I am 15 and I am over weight. I never thought my own brother would be the one to be mean to me about it. He asks my mom why I am big. And always says that I am fat. Or if I get in a pool i might sink. And He doesn’t just say it around me, he says it around family,friends, at events. And all my mom says is (name removed) DON’T. It is making me feel HORRIBLE and along with other stuff that has happened make the feeling to want to leave home even stronger. I don’t really want to go to a counseler or talk to anybody about it because they might say “Yes oh you poor dear” or “just ignore it, and try to work through it” EVEN WORSE “Maybe you need to talk to your parents about it!” YUCK! So I need some ideas on what to do and what to say to him (my brother). It seems like this is slowly killing me inside. Please Answer my questions! =/
Thank you for contacting YouthLine. We know you must be having a difficult time with this and are really glad that you reached out for help. Try not to be discouraged by your brother’s words. We think that it might help if you try to calmly sit your brother down and explain how you feel when he calls you fat. Let him know that it really hurts when he says stuff like that, and that your weight is a sensitive spot that you don’t want to be teased about. Tell him that you are just like any other girl, and there are some things he cannot say because they cross the line. Just because you are his sister and part of his family does not mean that he can treat you without respect. Try to be firm and calm, but don’t get mad at your brother.
You could also try talking to your counselor. Even though you think that they will not give you good advice, it is worth a shot and you may be surprised to find that it helped. Counselors are there to help you work out your problems and some counselors are actually really good. Talking to a counselor, you could be sure that the conversation would be confidential and would stay between the two of you. I know you mentioned you had other issues that made you want to leave home even more. I don’t know what they are, but it is important to stay positive and take care of yourself- both physically and mentally. We care about how you are feeling and would love to talk to you in more detail about any other conflicts in your life that are making you want to move out.
You can also look at this site to learn more about body image: http://www.girlshealth.gov/feelings/sad/bodyimage.cfm.
and this site for some techniques for helping you cope with the stress in your life: http://www.rd.com/health/37-stress-management-tips/
Again, you can always call YouthLine, tell us about your problems and talk it out with us. Teens are available to take YouthLine calls from 4-9 PM Monday through Thursday. Our number is 1-877-968-8491; if you ever need to talk, please call us!
Good luck Makenzie!