Where do I start?
I’m 25 and from the UK I am an only child and an orphan at 18.
Probably best to start at the beginning, all this probably started when I was born that ill fated day. In all honesty I don’t think my mum wanted me I think I was a surprise and they just lived with it. My dad had fought Leukaemia once before I was born and he relapsed I think when I was about 2, he fought so hard to the end but lost his battle when I was 4, there was a huge out pouring of sorrow for his loss he was a policeman and a postman and he knew everyone in the local area, I didn’t get to go to his funeral I don’t know why my mum stopped me from going. My dad’s mum hated my mum I don’t know why but all I remember was my mum telling me she had always hated her and didn’t want my dad to marry her. My dad’s dad died when I was young I can’t remember exactly when I think when I was 7 so basically my mum had no one to talk to.
I remember one thing my mum used to tell me and that was it was my fault my grandma had died and that she didn’t get to see her mum before she died I don’t know how this is my fault but that’s just one of the things she told me.
My mum could barely cope with a toddler and a husband needing round the clock care either in hospital or at home so after my dad had passed I think everything just came tumbling down on her. She started to drink, she started to drink cider. I remember being sent home from school one evening (luckily I lived across the road from school) I must had been 6 or 7 and all I remember is banging on the front and back doors for her to let me in, she would regularly lock me out of the house when she was drunk she’d leave the keys in and be passed out either upstairs or on the couch and a teacher must have heard me shouting for my mum to wake up and they called the head teacher and they persisted with me to bank on the doors and windows for the next 10 mins until she let me in they were so worried about me but to me that was normal.
On an evening I would get bribed with pop and sweets and plonked in front of the TV she would get me a ready meal for tea and set about drinking and I would happily sit in front of the TV until 1/2 am watching everything to block out her drinking, on this went til I was about 8, school had noticed something was wrong but I don’t think they wanted to believe it I put on a very good front as a young child I did all my school work read at a higher age level, on the outside I was a very normal happy child. Then one day I came home and as usual my mum was asleep on the couch or so I thought it turned out she had pneumonia and when my auntie came around my mum was rushed to hospital and I was put into foster care those few months I was so happy I had 2 foster sisters and a foster brother I didn’t know how to act around them but I learned and I was happy, I then went and stayed with my auntie and uncle (not my real auntie and uncle but what I call my god parents) for a couple of weeks and started seeing my mum regularly. During this time is when I first started hurting myself I had finger nails and I would scratch the surface of my skin until it was bleeding I felt such a rush a feeling of control and itrelieved me I still have the scars from these. I only did this occasionally because I could cope with most things that my mum did and that life threw at me. My mum started to seer a councillor and she was amazing she helped my mum a lot but then had to move to Scotland so we stopped seeing her.
I went back to my mum and everything was ok for a month or so, then she started drinking again, again I said nothing to anyone my thinking was she is the only person in my life granted she may hate me but if I get taken away from her she won’t live because I was the one that fed her looked after her cleaned the dishes cleaned the house (to the best a 9/10 year old could) everything went back to as it was she was drinking daily, she would abuse my physically.
I would do anything not to go home after school most nights sometimes I’d go home make sure the door was unlocked and just hang around my estate anything so I didn’t have to be in the house with her.
When I got to high school it all changed. My self harming got worse as I had a lot more to deal with, I started to get bullied and my mum was worse, she had done from drinking cider to brandy. I would regularly hide her money, her keys, to try and stop her from going out I would try and hold her to stop her but she would hit me, she would throw plates, ornaments, remotes, brandy glasses cigarette ashtrays at me as she was screaming I was a mistake and she hates me, I would return the brutality and scream at her because that’s the only way I knew to get the anger out. Then when she was sober she’d say I’m sorry for what I did she didn’t remember but she knew she would have done/said something after a while I realised this wouldn’t change so just accept it. I started to try and numb the pain by taking painkillers I’d take paracetamol, ibuprofen, sometimes I’d take some pills my mum was given just to try and numb the pain. I smoked because she smoked but didn’t like it so gave it up.
At this point I had no finger nails left after biting them. I’d bitten them down to the nubs until they bled everyday I would bite them, so instead I grabbed a ruler and started to again to rub the skin off my arms just in small patched about 2 inches long the feeling/relief I got from this was like scratching a really bad itch. I would also wrap them up with whatever I could find usually a jumper and peel it off a day or so later exposing the skin again and peeling the slightly formed scab off. I had also learned out using blade to self harm from a TV show of all places and that set me off on a binge all up my arms and legs, I hid them beneath tshirts and jeans all the time.
I found a councillor through the internet and got in contact because I needed someone to talk to, she thought when I explained all my problems I had bipolar but without being under her care I couldn’t get a proper diagnosis I started looking into it but quickly found out that I did not want to go down that route I didn’t want to be medicated, sectioned whatever would happen I didn’t want my mum to find out or anyone else I felt like if they found out that’s it for me I’m a failure and always will be.
I did the same at high school as I did in primary, managed to keep up with everything rarely late, rarely sick they had no idea until one day in year 7 I had enough I wrote all over my school books I want to die and I want to kill myself. I got pulled straight out of class because my friend had seen it and got hauled to the head teachers room, I felt like I’d done something wrong so I put on a smile and said its only a joke, they believed me now I knew I had to keep it all hidden, I felt that I couldn’t trust anyone. Although my mum was terrible for me she was my mum and I knew I didn’t want to do anything to upset her anymore if anyone found out about the abuse, the drinking I wold be taken and I would have no one. I kept it all hidden, I created a mask and wore it daily for everyone, friends & family, teachers, officials. I then moved onto the other bit of high school I was still getting bullied I would get beaten up they would insult my mum (which I could deal with) but when they insulted my dad that got me so angry how can they insult my father who I barely before he died knew they knew nothing about him I would blame myself for getting into those situations as my mum always said it was my fault.
I didn’t tell her what I was going through because she didn’t want to know all she wanted to do was drink, my auntie came round every couple of months would see her in a state tell her off and she would usually stop for a week or two. Then back to drinking. I would sit in the bath on a Saturday night after taking painkillers and hope I’d just slip off and not wake up but I would.
I was in inappropriate relationships with the men in my life. My aunties youngest son, me and him struck it up quite well. There is no blood relation so nothing bad there we kissed and had a bit of fun I was about 12 I think he would have been 17 ish it seemed normal to me I liked him he liked me. But that never went any further than kissing and no one ever found out. Me and a boy at school did things in class at school which I am not happy with at the time I didn’t care I thought it was fun but now when I think back it makes me feel sick.
Every night after coming home from school I would go onto the computer, I would play games and chat to people anything to hide from reality. I would go to my room put my music on full blast and sit in front of a mirror picking out the parts of me I hated and self harming in anyway I could on them or just cutting my arms.
She also then acquired a ‘boyfriend’ basically a slime ball he would come round when she was drunk and they would have sex, this disgusted me and I would sit at my computer headphones on music on full blast so I could hear nothing I was so lucky he didn’t pay any attention to me. After about a year he went and I was glad but he was such a letch. I managed to keep all hidden in high school everyone knew something was wrong but they never met my mum so they never knew and I was happy with this, it all came to a head when I was 15/16 the last year of school. My grandma on my dad’s side had died and although I wasn’t that close to her it tipped me over the edge. That night I started making a plan to kill myself and by the morning I’d had enough I wrote notes to my friends gave the notes to my other friend who I walked to school with and said I’m not coming in today give these out.
They were suicide notes I think it was a cry for help to say help me and my mum can’t cope, school rang me, my friends rang me, my mum rang me, I didn’t pick up I wanted to be left alone, I went to pharmacists and bought whatever I could get my hands on after a few hrs I answered a call from my head of year he picked me up and took me home. I went to bed and hoped I wouldn’t wake up I did, by my mum chucking stuff out of my bag saying I hope you haven’t done anything stupid!
My head of year was great he kept an eye on me called me to his room now and again and made me feel like a normal person not like I’d done something wrong. I started hanging out with new people and that changed my mood. Although my mum was still drinking I felt I could share it with them and they understood it was really good. I passed most of my classes in my final year and came out with half decent results so I am very pleased.
I was still cutting most days but I felt like a little weight was lifted as I had friends I could trust. I would think about killing myself most days about throwing myself off a bridge, in front of a bus but then I thought what would my mum do she has no one. I decided when I was 15 I was leaving home when I was 16, I started college and started looking for a new place to live and was trying to save but with fares for getting to college and books etc I couldn’t save much, I had also started to develop a drinking habit I knew this would have to stop as I wasn’t turning into my mum and at this point looked into hobbies. I liked extreme sports skateboarding BMX and started to contact BMXers from across the UK.
I got chatting to some from the next town over and most days would be in that town hanging out having fun taking photos, photography quickly turned into something I was good at and I loved and the fact I was doing media studies at college helped so much I had access to all the equipment I needed. Before I knew it I was a different person I was out going not introverted I was riding miles on my bmx each day and I was so happy to be out of my house, my mum would still lock me out but it was a little easier to handle I would leave some way for me to get in each day. I would get irate phone calls from her screaming at me but I’d just let her rant I was starting my new life.
I got my first proper boyfriend him and his friend were a piece of work they played me off against each other I went out with one then the other then they threw me aside like I was a used doll, I was still hanging out with BMXers and I was starting to get a reputation I didn’t care I was living my life I was cutting more and more but I was also showing it off I was proud I was who I was. Then I met my beloved now fiancé. We met at a BMX jam when I was dating one of the idiots and then after a few months got back in contact and chatted amd agreed to meet so I could film him and photograph him and after a few weeks we were an item. I was 16 when I met him just turned 17 when we started going out he helped me to stop self harming, he has brought me out of my shell and my life is a lot more stable now. We have a home together and are getting married next year 9 years after we got together. He helped me move out of home after one especially bad incident with my mum when she was drunk and threw stuff at me whilst he was there he said there was no way he was letting my mum endanger me like that he was just about ok with her shouting at me and he waited until she unlocked the door to let me in when he dropped me off at home on a night, I would now ring the house phone persistently on the way home to wake her up. But her throwing stuff was the last straw he put up with a lot from me and my mum and I am so thankful, I am now a much better and happier and stabler person, I still have up and down days but not as many.
My mum died when I was 18 of what a surprise cirrhosis of the liver, I wasn’t at home at that point I had left 6 months before we had barely talked because she had been on that many benders, when she died no one noticed the police and coroners were looking for me for a couple of weeks before my auntie got in contact, it wasn’t a shock but it hit me like a ton of bricks. It is now 7 years since she passed and it is hard but gets. When I get married next year it will be very hard for me with no mum or dad to give me away but I have my god parents and they have been my surrogate mum and dad they are great.
So that is me I would like to thank the bipolar kid for being so patient with me.