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Dear Auntie,
I am a 16-year-old girl who goes to school. Recently I changed my school which has caused my brother and sister to make up stories about me. They say that I am doing scandalous things, which is not true. I have never had a boyfriend in the past and I don’t even talk to boys. These lies have shattered my life and my mother has started to hate me. My family avoids me, except for my father. My brother often beats me (sibling abuse) and in the end everyone praises him for beating me. All this is depressing me so much that I want to kill myself. I have no hope and I cannot seek help from anywhere. As I am just 16, I cannot even go to court. Also going to court for my rights won’t help. What should I do now? Should I run away from home or kill myself?
Distressed Daughter

Dear Get Help,
Do you have any signs of abuse, bruises or cuts after your brother has beaten you up? I suggest you photograph them as evidence to show a trusted adult or an authority figure. Also have you talked to your parents about this? You really need to sit down with them and explain to them what is going on when your siblings are not around. Tell your parents that if they don’t stop your siblings you will have to seek help from someone else outside the family because your life is becoming unbearable. Consider looking outside your nuclear family for a trusted adult.

Is there a khala, chacha or even grandparent who you could talk to and tell what is going on? It could even be someone outside the family, such as a close family friend or a teacher. That might be the way to shake them out of their apathy to the serious abuse that is happening in your family.   Hey Auntie!
I am a teenage boy and currently studying in college. The problem is I want to play the Blue Whale game. Please don’t take it any other way, I don’t want to do suicide, but the game attracts me very much. What should I do? Should I try it?

Dear Curious,
The kind of media attention this awful game is getting is one of the main reasons people are so curious about it. There is a thin line between creating awareness and creating unhealthy curiosity and the Blue Whale game has definitely crossed that line.

If you are feeling tempted to play this game, I suggest you keep in mind the long-term consequences of doing so. Think of the harm it will do to you and your loved ones if you get pulled in. Also consider that if you give in and play it once, you are very likely to have lowered boundaries and will probably do it again. This is a sure road to addiction. However, if you take the time to anticipate the consequences of playing this horrible game, you are more likely to stop yourself.

Auntie understands that everyone doesn’t have the kind of self-control required for this so you might want to tell a sibling or a friend about how you are feeling. Social support can really help a person fight temptation. So reach out to someone who will listen to how you are feeling and possibly help you get it out of your system.

Also I suggest you make a serious effort to get your life on track. Wake up and have a plan about what you are going to do that day. Reach out a friend or family member every day and ideally talk face-to-face with someone even if your instinct may be to withdraw from social contact. Force yourself to talk to someone in person even if it seems difficult. Human contact is necessary for a healthy life. Try not to be alone for too long. Seek out company regularly. Make it a point to get out in the sun every day and start a regular exercise regimen if you can.

Auntie will not reply privately to any query. Please send concise queries to: [email protected]

Published in Dawn, EOS, October 15th, 2017

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