David’s holiday distress story
When David called Kids Help Phone, he was in immediate and serious danger. A difficult situation over the holidays, a vulnerable time of the year for many kids, left him out in the cold. Thanks to your support, he was able to find help with Kids Help Phone. We worked with him to find a solution and build his confidence and trust in his own strength. Read David’s story below to learn more about how your support opens the door to kids in need.
I really wanted to like my stepdad. When my mom introduced us, he seemed nice. He moved in with us, and they got married a few months later.
Then, things started to change. Anytime something went wrong, he’d say it was my fault. He started hitting me. I tried not to upset him, but the abuse just got worse and worse. Then he started to hurt my mom, too. By then, she was too scared to leave, and besides, we didn’t have anywhere to go.
I didn’t feel safe at home, but I felt safe at school. There, I didn’t have to worry about getting yelled at or being hit. When school holidays started, I lost that escape. And without somewhere to get away from it all, I just snapped.
One night, my stepdad was screaming at my mom, and I jumped in between them and tried to fight back. I was so sure that I’d be able to take him. But I was wrong.
I ended up running away before he could really hurt me. It was the middle of December and freezing, but I didn’t even remember my coat or boots in the chaos. I forgot my wallet, too, so I didn’t have any money. All I had was my phone, so I called Kids Help Phone. I just needed to talk to someone I could trust.
I’d never talked about what was going on at home, but it all came pouring out to Counsellor Duane– how powerless I felt, how exhausting it was to be scared all the time, and how worried I was about what my stepdad would do to my mom without me there.
I remember Counsellor Duane asking me, “Is it really about taking him on? Or is it more about making sure you and your mom get treated with the respect you deserve?” That really changed things for me – it was exactly what I’d been feeling, but couldn’t put into words.
Counsellor Duane talked to me about where I could go that night, and what we could do to change the situation. After talking through my choices, I decided we should call the police. Duane waited on the line with me until the police came. They also went to my house, so we could get my mom to safety. I was so relieved she was okay.
We stayed that night at a family shelter. It felt like such a weight lifted off my shoulders. I can’t tell you how grateful I am that Kids Help Phone was there – not just so I could talk about what was going on, but for the help to make a real plan that would put an end to what my mom and I were going through.