My parents are divorced and my mom used to talk badly about my dad a lot…

I have addressed her about this a number of times but recently it has started to come up again and if I try to tell her that I get really high anxiety when I hear about issues between my parents she just gets mad and snaps at me. I already have an anxiety disorder and this puts a lot of extra stress in my life. Any advice?

Before getting into other options, I am deeply concerned for your safety and want to get a better idea of the situation. I understand that you’re mom snaps at you but what does that look like? Does it get physical?

It sounds like it can be really hard to deal with being caught between your parents and sometimes people in such difficult situations consider suicide or self-harm. Have you been having thoughts of suicide or considered self-harming? I really care about you and if you do ever consider hurting yourself or taking your life please call us at 403-264-8336 for a caring volunteer who can help.

You were so brave to come to us for help and extremely self-aware for recognizing your anxiety and trying to put a stop to it. I think that your anxiety in those situations is completely justified and anyone would be feeling like they wanted that to stop.

Also, you were right to confront your mom about that because you don’t deserve to have to hear about your parents’ problems especially if it makes you feel anxious or uncomfortable. And when she tells you that you can’t tell him about it because he’ll get mad at her is unfair! You should not have to bear her problems on top of your own.

I hope that you know that what is going on is not your fault in the slightest, you have done what you can and reaching out to us was a very good thing to do.

You already took an amazing step in solving this already: courageously telling your story and seeking help, and I am so glad you did that. It might also be helpful to talk it out with someone else, like maybe a friend or a relative. And if you have one, a school guidance counselor can be very helpful as well with finding solutions.

They might be able to suggest further resources as well as offer you continuous support. You may want to consider using a resource called co-parenting. They help families transition as smoothly as possible through the stressful times of divorce. They are meant to advocate for children of separating parents.   You can contact them by phone at 403-238-6063, email at information@coparenting.ca and their website is http://www.coparenting.ca.

In the meantime you could do some activities you enjoy to get your mind off of your anxiety. These may not work for you but when I feel stressed I often read, go for a run, listen to music, watch TV or call a friend but whatever works for you is great. Finally, feel free to chat with us through our website at www.calgaryconnecteen.com or text us at 587-333-2724 during our peer support hours found here or call us anytime at 403-264-8336. A caring and compassionate volunteer will always be there to support you in your time of need.