Wednesday 18 November 2015


It's problem page time again on DREAMCATCHER and reader Evie has a heartbreaking question for Honey Tanberry… will you agree with her response?

Evie says:
I don't think you can help with this because I'm not sure anyone can, but I need to tell someone or I will go mad. My brother has just left home, and he is only fifteen and I am worried sick about him. He has gone to live with a friend's family because the rows at home have been too extreme, the last time he threw a chair at a glass door because he was so angry and my dad threatened to throw him out. My brother said he would save him the trouble and went, and he has been away for a week now and I am scared because who will look out for him now? The trouble is because my brother is smoking, and not just cigarettes, and my dad is very strict and is so, so upset. They just keep clashing. Mum says to give my brother a chance to calm down but I am scared he will get into more trouble now he isn't living with us. I have nightmares about it, that the police will come to our door and tell us he has died. Dad won't talk about it and Mum keeps telling me to be patient, but I'm worried sick.

Honey says:
First of all, if you're not in touch with your brother I suggest trying to get a message to him. If you could meet up I think you'd feel more reassured that he's OK and stop imagining the worst. His friends' family are giving him a safe place to stay and it does sound as though he will come home again soon… if some kind of truce can be arranged between him and your dad. A family mediator, a social worker or even a trusted teacher may be able to help with this. I suspect your dad is shocked and scared at your brother's behaviour, but his anger is pushing your brother away… you all need help and support to get through this difficult time. Talk to a trusted teacher and explain what's happening - you need some support, too. Speaking out may help provide the back up your family needs right now and help work a way towards some kind of compromise. You're right, there are no easy answers, but I think your family clearly care very much and that is a strong base to build on for putting the pieces back together. Stay strong and good luck.

Cathy says:
Honey is right, there may not be any instant answers here, but Evie needs to get some support for herself and her family. Family splits like this one can be scary, but they are often temporary… and Evie's mum may be right that having some cooling down time is what is needed most. COMMENT BELOW to add your advice, or send your own problem in through the email link on and mark it DREAMCATCHER PROBLEM.

1 comment:

  1. I was recently involved in this situation in a very different manner. My friend was having problems at home and she left on her 16th birthday to live with my family (with Mum's permission, of course!). Mum said they just needed time to cool down and that we were just providing somewhere to stay in the meantime but I thought it was unlikely that she'd move back to the home she'd left. In the end though, she did. It seems like teens and their parents will never get past their arguments and disagreements but they can. It is possible. Honey is right, mediation from an outside source could really help bring your brother home and I definitely think you should get in touch in the meantime. Remember that although you can't keep an eye on him, he's safe at a friend's house and not sleeping on the streets which is certainly something to be thankful for. Hopefully, being able to calm down in a more neutral place will help and your brother and parents will be able to come to some sort of agreement but until then, just keep in contact with your brother so you know he's safe. Maybe let him know you're worried? I'm sure he doesn't want you to feel that way and will be happy to phone you or Skype you at agreed times so you can be reassured that he's OK. I'm sure everything will work out, even if it's not exactly how you thought. Until then, look after yourself. I know how it feels to be terribly worried about someone who you can't keep an eye on and you need support to get through it. Best of luck.



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