve had this eating problem for about 3 years. I just hate the way I look, so I don’t eat. I have a BMI of 17.3, which isn’t too bad, I guess, but It’s been causing me to develop health issues. I sleep more and work less; I’m always in a horrible mood. And recently, I’ve started having suicidal thoughts. I’ve been cutting myself repeatedly, wishing I could die, simply because I’m ugly. I have no reason to live. I just want help, but there’s no one that cares.. I want to die most hours of the day.

      TEENLINE WROTE:

      Hi _____,

      There is so much going on in your life right now and I really want to thank you for emailing us.  It sounds like you feel like you have no one to talk to, which can be very isolating, so I really think its great that you reached out for help, it shows how strong you are.  You mentioned that you haven't been eating because you hate the way you look.  Not eating isn't healthy, and I have to say, I'm really worried about you.  It seems like you are really self-aware, and you have noticed how not eating is affecting you.  I know you said you feel like no one cares, but I'm wondering if there is someone you would feel comfortable talking to, like a trusted adult or family member, or maybe a school counselor.  I also want to give you the number to an eating disorder hotline based in Australia.  They are called the Butterfly Foundation for Eating Disorders, and they are there to talk to you.  Their number is 1800-33-4673.

      You also mentioned you were having suicidal thoughts, which also worries me.  I want you to know that suicide is not the answer and that things always have the capacity to get better. I want to give you the number to a hotline based in Australia.  They're called Samaritans and they are there to talk to you. Their crisis number is 08 9381 5555 and their youth line's number is 08 9388 2500 and they are both open 24/7.

      You also mentioned you are cutting.  It sounds like you are using it as a coping mechanism to deal with everything that is going on in your life.  I'm wondering if there is anything else that you can do to cope, like drawing, playing a sport, taking walks, or listening to music.  I'm also wondering if there are any other things you can do instead of cutting, like drawing on yourself when and where you feel the urge to cut with a red pen or writing in a journal just so you can get your feelings out on paper.  I also want to give you the link to www.self-injury.net.  They are a website about self injury, and they have more coping mechanisms, information, and success stories about people who have been able to stop self harming.

      It really sounds like you are being hard on yourself, and a lot of the time, that can make you feel really bad.  I really want to encourage you to try being kind to yourself, which is easier said than done, but maybe just pick a part of yourself that you like, like your hair or your personality or something, and just go from there. Its really hard when you have high standards for yourself, and you feel like you aren't meeting them, but you seem really smart, and definitely strong because you were able to reach out for help, which is something not many people can do.  It takes a lot of courage to do that. Unfortunately, we cannot take calls from Australia, but Samaritans is really great, and I really want to encourage you to give them a call.  I really hope that everything works out for you.

      a TEEN LINE teen

       

       

    • I think my friend may be developing an eating disorder.
    • ×

      I think my friend may be developing an eating disorder.

      15 year old, Female, FL

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      I think my friend may be developing an eating disorder. She is constantly expressing to me and our group of friends how she wishes she was skinnier, and that she was pretty, and so on. One time she told us that she has started skipping meals to help with her”diet”. I am very worried about her, especially since her parents don’t monitor her very well. They are extremely oblivious. I don’t know what to do to help her. We have tried telling her the side effects of things like eating disorders, but it goes in one ear and out the other. Please help! She is so gorgeous and I hate to see her like this. She deserves better than what she is giving herself.

      TEENLINE WROTE:

      Hey _________________,

      First of all, thank you so much for contacting us here at TEEN LINE. It seems like you are very concerned about your friend and what is going on in her life right now. You mentioned that your friend wishes that she were skinnier and comments on other girls' sizes. That must make you feel so worried since you have been noticing her not eating. You also mentioned that she is telling you and your group of friends that she is skipping meals to help with her "diet". This must make you worry because you don't want your friend to go through something like this. Especially that her parents are totally oblivious to the fact that she is skipping meals and is concerned about her weight. First and foremost, I would suggest for your friend to speak with a trusted adult that she feels comfortable enough talking with about this issue. If  she does not have such support system then I encourage her to reach out to us at TEENLINE. If she is open enough or comfortable enough to call TEENLINE directly so she can discuss this more openly to get a further understanding of what is going on with her. We are open from 6 pm- 10 pm (PST) everyday of the week. You can call in at 1(310)-855-4673. You can also suggest to call the National Eating Disorder Association at 1 (800)- 931- 2237. This association can give her further referrals or information more on eating disorders. They are open from 9 am-5pm (EST). Again, thank you so much for reaching out to us here at Teen Line and I wish you and your friend the best.

      Sincerely,

      a TEEN LINE teen

  • Gay, Lesbian, Bi & Transgender

    • TEEN LINE FOUNDATIONS Pt 16: Community Connections Continued- LBGTQ
    • ×

      TEEN LINE FOUNDATIONS Pt 16: Community Connections Continued- LBGTQ

      In honor of our 35th Anniversary, Dr. Leader shares her memories of the early days of Teen Line in a series we like to call…

      TEEN LINE FOUNDATIONS
      By Elaine Leader, Ph.D., CGP, BCD, FAGPA

      Chapter Sixteen: Community Connections Continued - LGBTQ Community

      One of our most important and rewarding connections has been with the LGBTQ community and on so many different levels and in varied settings.   As I think back over the years there is so much to write about it is hard to know where to begin!   In addition to launching an LGBTQ outreach to working with Project 10 (forerunner to the Gay/Straight Alliance) to my participation on important Task Forces.
      There were two important Task Forces that impacted LGBTQ Youth.  One was with the State Department of Education.  This required taking flights to Sacramento to give input to amend the law requiring California schools be responsible to combat discrimination.  The amendment was to include sexual orientation and gender identity along with religion, ethnicity, etc.   We were successful.  We then followed this with conducting anti-bias trainings for LAUSD school administrators, counselors and faculty.  We were part of a team with Project 10, the Alliance for Children’s Rights and Human Rights Watch to which we provided an LGBT youth as one of the team.
      Another meaningful Task Force we attended was held at the Edelman Childrens’ Center. This was the Task Force to End Homophobia.  These meetings were a very meaningful experience.  It helped us to fine tune our LGBTQ Outreach while giving us the opportunity to collaborate with other organizations with the mutual goal of ending prejudice against LGBT teens and homophobia.   I became friendly with Michael Ferrara who consulted me about his wish to start a mentoring program for LGBTQ students which he called Lifeworks Mentoring.  He has since achieved much more and has grown his program to become an essential component of the LGBT Center.
      In the early 90s we featured a panel of lesbian, gay and transgender teens at our annual Food for Thought Luncheon.  Our honorees were Ellen DeGeneres and her mother Betty.   This was an outstanding and moving event as Ellen had just lost her TV show when she had come out as a lesbian on it.  This spurred two of our teen panelists to want to be part of an LGBTQ outreach to speak to students.   It became our Sheldon Andelson Growing up Gay Outreach and an integral component of our educational outreaches.

      ellen-degeneres-teen-line
      I would be remiss if I did not include a very important relationship that continues to this day.  I first heard about Project 10 from doing regular outreach at Fairfax High School.   It was the mid-80s when Virginia Uribe started Project 10 at Fairfax High as a lunchtime venue for gay students to connect and to feel valued.  This led to my meeting Gail Rolf who had started a similar program at another LAUSD school.  Gail became an important speaker for educating our teen volunteers about LGBT issues and a good friend of mine and Teen Line’s. She and Virginia went on to develop the Models of Pride annual conference for LGBTQ youth at which we have always participated with a suicide prevention workshop and a resource table.  This annual conference is now held at USC to which over 1,000 youth attend at no cost and sponsored by Lifeworks.
      Although there have been many positive changes in our community with regard to acceptance of LGBTQ youth there is still much more to be done.   Just two years ago we had to move our annual luncheon from the Beverly Hills Hotel to the Sony Pictures Lot when we learned that the hotel owner, the Sultan of Brnuei, came from a country that stoned gay people.  This revelation led to a lot of media coverage. We had seven days to make the change which turned out to be one of our most successful events.
      On a final note I want to urge you to view our LGBTQ video on the Teen Line website – we are very proud of this video and want to thank the Matthew Silverman Foundation for funding it.

      lgbtq-video-teen-line

      Miss an earlier Foundations Blog? Catch up here:

      Pt 1 – Birth of a hotline

      Pt 2 – Training begins

      Pt 3 – Early Challenges

      Pt 4 – Resourcing RAs

      Pt 5 – Blowing our horn

      Pt 6 – Community Policing

      Pt 7 – See how they run

      Pt 8 – Food for Thought Luncheon

      Pt 9 – Food for Thought Luncheon Continued

      Pt 10 – Community Connections

      Pt 11 – Community Connections Suicide Prevention Network

      Pt 12 – Community Connections Matthew Silverman Memorial Foundation

      Pt 13 – Community Connections Matthew Mezza Memorial Fund

      Pt 14 – Community Connections Didi Hirsch

      Pt 15 – Community Connections Violence Prevention Coalition

    • I'm worried about my grandparents kicking me out because I'm bisexual.
    • ×

      I'm worried about my grandparents kicking me out because I'm bisexual.

      13 year old, Female, Canada

      TEEN LINE QUESTION/PROBLEM:  I've been losing sleep because im worried about my grandparents kicking me out because I'm bisexual im letting my health drop massively i haven't been able to eat i just am tried of hiding myself and worrying about being called a slut by my grandparents yes they are religious please help.

      TEEN LINE WROTE:

      Hi                          ,

      Thank you for contacting Teen Line. I am so glad you found us to contact.
      It must be so difficult to fear about your grandparents kicking you out because you are bisexual. It seems like they are not accepting of your sexual orientation because of their religious beliefs. It must be such a horrible feeling to know that members of your family are not accepting you for who you truly are. It is must also be so hard to have this matter affect your health and eating patterns since your health and well-being is very important. I also wanted to let you know your sexual orientation does not mean that you are any of the mean or cruel things that anyone might say that you are.
      I am wondering if you have ever spoken to another adult about this, such as a school counselor, teacher, or someone else in your family. If you are comfortable talking to anyone of these adults, they may be able to talk to you through this issue and help you with it. I also highly encourage you to call the GLBT National Youth Talk Line (Monday-Friday 1-9 pm PST). Their number is 800-246-7743. You can also email them at youth@gltbnationalhelpcenter.org or visit their website at www.glnh.org. For extra support, you can always call our Teen Line Hotline as well. Our phone number is 310-855-4673 (6pm-10pm PST 7 days a week).
      I know that you currently have a safe place to stay, but I also wanted to give you another phone number in case you are not able to stay at your grandparents' home. The National Runaway Safeline will provide you with a safe place to stay if you are ever not able to stay at your home. Their number is 800-786-2929 (24/7) and their website is www.1800runaway.org
      Thank you for emailing us at Teen Line.

       

      a TEEN LINE teen
    • I am 11 and I think I may be trans.
    • ×

      I am 11 and I think I may be trans.

      11 year old, Trans, Georgia

      TEEN LINE QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      I am 11 and I think I may be trans. See I am comfortable with my body which is female, but I like to dress and be more male. My mom doesn't really let me be my true self so it is hard for me to figure out who I am even if I am young. I just want to know who I am so I can be me in middle school. Since I will be in the 6th grade this year. Do you have any ways to help me know if I am trans.

      TEEN LINE WROTE: 

      Hi                    ,

      Thanks for contacting Teen Line, it was so brave of you to reach out & I hope I can help!
      It sounds like you're having a hard time figuring out your gender identity and finding your true self. You're definitely not alone-- for many people, figuring out a label that fits their gender can take some time. It sounds like you're feeling pressured, but please know you don't have to figure it all out right now. It can sometimes be difficult or confusing, but I hope that you'll be comfortable and proud of whatever you discover about yourself! And it's awful that your mom isn't letting you express yourself the way that you want. No matter how old you are, it's really wonderful that you have the courage to discover who you are and try to live as your true self.
      I can't decide for you if you're trans, but I do want you to know that no matter what your mom or anyone else might say or do, whatever you feel is right is the truth. For example if you feel like a male, then you simply are one, whether or not people doubt you or if you transition through wearing different clothes, changing pronouns, taking hormones, etc. I'd also like you to know that it's totally okay if you think you're one identity, and then change your mind later. Whatever gender you feel fits you in the moment is valid, and that label is just for you to decide.
      One resource that I hope you'll find really helpful is the transgender teen survival guide blog. It has lots of lists of resources,articles, and a page specifically to figure out 'What Am I?' that I think will help you discover your identity. They actually have a helpful flowchart for gender identity too. The flowchart also has great definitions and individual resources for each identity so you can learn more. I also recommend looking for some videos on YouTube since there are lots of trans teens that talk about their own experiences of being a trans person and realizing that they were trans. Another site that may be helpful is TSER (Trans Student Educational Resources). They have a list of sites with more resources, a short dictionary of terms that may be helpful. I'd also like you to know about TrevorSpace, which is a safe LGBTQ social network where you can connect with other teens. Lastly, the Teen Line message boards actually has a space to talk about gender/sexuality-- you can talk about your own experiences of questioning and read about other peoples' stories too.
      If you ever want to reach out to Teen Line in the future, please text TEEN to 839863 or call 310-855-4673 any night from 6-10pm PST. So you know, we can't reply to another email.
      Thank you again for contacting Teen Line, I hope everything works out for you! :)
      a TEEN LINE teen

       

    • The memory and meaning of Matthew Shepard, 16 years later.
    • ×

      The memory and meaning of Matthew Shepard, 16 years later.

      It's hard to believe #MatthewShepard would have been turning 38 this coming December. CLICK HERE to read Matthew Shepard's story. 

      [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="484"] Matthew Shepard[/caption]

    • I have had the growing assumption that I am bisexual
    • ×

      I have had the growing assumption that I am bisexual

      14 year old, Female, NY

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      I have had the growing assumption that I am bisexual for some time now. I want to meet other bi or lesbian girls. However, I'm not ready to come out about my sexual orientation because I am afraid that no guys will ever be interested in me if I do. I'm not butch, and I don't feel attracted to any girls that try to look masculine. This is a really confusing time for me and I don’t really know what to do. Any suggestions on how I can give both dating guys and girls a chance?

      TEEN LINE WROTE:

      Hi ­­­­­_______.

      Firstly, thank you for reaching out to Teen Line. It takes a lot of courage to open up about something so intimate but I appreciate you entrusting me with your story. It's understandable that you'd be worried about how others might perceive you after dating a girl but the people worth being with will be accepting of you and your sexuality. Dating another girl doesn't make you any less of a person. Also, not being attracted to masculinity in females or being masculine yourself doesn't disvalue the relationship. Having a masculine partner is not a requirement for same-sex relationships. All that matters when it comes to this sort of thing is your happiness.

      I encourage you to visit the Teen Line Message Boards or GLNH.org to chat with and gain support from your peers who may have had similar experiences. If You live in the US or Canada the Teen Line Helpline (310-855-4673) is also available on any day of the week between 6 and 10 pm PST to speak with one of our trained Teen Counselors.

      Again, thanks for contacting Teen Line. I hope this response was helpful and I wish you all the best.

       

      a TEEN LINE teen

    • I've been in different stages of depression.
    • ×

      I've been in different stages of depression.

      17 year old, Male, NM

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      Hello Teen Line, the simple act of writing this message is a great relief to me. I have been in different stages of depression. For the past 4 years now I have encountered many problems and I just don’t know what to do. It all started 4 years ago when my mother had come out of the closet. My parents were never married and I had been originally spending weekdays with mom and weekends with dad. However,  when my mother came out my whole life rocked and shifted. She had fallen madly in love with her partner, sometimes leaving me 4 or 5 nights out of the week at my grandmother’s house so she can go see her. I felt so alone and abandoned but my grandmother comforted me. This went on for about two years, until she announced that she and her partner had bought a house together. I was quickly taken away to the next town over where I was miserable at the new house. Although I was in the same house as my mother I still felt ignored because she would never leave her partner's side. It got to the point that I told her I couldn't handle it anymore, and had the visitation rights revised so I could spend a week at my dad’s and a week with my mom. Overall I was still very unhappy and It got to the point where I had contemplated suicide. In addition to all of my family problems and thoughts of suicide I have come to discover my sexual orientation. At first I thought I was bisexual but actually now I am leaning towards being gay. I am so ashamed and I cannot tell anyone because I am scared that people won’t like me. Despite everything I feel that this message has given me tremendous help in the sense that someone might read it and I will not be the only one in the world who knows these things. Even if you cannot offer advice I am at ease because at least someone will read it. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you and the entire organization.

      TEEN LINE WROTE: 

      Hey ____,

      I'd first like to thank you for contacting us here at Teen Line and I wanted to let you know that you are so brave for reaching out. I'm so glad that writing to us has given you some relief and we are more than happy to provide support to you during this time. You mentioned that your depression has been going on for four years and it started when your mom came out and you also said it has gotten worse since she moved in with her partner, from what you're saying it sounds like you feel alone and everyone deserves to be acknowledged and heard. I'm so sorry you felt so alone or miserable and I wanted you to know that you are so strong for fighting through all of this. Some websites I suggest you take a look at are:  http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?pid=194&srcid=-2  This one is about   parents, families, friends, and allies for LGBT people, since you mentioned you felt like you couldn't tell anyone about your sexuality. Another thing I suggest is that you find a reliable support group since you feel so alone. If there's a trusted friend, a family therapist, or a school counselor you can confide in them I highly suggest you do so. You said that your belief in God has stopped you in the past from suicide but if those thoughts become too overpowering you definitely should call the suicide prevention hotline which is open 24 hours and they can be reached at 877-727-4747. If you need anymore support you can definitely call in at 310-855-4673 anytime between 6-10 pm PST. Or you can always visit our message boards at http://teenlineonline.org/boards/. I'm so sorry it took us two days to respond to your email and I hope I've been helpful.

      Best,

      a TEEN LINE teen

    • I've always had a feeling that if I were a guy, I'd be happier.
    • ×

      I've always had a feeling that if I were a guy, I'd be happier.

      12 year old, Female, CA

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      So, I've always had a feeling that if I were a guy, I'd be way more happy and more comfortable. For a while I've been saying "I wish I was a guy". I don't seem to fit in with girls. And earlier this year while I was still in 7th grade, I found out what transgender was. I heard of transgender but I never really learned much about what it really was so I searched stuff up, and I related to a lot of people who were transgender but at the same time, I also didn't relate at some points. I just need help because right now my family cannot afford for me to go to therapy. I want to figure this out but I'm just confused in general on what to do. I cut my hair and since I already dressed with unisex and boy clothing. I love how I look as a guy more than how I looked when I looked like a girl; I feel more confident and comfortable. Even after all this I still wouldn't know if I'm actually cis-gender, transgender, or androgynous. Help?

      TEENLINE WROTE:

      Hi _____,

      Firstly, thank you so much for contacting Teen Line. It’s really brave of you to open up to me about what has been going on. I can't imagine how it might feel for you to not be able to fit in with girls, and not knowing what you're feelings mean. I just want you to know that it is perfectly normal to question your gender, and I'm glad that you've started to learn more about it. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to correctly identify whether you're cisgender, transgender, or androgynous, but I think it could really help if you contact the GLBT National Youth Talk Line at 1(800) 246-7743 anytime from 1-9pm PST Monday-Friday. You can talk to them about how you've been feeling, and they can provide you with information, and support. Have you thought about talking to a trusted adult or school counselor? It could be helpful to open up to someone you are close to about how you've been feeling, and it is important to have a stable support system. Also, feel free to contact us at Teen Line at 1(800) 852-8336 or text "teen" to 839863 (6-10pm PST) to talk to a teen about how you've been feeling, and we would be able to help you further.

      Again, thank you so much for contacting Teen Line, and if you keep reaching out, you'll be able to find the help you're looking for. We really appreciate you, and remember: you're not alone.

      a TEEN LINE teen

       

    • I found out that I was a lesbian my senior year.
    • ×

      I found out that I was a lesbian my senior year.

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      Female, 19 years old, IN

      I found out that I was a lesbian my senior year, I recently graduated from high school June 2013, I met this amazing girl named Marta online she lives in Florida I live in Indiana we are in a long distance relationship. We text, call, Skype, etc. every single day. I plan on meeting her December 2013, but there is one thing stopping me from seeing her. My parents don’t know I am gay. I’m scared to tell them. But I want to go visit my girlfriend so bad it kills me. She makes me feel complete. So what do I do ? should I go without telling them, or should I just tell them I’m gay and let them know my plans. I just know my parents won’t support me and won’t let me go. I don’t want to go behind their back, but if that’s what I have to do to see her then I will do it. Am I doing the right thing?

      TEENLINE WROTE:

      Hi ________,

      Thank you for contacting us at TEEN LINE. It must be so hard to feel like you cannot confide in your parents about your sexuality. It sounds like you care about your parents and you are afraid that they won't be supportive. I think it's great that you have accepted your sexuality. I understand that it's difficult to reveal this to your parents, and if you have someone you can talk to, maybe talking it out would help. I can see that you really want to go see your girlfriend, and that your parents might not be open to your sexuality, but you shouldn't be forced to do anything that you are uncomfortable with. I would appreciate it if you could call us at TEEN LINE at (310)855-4673 from 6pm to 10pm pst. We are here for you and can help you with anything you want to talk about. Another hotline that might help is the GLBT National Youth Talkline where you can get peer-counseling about coming out and parent issues at 1(800)-246-7743 from 1-9pm PST on Mondays through Fridays. Another great program is the Trevor Line which specializes in preventing LGBTQ suicide and you can call them at 866-488-7386.

      a TEEN LINE teen

    • I'm gay and I haven’t told anybody about it.
    • ×

      I'm gay and I haven’t told anybody about it.

      14 year-old, Male, Canada

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      I'm gay. I haven’t told anybody about it and it makes me scared thinking about how my friends and family would react. I don’t want them to ignore me, or even worse to hate me. I just don’t know what to do about it. To me, it feels wrong that I look at the guys more than the girls in my class, and I can’t stand it. I keep hoping that one day, everything will change and I wouldn’t be this way anymore. But i’ve been saying that for the past year now, and i’m starting to give up hope. I’ve been trying to tell my sister about it, but I keep distracting myself with something else. She’s the absolute first person that I would talk to, if I had a problem. But I just get really nervous when i’m about to tell her about this one. Plus, I figure that she would understand more about it, because she told me that she was bisexual. I was planing to tell her, but she left for vacation, and won’t be back for a couple of weeks. I just really wanted to tell someone about it. What should I do?

      TEENLINE WROTE:

      Hi ______,

      It seems like you are having a really difficult time accepting what you are feeling right now. It must not be easy feeling very uncomfortable talking about something that has been on your mind for a while. I want to let you know that however you feel towards guys or girls is perfectly okay. There is nothing wrong at all with being gay and I can assure you there are many teens out there who are going through similar situations. Ultimately, You aren't alone. I am really glad to hear you have your sister's support and I know it must be hard to have her absent right now. I would suggest calling the LGBT National Youth hotline at 1 800 246 7743. For more information about them, their website is glnh.org. In addition, is there a school counselor that you could talk to this about? They are a 100% confidential and could possibly help your situation. You can also call us at TEEN LINE at 310 855 4673.

      Thinking of you,

      a TEEN LINE teen

    • I am bi-sexual.
    • ×

      I am bi-sexual.

      18 year old, Male, TX

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

       I have just recently been honest enough with myself to come to terms that I am bisexual. I don’t just mean sexually attracted to both genders, but I can also see myself in a deep relationship with both genders. Right now I am going through a bit of an issue though. My (male) best friend is just coming to terms with being bisexual as well, and I feel very close to him, especially sharing this common struggle. I have yet to tell him that I myself am bisexual, and am afraid of what it will do to our friendship. On one hand, I feel like it could only help us to become closer, and to possibly begin a deeper relationship in the near future, but at the same time, part of me thinks that telling him while he is going through his own struggle could put us more apart. I don’t want to lose him, especially because of how I feel about him, now romantically. I am just not sure of what to do right now, and I know that no matter what I choose, it won’t be easy. What advice could you give me to approach the situation?

      TEEN LINE WROTE:

      Hi _______,

      I wanna thank you so much for contacting Teenline with your problem. It’s a very brave and difficult thing to do. I'm very happy that you are able to come to terms with yourself, and admit that you are bisexual; that's a very hard thing to do, and demonstrates great courage. It sounds like you are very confused about what to tell your friend, and can see both good and bad scenarios playing out. One thing that might help is to check out the website http://www.glbtnationalhelpcenter.org. This website is helpful in helping LGBT youth make difficult decisions like this one. You might also want to call Teenline, our number is 310-855-4673. We are open every night from 6:00pm to 10:00pm PST. Another option is to talk to someone who know personally and trust, like a parent, or friend, or school counselor, who can give you more firsthand advice on your situation. If you do not feel comfortable doing these things, you might be interested in writing about your feelings in a journal. Writing is a form of processing thoughts, and perhaps through writing you will be able to come closer to a decision on what to tell your friend.

  • Pregnancy & Birth Control

    • I think I might be pregnant.
    • ×

      I think I might be pregnant.

      14 year old, Female, Minnesota 

      TEEN LINE QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      I think I might be pregnant and I don't wanna tell my parents and I am not sure what to do. I've done research but I just need some advice and what to do.

      TEEN LINE WROTE:

      Hi                 ,

      Thank you for contacting Teen Line, it was very brave of you to reach out!
      It sounds like you're really stressed about possibly being pregnant. I can't imagine how worried you may be about having to tell your parents about it. I hope you have a good support system of people who will support you through this.
      Pregnancy scares can be, well, scary-- but I have some resources that may help you figure out what to do next. Scarleteen is a great website with lots of detailed articles on pregnancy, safe sex, STIs, and more. Thankfully they have a guide to find the right article for you to check out if you're worried you may be pregnant. One thing that is mentioned in these articles is emergency contraception (EC), which may prevent pregnancy within the first 120 hrs since the sexual encounter. I'd also like you to know about Planned Parenthood, and the free or low-cost services they can provide you. On their site you can find the nearest Planned Parenthood where you can get tested or get EC as well as some advice on what to do next.
      I also recommend contacting Teen Line again by calling 310-855-4673 or by texting TEEN to 839863 any day from 6-10pm PST. We also have a message board where you can talk to other teens going through similar situations, and you can get some support while going through this.
      Thank you again for contacting Teen Line,               . I hope things work out for you :)
      Goodnight!

       

      a TEEN LINE teen
    • I need help with pregnancy
    • ×

      I need help with pregnancy

      18 year old, Female, TX

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:
      I need help with pregnancy

      TEEN LINE WROTE:
      Hey, Thanks for reaching out to us here at TEEN LINE. Pregnancy can be really scary to go through alone, so it's really important that you have someone that you trust and feel comfortable talking to such as a close friend, trusted adult, school counselor, or relative. The only way to know whether you're pregnant or not for sure though is by getting a pregnancy test at a local drugstore, or seeing a doctor at a clinic such Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is a great place to go because they can give you pregnancy test and afterwards they can also help you discuss your options. If you don't feel comfortable calling them immeidiatly you can search their website at www.PlannedParenthood.org. On their website you can also find a Planned Parenthood near you. If you ever need someone to talk to please don't hesitate to call us here at TEEN LINE between 6 and 10 PM pst at 310-855-4673.

      a TEEN LINE teen

  • Relationships

    • I told my best friend how I felt about her, she rejected me, and now I feel bad.
    • ×

      I told my best friend how I felt about her, she rejected me, and now I feel bad.

      Male, 13 years old, Canada

      Question/Issue:

      A few days ago, I told my best friend my feelings for her, and she rejected me. I'm feeling bad and that's hard. We're still best friends, but how do I get out of it?

      Teen Line Wrote:

      Thanks so much for contacting Teen Line. I'm so glad you reached out for help. It sounds like you are going through a lot right now. It takes so much courage to tell a girl how you feel about her, and I'm so sorry that you didn't get what you wanted out of it. It must be so hard to be so close to her while she says she doesn't feel the same way. You deserve so much more.

      I understand that it would really bother you to be stuck only being best friends with this girl that you really like. And while it must be really tough for you to experience such a heart-breaking rejection, I really hope you are taking care of yourself. While it sounds like you are not receiving the love that you want from someone so important to you, it is important that you continue self care and surround yourself with people that treat you the way you deserve to be treated. If you noticed that you are feeling overwhelmed by everything that has changed, sad or angry about your best friend, there are many things you could do to help clear your mind. Things like being with people that you love and feel loved by, doing your favorite activities, exercising, listening to music, playing with a pet, watching your favorite show, meditating, or writing in a journal are all things that many find helpful in getting to a better place and gaining peace of mind. Journaling can be especially helpful, as it can help you release all of your thoughts and feelings out of your mind and onto paper. This way, you can better organize and understand your thoughts, and keep from holding everything in.

      Another thing you could do that, like journaling, would help you to release your feelings could be talking to someone that ou trust about everything that has been going on. Especially since it must be hard to talk about these feelings with your best friend. I'm wondering if you have anyone else that you could talk to about this issue. Someone like a sibling, parent, close friend, distant family member, teacher, or school counselor could be really good to open up to. Since these people know you better, they may be able to give you better advice in how you should go about making your relationship what you want it to be.

      You seem like a great guy, and I would hate that the fact this girl (who seemingly really likes being friends with you) wants to keep it at that level is getting you down. You can look into more ways to cope with this problem here https://au.reachout.com/articles/building-coping-skills. You could also check out this online therapist, Kati Morton, who offers advice on anything from sadness, to relationship problems, to abuse: :https://www.youtube.com/user/KatiMorton

      If you feel like talking to another teen about this issue, you are more than welcome to call us at 310-855-4673 or text "TEEN" to 839863 from 6-9pm PST. You are also welcome to contact our message board at  teenlineonline.org/board, where you can chat with people who may be experiencing similar things.

      Again, I'm so sorry that this girl is not ready to take the relationship further right now. I hope you keep in mind that her decision should not make you think any less of yourself, and that her feelings may not be permanent. I truly hope she comes to realize what she is missing out on, and that you keep strong and kept up by the people around you until that time.

      I hope this helped.

    • I'm worried my relationship won't last as long as I hoped.
    • ×

      I'm worried my relationship won't last as long as I hoped.

      Male, 13 years old, TX

      Question/Issue:

      I have a girlfriend but we never really talk. I always look forward to seeing her in the morning, but she's always with her friends and I'm not very social. We barely ever make eye contact and I'm worried that our relationship won't last as long as we thought. What should I do?

      Teen Line Wrote:

      Thanks so much for reaching out to Teen Line. It sounds like what you're going through with your girlfriend would be frustrating and confusing for you. It can be really hard to not feel like someone is putting in the same effort as you are in a relationship.

      I wonder if you've ever tried talking to your girlfriend about how you are feeling. It might be helpful to let her know that you feel disconnected because she may not even be aware you're feeling this way.

      I would also suggest checking out Scarleteen.com specifically the articles relating to relationships. Scarleteen offers some great advice for how to handle confusing relationships. Reading some of the articles on Scarleteen may give you some clarity on what's going on in your relationship.

      It might also be helpful for you to check out Teen Line's message board. The message board is a place where you can talk to other teens just like you who are going through similar things on a safe place online. The link to the message board is teenlineonline.org/board

      I would also think it'd be helpful for you to call in Teen Line so you could talk to an understanding teen about what's going on. The number is (310) 855-4673 and is available to you 7 days a week from 6pm-10pm PST.

      Thanks again for reaching out to Teen Line. I hope you find this helpful.

    • My best friend won't talk to me and I feel like I lost everyone.
    • ×

      My best friend won't talk to me and I feel like I lost everyone.

      Female, 13 years old, CA

      Question/Issue:

      I have managed to make everyone of my friends mad at me and now I feel like I have no one. My best friend won't talk to me and has her friend sending me mean things. I lost the one person I love so much.

      Teen Line Wrote:

      It sounds like you're going through a really hard time, losing your best friend and everyone being mad at you must be so hard. It seems very unfair that your best friend's friend is sending you mean things, that's incredibly childish and uncalled for, she should have the respect for you to talk to you instead of sending her friend to be mean.

      Here are some resources that you may find helpful. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships-communication/conflict-resolution-skills.htm is a web page about conflict resolution skills that may help, the rest of the website is also very helpful. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships-communication/making-good-friends.htm is another good page from the same website about making good friends who will be there for you and help you even when times get tough. http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/Pages/tip-Making-Friends.aspx is one last page about making good friends, you deserve good friends who will understand, be fine, and support you no matter what happens, the rest of the website has a lot more helpful information and 4 ways to contact a national 24/7 hotline you could reach out to and talk to. We also have a website where you can anonymously post about what's going on and how you are feeling and other teens can read, respond, and send support. The website is  https://teenlineonline.org/board/ .

      Here are some things you could try doing that can help you release emotions and stress. Writing a letter to someone about how you feel can really help get it off your chest and when you're done you can either send it, tear it to bits, or burn it in a safe place. The last two will help release stress and emotions on their own with regular paper. Similar to the last one you can just write out how you feel and why on a piece of paper until you've got nothing left to say and then tear or burn it. Throwing, punching or screaming into a pillow in a safe place is a very effective way to get emotions out in a physical way. Doing any form of art is a good way to get emotions and stress out in a very expressive way and when you're done it can give a sense of accomplishment. http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/pages/tip-99-coping-skills.aspx is a huge list with a bunch more things you could try out that can help you feel better in general.

      Thank you for reaching out to us. I hope everything gets better and better every day.

    • I feel like I'm trapped in my parents' responsibilities.
    • ×

      I feel like I'm trapped in my parents' responsibilities.

      Female, 16 years old, TX

      Question/Issue:

      Hi I'm 16 and I feel like I'm trapped in my house helping my mom with her kids. I do online classes because I got in trouble but that was over a year ago now I'm 2 credits behind because all I do is babysit. I wanna get a job and move out when I'm 17 but I don't know if this is possible.

      Teen Line Wrote:

      Thank you for reaching out to Teen Line. I'm so sorry you feel trapped in your house and feel responsible for your mom's kids. It must be so frustrating that you can't get all your credits for schoolwork because you have to babysit.

      I'm wondering if there's anyone in your life you could talk to about this like a friend, teacher, school counselor, etc. It might be helpful to have an ongoing person who you're able to talk to. I would like to give you a couple resources that you might find helpful. The first one is a List of 99 coping skills that you might want to use when you're feeling upset. Another great website for coping is called mindfulnessforteens.com  guided meditations. Here are some articles that might help the communication between you and your mom. Here is an article by Helpguide.org that has Conflict Resolution SkillsHere is another article that talks about ways you can better your communication:  reachout https://au.reachout.com/articles/3-steps-to-better-communication. 

      Lastly, I really want to recommend you calling into TeenLine so we could hear more about your story and help you out further. You can reach us at 800-852-8336 to talk to another teen from 6-10pm PST, or you can text "TEEN" to 839863 from 6-9pm PST. Another great source is our message boards which are located at  teenlineonline.org/boards . Teens from all over can post their stories and comment back to each other. It can be really great to hear what other people are going through and get feedback on your story. 

      Thank you again for reaching out and I really hope everything works out.

    • My ex broke up with me but still contacts me.
    • ×

      My ex broke up with me but still contacts me.

      Female, 17 years old, IL

      Question/Issue:

       So my boyfriend broke up with me in February and at the time I was heartbroken but I got over it quickly. He will text me randomly saying he misses us or misses hanging out with me. Every time this happens I just pretend that I am over it but I don't think I am. I can’t stop thinking about how happy I was. I haven't been the same way since. I don't think I’m depressed but I haven't been happy in a while. He texted me today saying how he hopes I find a great guy but then started talking about how many girls he’s hung out with and that he has hooked up with his ex again. How do I respond to any of that??

      Teen Line Wrote:

      Thank you for contacting TEEN LINE. I'm so glad you took the time to reach out to us. It takes a lot of courage.

      It sounds extremely difficult to not be able to stop thinking about your relationship and how happy you were. It's completely normal to feel that way and think back upon how happy you were when you had the relationship. I'm sorry about how your boyfriend has been talking about the girls he's been hanging out with and his current relationship to you. It must be very frustrating and stressful for you. I wonder if you have anyone you feel comfortable talking to about this, like a trusted friend, adult, or relative. When you need help on responding to what your boyfriend has been talking to you about, talking to a trusted someone can help you earn valuable feedback and advice as well as emotional support.

      Whenever you feel overwhelmed or stressed out about what's going on in your life, listening to music can help distract you from negative thoughts and overwhelming emotions. Journaling is also an excellent way to cope as you write down your thoughts and feelings onto the paper. If you don't like to listen to music or journal, the website http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/pages/tip-99-coping-skills.aspx is a helpful website that lists 99 other activities you can try.

      A website that you may find helpful in getting over your relationship is the website http://www.scarleteen.com/article/etc/getting_through_a_breakup_without_actually_breakinghttp://www.scarleteen.com has a variety of articles and information about romantic relationships and breakups that you may find interesting. You mentioned that you feel as if you haven't been happy in a while. The website http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/when-life-sucks-and-you-feel-like-shit is a website that has methods to make yourself feel better whenever you're feeling down. TEEN LINE is also available by phone at (310) 855 4673 or by text by texting “TEEN” to 839863. If you're not comfortable with calling or texting, you can visit our online message boards at https://teenlineonline.org/board/ to read how other teens like you were able to overcome their situations and even post your own story to get feedback from fellow teens.

    • I was pressured into sending a shirtless picture of myself.
    • ×

      I was pressured into sending a shirtless picture of myself.

      Female, 14 years old, IN

      Teen Question/Problem:

      I was pressured into sending a shirtless picture to this guy. He has pressured other girls before and I don't know what to do to stop him. I was then called a porn star by someone who I thought was my best friend.

      TeenLine Wrote:

      Hey_____

      Thank you for contacting Teen Line.  I'm so glad you took the time to reach out to us. Wow, I can't imagine what you are going through right now.  That guy should have never pressured you into doing something like that and I know that must've put you in a very tough uncomfortable position.  And I can't believe your best friend said that to you!  You really don't deserve that and I am truly sorry.

      I encourage you to talk to an adult or counselor someone you can trust and feel comfortable around to get advice from. I don't want you to feel embarrassed or feel as if something is wrong with you because there is nothing wrong with you and you did nothing wrong. I think talking to someone will really help you.  I also encourage you to talk to another friend about what happened with the guy and your best friend.

      I know that this much cause you a lot of stress and confusion about what happened and how to move on from this and so I want to give you some resources I think you will find helpful.  The website report.cybertip.org is a place where you report incidents that have happened for you in your case of sexual exploitation.  The websites reachout.com and helpguide.org are sites that can help you prevent and deal with anxiety and stress you might be feeling in this situation.  I strongly encourage you to call our hotline 3108554673 to talk to one of us about what you are going through.  I also encourage you to check out our message board www.teenlineonline,org/board where you can talk to other teens who have gone through similar experiences and share your stories and help each other overcome the situations.  I really hope you find what you are looking for.

    • I want my parents to get a divorce.
    • ×

      I want my parents to get a divorce.

      Female, 15 years old

      Teen Question/Problem: 

      My parents are always fighting. They never stop fighting and arguing. This has been going on for almost five or six years now. I know this sounds extremely selfish but them not being able to get along is one of the many things that I just can't handle at the moment because I have tons of other things going on in my head. Listening to them argue sometimes gives me anxiety attacks. I'm thinking about asking them to get a divorce. It's obvious they're not happy together, so I don't see the point in everybody pretending at this point. I have a strong feeling that my mom is only staying with my father for my sister and I. I don't want her to have to endure this any longer than she already has. Am I overreacting? I don't know what I'm supposed to do.

      TeenLine Wrote:

      Hey_____

      Thank you for contacting TeenLine.

      I am really sorry to hear about what has been going on with your parents. You must feel so angry and upset with this going on for such a long time and you have every right to feel the way you do. It can be so difficult when parents are the problem and it is completely normal for you to want them to get a divorce.

      You could try talking with a close friend or close family member like your sister about how you feel and they might have some good ideas. You could also call TeenLine at (310) 855-4673 from 6-10 pm PST where you could talk with another teen about how you feel. You could also text us by texting "teen" to 839863 from 6-10 pm PST or check out our message boards at teenlineonline.org/board/ where you could interact with other teens from all around the world dealing with similar issues. You could also check out mindfulnessforteens.com which has a lot of good ways on how to deal with possible stress you might be having. Another great source is reachout.com which has a lot of different articles on how to deal with family relationships.

      You could do a lot of things yourself to try and feel better about what has been going on. You could try watching your favorite TV show or movie to try and take your mind off of everything. You could also try writing or drawing in a journal which is a great way to express your feelings.

      Thanks again for reaching out to us here at TeenLine as it is great that you are taking the steps to solve your problem. I really hope everything works out.

    • My boyfriend asked me for nude pictures.
    • ×

      My boyfriend asked me for nude pictures.

      18 year old, Female, United States

      TEEN LINE QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      I was dating this boy and about 2 weeks into our relationship he asked me for nude pictures. I didn't think that was a good idea and he also agreed. So about 2 days later he sends me 2 pictures of himself, I deleted them right away because I didn't want to see it. I asked him why he sent me them and he didn't tell me why, he just said "Send me pictures of yourself" and I told him that I wasn't comfortable with doing that but he just kept on asking and asking so I said "sure, but not today" I was hoping that after a few days of ignoring him he would stop nagging and peer pressuring me into doing it. He didn't stop so after about a week, I made the stupidest mistake I've ever made. I sent him 2 pictures of myself. Right after I sent them I knew that I should have not sent them so I politely asked him to delete them off his phone as soon as he got them (I don't know if he did delete them) He didn't answer me back until 2 weeks later when I texted him. The convo. Started like Athis, me: hey. Him: whos this? Me: guess who. Him: i dont know. Him: dont text me again. So i asked him why hes acting like this and what happened. He called me some pretty bad names for no reason and then i asked him to just stop texting me because I was getting tired of it. A couple months later i texted him on Instagram saying that I was sorry for the way I acted when texting him. In May 2016 my local news station did a week long segment on sexting. I didnt even know what sexting was so I watched it and found out that i had sexted my ex-boyfriend and i didnt even know it when i did it. The next day they did another segment on it about a boy who sexted a girl and he was going to court with an attorney because of it. My heart dropped. I didnt even realise that mt state had a law stating that minors sexting each other is illegal. I had never even heard of it until that day. I couldnt believe that i did something illegal and i didnt even know it at the time. What should i do? I cant sleep and im not enjoying life because i keep thinking about how to tell my parents or even if i should tell them. I plan on going into the military when im older but im afraid that my stupid 13 year old mistake will ruin my chances. Please help me, i dont know what to do! My parents will be so mad and they will lose their trust in me! Im afraid i will go to jail for this and have to pay big fines! My family cant afford fines, we are living off my dads paychecks every 2 weeks! Please help me figure this all out. If i could go back to any time, i would go back and not ever send those pictures to him!

      TEEN LINE WROTE: 

      Hey              ,

      Thank you so much for contacting TeenLine. It was so brave of you to open up about the really difficult situation you are facing right now. It sounds like you are experiencing some serious regret of sending naked photographs of yourself to this boy, and torn up about whether or not to tell your parents. It also seems like your ex-boyfriend was putting you in a very uncomfortable situation by asking for said photographs and sending you photos of himself without any consent from you.  I'm really sorry that you had to deal with that.
      I cannot give you advise, nor am I a legal expert, but I can tell you to follow your gut. However cliche it may be, there is much to be said for your instinct, and whatever you think is the right thing to do, probably is the right thing to do. Perhaps instead of your parents, if you're uncomfortable disclosing this kind of information to them, you could talk to a trusted adult, like a guidance counselor, or a teacher about this? Or, if you don't want to talk to an adult, have you considered talking to a friend? It can feel great to talk things out, especially to get a second opinion or angle on the situation. To try and make yourself feel better without anyone else's help, try listening to some calming music. It could be your favorite songs that always make you feel better, or you could try out a new artist you've heard of but never tried. Either way, in my opinion, music is good for the soul.
      You could also watch a good movie, write in a journal, or draw. It makes me really sad to hear you being so hard on yourself. I can tell from your email that you are such a sweet person who had the best intentions and were really pressured into the situation. I want you to know that you are not alone. If you want to talk more about your concerns, try calling us at 310-855-4673 (6PM-10PM PST), or going online to our message boards at www.teenlineonline.org/boards.
      For more support, log on to www.teenmentalhealth.com for more information about mental health in teens, or www.mindfulnessforteens.com for articles about wellness, anxiety, depression, and healing.
      Stay strong, here's a clover for good luck 🍀

       

      a TEEN LINE teen
    • HOW DO I KEEP MYSELF FROM FEELING ALONE?
    • ×

      HOW DO I KEEP MYSELF FROM FEELING ALONE?

      How Do I Keep Myself From Feeling Alone?

      13 year old, IL

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      I want to ask, how do I keep myself from feeling alone and all that. I know I have friends and I want to talk to them but I feel like I annoy them. Then I end up not talking to them and then I feel really alone and then sometimes I ask myself why should I even be here if I am useless. I just want to ask, how do I stop from feeling so lonely and try to stay happy like I used to be years ago... please help.

      TEENLINE WROTE:

      Thank you so much for contacting TEEN LINE. I think it's really brave of you to reach out for help.

      It sounds like you feel very lonely and depressed. Being lonely is really hard to deal with, and it must be really hard to feel like you annoy your friends. It must be really scary and upsetting to feel like you can't talk to your friends because they are people that should support you and stand by you, and it can almost feel like a betrayal if you feel like you don't have their support when you are feeling down. I want to let you know that no matter what your friends make you feel like, you are not useless. You matter and you will always matter. You and your life are so important.

      I wonder if you have tried to tell your friends or family how lonely you are feeling. It can be really helpful to share your feelings with someone who will listen to you that you trust. I would also recommend that you call TEEN LINE 3108554673 (open every day from 6:00 to 10:00 pm PST) or check out the TEEN LINE message board HTTPS://TEENLINEONLINE.ORG/BOARD/ where you can chat with other teens who might be going through similar situations. You can also text "teen" to 839863 which is the TEEN LINE text number. Also, if you are ever feeling lonely or depressed, you should try to do things that normally make you happy (running, singing, listening to music, journaling, etc.), and that might help you to feel a little better.

      Stay strong.

      A TEEN LINE teen :)

    • I used to be bullied.
    • ×

      I used to be bullied.

      13 year old, Female, United Kingdom 

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      I used to be bullied and now I am trying to recover from the pain I went through last year. My “friends” stopped caring about me and they started ignoring me. In addition, they would call me mean names all the time at school. Now I sit by myself during lunch breaks at school. I have reached a low point in my life and I feel so lonely. I DON'T cut, just want to make that clear. Also, I am not normal; l am a gamer and like dark clothing. My style is more alternative and the people I seem to get along with better are boys in my grade. I just don’t want to be alone at school anymore. Please help.

      TEENLINE WROTE: 

      Hey _____,

      Thank you for contacting us here at Teen Line. It sounds like you're feeling pretty lonely and distant from your friends. I know it could be hard to feel this way, especially since it sounded like things had really turned around. I wonder if you have tried making new friends or getting a strong support system, such as a trusted teacher or counselor at school that you could spend breaks with and talk to. I'm glad to hear that you don't cut and that you cope with your problems another way. Having an alternative style, playing video games, and liking dark clothing doesn't make you any less than normal. Your interests and the fact that you are friends with mostly boys is your decision and shouldn't make you feel less than or have you secluding yourself. If you feel like you still need somebody to talk to you can always visit http://www.bullying.co.uk/, which is a local website you can visit to read in on more about bullying. I hope I helped you today and that you can find a strong support system to help you get through this.

       

      a TEEN LINE teen

       

  • Your Body, Sex & STDs

    • I think I'm ugly and have zero self confidence.
    • ×

      I think I'm ugly and have zero self confidence.

      Female, 16 years old, Outside U.S.

      Question/Issue:

      I think I'm ugly and I have zero confidence, and whenever I try to accept myself and finally start loving myself, someone would appear and say I'm ugly. This started to affect my personality and I became a quiet person because I don't even feel like talking to other people because I'm afraid of what they're going to think of me.

      Teen Line Wrote;

      Thank you so much for contacting us. It was really brave of you.  I can't even imagine how hard it must be feeling so uncomfortable and judged. I can't even believe what people are saying to you, it is so rude! Having to deal with your own feelings on top of it must feel impossible. It is so amazing that you started to love yourself, which I am sure took a lot of work, and I can't even imagine what it must be like after someone says something so cruel. I think that it would be really helpful to talk to someone, like a parent, extended family member, teacher, coach, or school counselor.

      I think that you would really like this Tumblr page  internal-acceptance-movement.tumblr.com which is an online community where tips for self-acceptance and healing are shared. This is especially helpful when you feel like no one understands, because other people share their experiences. I also strongly recommend Kati Morton's channel (youtube.com/user/KatiMorton), where she talks about a wide range of topics, including self esteem and coping skills. Many teens love her videos because they suggest many ways to help with what you are going through.

      I also wanted to give you a resource for bullying, because what people are saying to you is totally not okay. (https://www.pacerteensagainstbullying.org/) is a good resource to have. They have a student action plan, and other ways to deal with what people are saying. If you ever need to get your mind off these thoughts for a little, I would strongly recommend meditation. Many teens find it helpful, check out  mindfulnessforteens.com.

      I am not sure exactly where you are located, but I want you to have a hotline to talk to in your area. I have a list of great hotlines ( http://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/). There is also a great chat that is available 24/7 on imalive.org. I personally think that it can be helpful to get your thoughts out by talking. I can also give you our world wide number which is open from 6pm-10pm Pacific time, but long distance charges may apply- (310)855-4673. You can also check out our boards, where teens share their stories and receive replies from others: teenlineonline.org/boards

      Thank you again for contacting us, and i hope you found this helpful.

    • A boy threatened me for more nudes.
    • ×

      A boy threatened me for more nudes.

      15 years old, Female, United Kingdom

      TEEN LINE QUESTION/PROBLEM: 

      Basically I sent a boob involved video to this boy and he recorded on Teen-Chat, and he has threatened me to send more or he will post it on Tinychat. I didn't do as he asked, so he posted them. Someone has recognised  me and has asked him for the full vision and is offering to pay him for it because they hate me. The boy is called            and is 17 from London and the girl is someone in my school with an account on Tinychat called              . I don't know what to do. I'm very scared and I don't want to get into trouble.

      TEEN LINE WROTE: 

      Hi,

      Thank you for contacting Teen Line. It sounds like you're going through a lot right now, and it sounds like everything escalated really quickly. It must be so confusing and stressful, what with this boy threatening and posting a video on Tinychat. It must be so scary to find out that someone is offering to pay him for the full video, especially since they're at your school. I know it can be extremely hard to talk to someone about this, but if you have a trusted adult, like a school counselor or even a close relative, who you trust enough to talk about this, they might be able to really help you get through this. I'm not sure what the laws are in the UK, but in America what he has been doing to you is illegal, and if you were to want to report it, talking to an adult might be able to help you learn about that. But even if you don't want to report it, I just want to let you know that what he's doing is not okay, and I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. In the meantime, distracting yourself with hobbies like journaling, sketching, or even just listening to music might help get your mind off things.
      I'd like to offer a few resources that might help your stress and anxiety in the meantime - I know it can't solve anything, but I hope you'll be able to use these websites. The first is at www.mindfulnessforteens.com which has free meditation exercises that you might find helpful to calm you down should you ever need it. Another website that you might really like is at the Internal Acceptance Movement at www.internal-acceptance-movement.tumblr.com. It's a really great blog with uplifting and body-positive posts that talks a lot about coping with stress that I hope you'll find useful.
      Lastly, I'd like to recommend a good website in the UK which offers a helpline as well as online support, if you would feel more comfortable with that, at www.getconnected.org.uk or 0808 808-4994 which is open from 11am-11pm every day. Talking to a trained counselor through them might be really helpful for you, even if just to relieve stress.
      You're always welcome to check out the Teen Line Message Boards at www.teenlineonline.org/board which has forums where you can talk to other teenagers about what you're going through, since some of them might be in a similar situation. I wish you the best of luck, and I hope you find the help you deserve. Stay strong!

       

      a TEEN LINE teen
    • I found out I was pregnant and thought my father raped me.
    • ×

      I found out I was pregnant and thought my father raped me.

      13 year old, Female, California

      TEEN LINE QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      In march, i found out I was pregnant and at first I thought my father raped me. I didn't have the courage to tell or confide in anyone because I feared being judged. After knowing for a month maybe. I had a bloody miscarriage. I still don't if it was my father who impregnated me. After all I was a virgin and my father was abusive. I just never saw or remembered him sleeping with me. Then my sister got taken away from me and I am just grieving and a worried sister. I've cared for her for practically all her life. Now I can't do my job anymore and I just cry everyday because both of my babies are gone. I love her more than anyone else and it just breaks my heart that I don't know what is happening to her. I reported my father and told them the truth about him molesting me for a reason. She needs to be safe. Then I got scared and took it back.

      TEEN LINE WROTE:

      Hi                 ,

      Thank you so much for contacting Teen Line. It was really brave of you to do so.
      It sounds like your going through a really tough time. It must have been really hard to not confide in anyone when your father raped you because feared  being judged. I'm sorry that you have to go through all of this. You don't deserve to be treated this way or to be going through this. I want to let you know that it is not ok for your father to be treating you like this. It is not your fault in any way.I'm wondering if you've ever tried talking to an adult you trust or friend or even a school counselor can help sometimes with your miscarriage, your father, and even your little sister. It must be really heartbreaking and scary to not know where your sister is and what's happening to her. I'm sorry that you have to experience this.
      Some resources that I highly recommend that you check out are:
      1.Teen Line:1-800-852-8336,where you can talk to another teen about what your going through.
      2. Department of Child and Family Services:800-540-4000, if you dad ever takes things to far again, I highly suggest that you contact the DCFS. There main goal is to focus on safety.
      3.Child Help: https://www.childhelp.org/, where they provide help for people that have been sexually abused.
      4.National Planned Parenthood: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/, they provide and support about sexual activity of any kind.
      5.The Hot Line: http://www.thehotline.org/, they provided help to those who have been raped or assaulted.
      6.Our House: http://www.ourhouse-grief.org/about_us/, there mission is provide the community with grief support services, education, resources, and hope
      7.General Mental Health: http://teenmentalhealth.org/, they provide information about different types of mental health issues.
      8. Teen Line Message Boards: https://teenlineonline.org/board/, where you can talk to other teens going through similar situations.
      Thank you so much for contacting Teen Line. Stay brave!
    • My boyfriend contracted HIV.
    • ×

      My boyfriend contracted HIV.

      18 year old, Female, United States

      TEEN LINE QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      My boyfriend had a heart transplant a few months ago and now has contracted HIV. I’m extremely worried about my health. I have no idea what to do, I can’t talk to my parents about this because they will just scream and say awful things about me. I really could use someone to talk to because I’ve been extremely depressed. I haven’t slept in 3 days because I constantly worry about myself and my boyfriend.

       What are my options? Do I have HIV? Where can I find help at a low cost because I’m unemployed and have no way to get money?

      TEEN LINE WROTE:

      Hey ______,
      Thank you so much for contacting Teen Line. What you're going through sounds extremely difficult, and I can only imagine how scared and concerned you must be feeling. It's extremely unfortunate that your boyfriend got HIV under those circumstances, and it sounds like that must be completely devastating to you and your boyfriend about that occurrence. There are several ways to go get tested for HIV at low cost. I don't know what part of the United States you're from, so here's a resource that I think would be beneficial for you, Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood offers free or low cost STD tests; this depends on your location. You can find more information about Planned Parenthood's STD tests at the following link: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/stds-hiv-safer-sex/std-testing-21695.asp. Have you opened up to any one of your trusted friends and/or adult about this situation you're going through? It's extremely important that you have someone to talk to through this extremely difficult time you’re going through. For additional support, I would like to refer you the Teen Line Boards, at teenlineonline.org/boards. Here, you can talk to fellow teens who are you going through similar situations you are. Some find it beneficial to talk to people they can relate to. Another great resource is our Teen Line Hotline, at (310) 855- 4673. You can call any day from 6 PM - 10 PM PST. I truly hope things work out.


      A TEEN LINE teen

    • I'm a teen insecure about my weight.
    • ×

      I'm a teen insecure about my weight.

      13 year old, Female, WI

      TEENLINE QUESTION/PROBLEM:

      I haven’t been able to lose weight in the past year now. I always feel so embarrassed to be in public sometimes because I’m so insecure. When I look at it, most of my family members are in great shape! All i want is too lose weight and it feels impossible! My mom always tells me, ”Come to the gym with me” or ”Just try to eat healthier” but all my parents buy is junk food! It’s hard to exercise because I was hit by a car last summer and I still get bad headaches and shoulder and neck cramps. It’s really painful when i get these cramps and headaches! I just want to have a better looking body and have confidence. I want to be able to go to the beach and wear a bikini, go to formal events and have a silhouette complimenting dress,wear skinny jeans with out my stomach sticking out or them falling down my waist and wear body complimenting shirts and outfits that show my body in a good way!! I’ve been picked on and messed with for years about my weight and I just want to show all those lame people that i can change myself!! I want my stomach to be flat with skinny legs! I used to look very good until I got sick last march with mono. My doctors said with all the medications I was on and all the time I had to stay in bed and not be active affected my weight. PLEASE HELP ME!!! I JUST WANT TO BE SKINNY!!!

      TEENLINE WROTE:

      Dear __________,

      I can understand where you are coming from. In today’s society there is all that pressure to be thin and people’s perception of the “perfect body”. In the end everyone is beautiful in their own skin regardless if they are a size 2 or a size 10.

      That’s perfect, how about you join your mom at the gym? That is a perfect way to get your daily exercise in. If you are not into the gym then you can try different ways to exercise, such as sports, or dance classes.  Also, it may help if you suggest healthier snacks and groceries so that your parents won’t always buy junk food. The important thing is that you lose weight the healthy way, balanced diet and exercise is the key. If you would like to talk to other teens you can call our hotline at (310) 855-4673 6pm-10pm Pacific Time or you can also create an account on www.teenlineonline.org and communicate via the message boards. Teenline is here to help =)

      Sincerely,

      a TEEN LINE teen

    • Hi my names J___,
    • ×

      Hi my names J___,

      16 year old, Female, US

      TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:
      Hi my names J___, on november 26 I was sexually assaulted by one of me dear friends, someone who I loved seeing everyday, and someone who I was my reason to look forward to school. I had feelings for him. And ge betrayed me. I reported what happened but about 3 days ago I got my last call from the police that they won't press charges because when he was question he seemed remorseful. But I never once got an apologyfrom him. His family doesn't even know what he did. And I have to see him everyday. I just don't know what to do. I have no closure known that I get to suffer while he gets to go on in peace. I dont feel like me anymore. And I'm afraid of men now. I can't go in public by mysel anymore because it's too much for me. I just need help I guess.

      TEEN LINE WROTE:
      Hi,
      I'm glad you contacted us here at TEEN LINE. From what you've shared with us here it sounds like you feel betrayed by someone who you care about, and trusted, which is a very awful thing, and im so sorry that you were hurt like that. I can imagine that you are frustrated by the lack of concern by the police about what he did to you, as well as his lack of remorse. Along with these feelings, it must be very hard having to see him every day. At this point it is really important that you talk to somebody who can help you sort out how you are feeling and can help you choose what steps to take next. A good place to start is with someone like a counselor, teacher, parent, or therapist, perhaps someone who is trained, and can help guide you toward healing. Here is a number to a great organization called RAINN 800-656-4673. They are there to help victims of sexual assault and can be a great resource for you. You can also call TEEN LINE between the hours of 6pm and 10pm pst, our number is (310)-855-4673, if you would like to talk more.

      a TEEN LINE listener