Where did I get to in my quest for cleansing and disclosure?
Probably somewhere round about my 8th birthday I realised that my parents were not as financially stable as those of many of my friends. They couldn't afford to buy the pony that I would pray for every night. The very pony that I dreamt of so vividly that one morning I woke up so excited as I truly believed they had bought it for me - many of you may not realise just how much an 8 year old can cry in 24 hours!
What I didn't realise was that my father had joined one of the largest trade union disputes of the century, he didn't work for over a year.
We had no money.
I didn't understand the strange words that would fly between my parents, I didn't understand the embarrassment my mum faced when she couldn't pay the shopping bill at the checkout and had to select items to return. I didn't understand when my Dad cried the day he returned to work - defeated - I just thought he would miss being at home with us.
From my point of view it wasn't so bad, I got to pick loads of new clothes from the clothes mountain donated from all over the country. I got to go to the soup kitchen every day for my meals and even got free meals at school - although I had to deal with the stigma of having a yellow free meal disk, but hey, I've never been too proud!. My parents were still fantastic and to be honest I loved having Mum and Dad at home to play with, rather than Dad being at work 12 hours a day, every day.
I suppose the rest of these early years were none eventful, I never broke any bones, I never suffered from any childhood illnesses, my parents didn't divorce. I might not have had everything I ever wanted, but in all honesty I had everything I ever needed.
Then Mum got poorly.
She didn't want to be involved with us girls anymore, she didn't want to teach us to sew, bake, knit, cook. In fact I don't think she could stand to have us around at all. Dad didn't escape her wrath either - but like the gentleman he is he stuck by her.
We (my sisters much more than I) on the other hand suffered the verbal and physical abuse she threw at us daily. My mum was gone and in her place was someone I didn't like much. I didn't know that she was suffering from mental illness, that she didn't know what she was doing when she hit us, swore at us, dragged us round with our hair. Thankfully, my Dad, my Mr Fantastic soon realised that she needed help. Mum had a couple of hospital admissions, surgery and medication. She didn't go back to being the Mum I loved - but I now wonder if she did, but I just didn't let her.
I honestly think this is where it all went down hill. I don't blame Mum for anything - I did, for a long time but not now.
My eldest sister had a child when she was just 17 and he came to live with Mum, Dad and me, whilst both my sisters went into self destruct mode. For the next 5 years they lived a life of crime and drugs stuck in the vicious circle so familiar with so many families. I was left at home practically raising my nephew (whom I adore).
This was the time that I met Mr H - I was 14 years old and had just made the biggest mistake of my life.
8 months ago