Emotional Intelligence | Stevehein.com


Thank You Letters From Teens


I get so many thank you letters from teens that I decided to start this page. Here are a few. I was inspired to start the page by this letter.

S. Hein
Jan 22, 2007


Jan 2007, | Jan 22, 2007 | Jan 23, 2007 | Feb 5, 2007 May 9, 2007, From CC, Uni Student From C


Feb 5, 2007

I'm really glad you listened. I don't think I've ever really communicated with anybody like this before. It really makes me happy to speak to someone else who's aware of thoughts and feelings to such a great extent, an actual human being. It makes me tear tears of joy, actually, even as I type this sentence. It makes me feel more hopeful for our existence and that I myself am capable of being. I feel like a person rather than just some empty vessel sitting about with no thoughts to think and no tears to cry. I can feel it, I can actually feel right now. I feel happy. This discovery of empathy and my own feelings has brought me farther than I have ever been before. Thank you, Steve. You have really helped me, even if we've only had a few posts.

Thank you very much. I hope to speak with you again.


Jan 23, 2007

I started talking to Brooke and somebody else on MSN last night and they were lovely.  Do you sometimes come online as well?  It's fine for you to put my name on the list

Thank you so much for everything,  


Jan 22, 2007


Jan 22, 2007


As I write this I am sitting, as I do everyday, in a crowded computer room, wasting my lunchtime away without food or friends.

But today... something was different.

Today I decided to risk being seen to google up a term which I hate seeing, using, or hearing, because it always seems so accusatory or surreal.


And what did I come across?

A page that made all the sense in the world.

I have no time today to say more, but tomorrow I want to type something out that I want you above anyone else to read.

But before I get chased out into the hell hole they call school, let me just say one thing...

Thank you.


May 9, 2007



I'm not sure quite why I'm writing this to you, I'm probably going to embarrass myself if you ever do read this, which I somewhat doubt you will. I just wanted to express to you my, truly -- shock -- and appreciation. I don't think gratitude quite covers it this early morning. It just amazes me that an intelligent adult realizes what hell teenagers go through and empathizes. It amazes me that an extremely intelligent adult doesn't cover up and dismiss how messed up their own childhoods were while torturing, I guess, a way to put it is, the next generation hypocritically and without hesitation. That an intelligent adult isn't a hypocrite that looks down on teenagers constantly and makes us feel like the "disease of the nation" when all we're doing is trying to mature and become decent members of society while living our own fulfilling lives. But how can we become decent people when we have a horrible example set before us?

Wow, I kind of blurted that out, but every word was true. I really hope you read this, as stupid as that sounds, just to know that you kept one more frustrated kid from killing themselves. You really are a Godsend, as somewhat ironic as that term is. Though you might not care much and I've already said too much, (oi) I am, of course a teenager, that has been depressed since as long as I can remember, quite literally. I found your site while searching for the term "emotional blackmail", guess why. I've grown to despise my parents, because sadly, I'm one of those few that think of the world around me. I just can't take anything without examining, or questioning, it. I always have a hard time swallowing things quickly as they are handed to me because it's expected of me and that's what a good person would do. (e.g. religion I've been brainwashed into following since toddlerhood whilst watching adults not practice what they preach; my mother's absolute insistence on unconditional respect and love when she goes into a screaming fit of guilt, tears and cursing; among others.)

Thinking is sort of my worst flaw, in a way. I feel no one else understands me and I'm destined to stay frustrated and feel wronged for the rest of my life. What did I do to deserve this, I wonder? I'm still many years from from the legal age to move out of my parent's house, (18 here in the US) and I've more than once found myself literally counting down the days until I'm "free". Your term, "teenage prison," just made me burst into sobs -- oh my God, someone is reading my mind word for word. That's exactly how I feel and I hate that feeling beyond words. I feel so trapped. I feel like this is literally a prison sentence I'm serving for something I may have done wrong in a past life. I can't run away from home to be free to take a deep breath and be me, because then it will just aggravate the problem with my parents once they hire the FBI to haul me back. So for the first time a little while ago I realized suicide is pretty much the only way out. But I hesitate to kill myself, because then I fear the guilt my parents will put on me again even when I'm dead. (They've told me before that they'd "just die if something happened to you [me].") I can't believe that not that long ago have I just realized how messed up a way of thinking that is.

Again, I'd really like to thank you for reaching out to us your site, although that may not truly be your purpose, your site is the most understanding and intelligent material I have ever read, after many internet searches and even more frustration and guilt. Please accept my gratitude. You're a rare, amazing person for caring enough about other human beings so much and to do so much for them. And again, I really hope you read this! I'm not quite sure what else to say and how much I've probably already weirded you out by now, but I just want to say one more simple thing I hope you'll keep with you:

Thank you, Steve


Note: This girl wrote this letter when she was 13. We kept in contact for a while and I introduced her to some of the teens in my online support group. One day she wrote to one of them and told her that her father had taken her to the police to be questioned about her participation in our group. He lied to her and said they were going to the dentist or something. I have not heard from her since then. She said her father would try to hug her and she hated it. He was a conservative Christian and she did not share his religious beliefs. He would regulary punish and threaten her. Her parents homeschooled her, so she had no friends to give her emotional support. Her father used to tell her things like she was lucky he didn't hit her.

I used to encourage her to think about getting emancipated from her parents, and I would try to give her suggestions to get her out of the house and get jobs as a baby sitter for example, so she would not feel so isolated and trapped, and she might be able to use the Internet somewhere if he stopped her from using it at home as we both feared he would do.

Now I don't know what has happened to her. But the last thing I heard is that she is afraid to contact me because of her father taking her to the police. He obviously felt threatened because she was telling us how horrible it was to live there, and in great detail. Parents have often claimed they are trying to "protect their children", but the truth is more that they themselves feel threatened because a) they are being exposed as unfit parents or b) their authority is being undermined. Parents like this girl's have convinced me the laws need to be changed to take away some of the almost unquestioned legal power that parents have in most countries till a young person is often so damaged psychologically that they either kill themselves, give up, lose their self-confidence and motivation, have to be put on medication or reach some arbitary age, such as 18, when they can finally get away from the emotionally abusive parents. But by then it is often too late in one way or another.

From "CC"

steve.. i think its safe to say you just might save my life and tons of innocent animals lives. i dont know about you.. but i think thats a pretty big deal. you should get a medal or something.


June 26

i wanna talk to you. and tell you how fucking happy i am that your in my life. and how special you make me feel, by how you talk to me, write about me, and tell other people about me.. its still really weird to me that you do that.. like i guess all of that isnt sinking in because im not used to it and i never ever thought it would happen.. if that makes sense.

My reply to this...

* tears

im crying cuz i really shouldnt be the one to do all of that. ur own father should have. no teenagers should be writing me like they do. they should be feeling loved and cared about and understood by their own real fathers, but since urs and so many others didnt do that, ill keep trying to do what i can to make up for it. i just wish a) they would have seen how special u are and b) i could do more

From Caitlin


I wanted to let you know your site is amazing! I haven't even gone through and read all of it. My friend e-mailed part about emotional abuse and she was like this is what i go through everyday caitlyn. she is a cutter as am i. i don't think she has cut as much as me and i don't think she has as many scars. I cut this morning at 2am because things were simply to much. anyways I am no stanger to the abuse. but i told her it would be okay. were in college right now and winter break will be over and soon enough we will be on our own, living our own lives creating our own familes. thats the day i have been looking forward to since forever. I'll give you the gist of things for the most of it. when i was 7 my parents split up, huge fights between mom and dad, lying in court, and unfairness to my brothers and i. we once got locked in our rooms at my dads for hours no bathroom or water.. my brothers and i had windows in a triangle shape and we passed notes and the little candy i had in my room hidden. I remember the hold my dad would put on us. it was awful. i also remember his now wife then girlfriend throwing my brother into the cornner and kicking him. things i wish i never went through.

my oldest brother got out of it the quickest. once we were 14 we had the say in if we wanted to go to his house. but he came less and less and eventually even with the court order and us being under 14 he'd only come for holidays and summer and he only lived 20 mins away. but i hated going there. i would run from him with my brother and we'd lock ourselves in the bathroom. i never really felt loved growing up. my friends up the street were more of a family to me. as i got older nothing got better besides i didn't have to go to my dads and i was big enough and old enough he couldn't do anything. if we reported him though we risked getting taken away from my mother. when i was a junior in highschool i started cutting.. little not a big thing at 1st.. and then it got worse and i was cutting every few days.
Then near the end of the year my mom found out. she threatened to take me to the hospital if i didn't agree to see a therapist. so i agreed and i never talked to him about it. i only went to him twice though before i made sure my schedule would conflict and all because i hated him. i didn't and dont have a good relationship with my mom. she doesn't listen and if i do what she asks i am yelled at.. but if i dont do what she asks i am still yelled at. and she constantly goes through my room so i keep it clean and i have password locks on my computer. well in the summer before senior year i cut less and all because it was harder to hide. then senior year came and i went back to it. my mom never knew that though. the family doctor knew i had cut. he asked if i still did cut still at my before college check up and i lied and said no. i was cutting less but he believed me. actually he doesn't even say cutting he points to his wrist.

well im in college as a freshman (well right now its winter break) the same friend who sent me to your site was like try counseling just try it, so i went to some random workshops and all and just wanted to see the inside of the place make sure i felt safe and then i started going. it helps me a lot and i'd recommend it to anyone. i have my good times and my bad times but right now thats how it is. it also didn't help i lost my grandma in april and it was a complete shock.. the next week we were supposed to be at her house. so my mom couldn't help me figure out things for school because she has been to busy with estate crap with her brothers (my uncles) and basically i've gotten left out, i have to listen to her crap and if i ask her to stop telling me something about a family memember i get yelled at. but listening to it is no better.

the only thing i have yet to tell my therapist about my dad when i was younger. im afraid too. I just wanted to say your site is amazing and thanks for putting it out there. i've looked and found many sites but none like yours, non so descriptive. and i wanted to say thanks. i've had my times where i wanted to die i wanted to end it all but i push through thoughs and thats the easy way out.. so i have to fight and do the best i can. soon enough i will have my own life and i can control it and not have to deal with my mom and brothers and dad and family.  

the whole point is to say thanks. i gave you some insight to my life but i also left a lot out. thanks.  

Jan 2007


From a Uni Student

Jan 2008

Hi there!

I want to thank you, and I think I oughto tell you some of my story first so you can understand how much your site means to me.

I recently left a very abusive relationship at home with my family. It was physically abusive too but for the most part emotionally abusive. Since the physical abuse wasn't happening every day and I (despite having taken a few courses in psychology) really really REALLY didn't understand much about emotions much less emotional abuse(and barely do now), it took long to come to terms with my situation and leave. With the help of people from my university I was able to move out onto my school's residence.

I felt a lot freer. I get to keep my things out without fear of ridicule or someone stealing them or throwing them out. Same with not having peace broken unecessarily. Yet I still felt guilty. Some weeks into my new life I got insomnia. It was a bit of a leftover from staying up too late over the holidays but it stayed because I kept (and keep) dreaming about life back THERE and semi unconsciously wanted to avoid dreams of that place.

One of these nights I looked up emotional abuse, and since I wasn't interested in abuse in a romantic relationship, I clicked on your site. Just about every criteria for emotional abuse had been met! Wow. That helped me a lot, understanding that it WAS happening, first off, and naturally why I feel so confused and lost and depressed today. I'm in a bit of a daze since I left but reading things here has made me better in not feeling guilty.

They really should teach emotional intelligence in schools and there should be special attention spent on emotional abuse because I think once people understand emotional abuse they can understand the other abuses as well. Not that emotional abuse is any less, but so many of my friends really don't get it. I have to tell them the worst of the physical abuse before they agree that it was right that I considered leaving and did finally leave. Also I think that anyone in any kind of abusive relationship is being emotionally abused and many just sweep whatever abuse it is under the rug and so many jerks of the world get away with something kids think they deserve "for being bad".

I do wish I could help you some way. I have some private journal entries about the different abuses, if they can help other people understand they're not alone and abuse is not their fault, let me know!

Thanks again, A LOT.

- Uni Student

May 17, 2008

hi steve,

i just wanted to say that your website is amazing. i seem to have needed pretty much every web page on there. it doesn't contain all the generic impersonal information that is on the rest of the internet on similar issues, it really feels you are speaking directly to me.

i would be happy to volunteer if you ever need help, although there's still things 'wrong' with me, as said by my mom and stepdad.

thank you for the website, if i ever need to feel that i'm not so alone and people can understand, and that i'm not such a freak, your website is my first stop.

thanks again,