Content Warning: Please be aware that some of the stories on these pages contain details and descriptions of abuse which you might find disturbing or upsetting.
At the age of 2 months I was taken into hospital by the health visitor for failing to thrive. Mother was feeding me with mashed potatoes and gravy, and normal milk. Social services were involved and wouldn't allow me home until I was an ideal weight.
I was in and out of hospital for months with the same problem but social services would always allow me back home to my mother.
Mother was a prostitute, who slept all day and was out all night. When I was 18 months old, I fell out of our flat window because mother was sleeping. She didn't have a clue what had happened until the neighbours nearly broke the front door down. I was in hospital for 6 months with mother visiting me just 3 times. I was later released back to her care.
From the age of 3 she started leaving me alone of a nighttime. I would wander around our flat looking for her, often going outside. Police and social services got involved because neighbours were calling them. I would be placed back into the flat and put to bed. Sometimes social services would take me to foster parents until mother got a partner. Every partner she had was either a client or someone from prison. This didn't matter to social services, as long as she was in a relationship I would be allowed back home.
Whilst in care mother would be allow visits but would never turn up. She started leaving me with family members who didn't want me so they would leave me at a police station. Mother got sick of me being taken away because it messed with her benefits so she started leaving me with 2 different babysitters. One was mothers pimp, the other was someone off our estate. I was sexually abused by both.
Mother would never take me to nursery, even though it was court ordered. I was on the child protection register yet mother would dodge any intervention without any repercussions.
School was a haven. They had a camp bed set up for me outside the heads office so I could sleep. I was too scared to sleep at home. Mother would have parties and strange people around our home. She refused to take me to hospital appointments so social services stepped in and took me themselves. At one point, they entered the flat and it was just a sea of bodies and I was nestled in amongst them.
When mother met my stepdad things were good, for a while. He would take us out on daytrips and holidays. He had been in the army so his attitude was very sergeant major. Dinner had to be on the table at 5.30. Washing, cleaning, everything was scrutinised and I was the target of his temper. Social services told mother he wasn't suitable to be around me and mother agreed. She later went on to marry him and have 2 other children. Thats when things really changed.
We moved off the housing estate and into a nice little house on a nice road. Stepdad decorated and made it our home. Unfortunately our new home became my living hell.
Mother started getting handy with her fists and I was always at the end of it. She didn't care about leaving bruises, bite marks, pinch marks, hair pulled out in clumps. Stepdad was more savvy, he would throw me on my bed where I would hide under my covers and he would reign his fist down time and time again. He would punch me like I was a man. He would often throw me in baths of cold water, turn my bed over with me in it sleeping. My crime was not doing my chores properly. Their favourite punishment was making me sit outside in the rain to eat my dinner. Mother poured ketchup over my head once and I had to sit and eat my dinner with sauce dripping from my hair.
My siblings thought it was hilarious and would make up stories just so they could see me get beaten. Stepdad didn't like me near his kids, i was the dirty Paki.
When we moved I moved to a new school, but I was there no longer than 6 months. I went to school covered in bruises and bite marks so the school contacted social services. I was made to sit outside the office to wait. When mother and stepdad turned up I knew I was in trouble. The looks I received made me sink into my chair. After the meeting social services left and I was sent home with the parents. I got beat so bad that night I couldn't go to school the next day. When the bruises cleared up mother pulled me from the school and I was sent to another. I learned to keep my mouth shut after that.
Social services never questioned why.
Secondary school was a safe haven for me. I had plenty of friends and took part in after school activities, and I could be myself. I was still being beaten and used as a slave, couldn't go anywhere. When I started my periods I had to get a paper round because the parents wouldn't buy the products I needed.
At 14 yrs my mother completely lost the plot. Stepdad was at the pub and our next door neighbour came round, he was only 2 years older than me. It was 7pm and mother sent me to bed. I was embarrassed so I shouted that I hated her. She chased me up the stairs and had me cornered in my bedroom with a carving knife to my throat. I could feel the steel digging in but luckily my neighbour jumped on her and pulled her off. I was sent to stay with my aunt until mother got herself sorted.
When I went back depression kicked in bad, and I would think of ways to kill myself but instead I would self harm by cutting my legs.
15yrs old and I was pulled up the stairs by my hair, head introduced to every wall, fat lip dripping with blood, a bite mark on my leg where I tried to kick her off. I couldn't take it any longer. The next day I took myself to social services. I was made to wait in the reception for ages, people staring at me. When I finally got to talk to a social worker I begged her to take me away, I showed her the marks, I was sobbing and shaking. I was sent back to reception to calm down and then told to go to school and speak to a teacher.
By the time I hit 18 my life felt empty, and I took my first overdose. When I was discharged I had to ask the neighbour to take me home. When I got back my clothes were in black bags and I was told to leave.
For months I sofa surfed, I was working 2 jobs and out every weekend having fun. But somehow the parents lured me back, I know now it was for my money.
My first proper relationship was filled with violence, on both sides at first. He would go for me and I would fight back but he won. He became controlling in every way. We had 2 children together yet he would cheat time and time again. After a 6 year relationship I finally found the courage to kick him out of my life. He still had access to our children and still tried to control me but I was having non of it.
I started a relationship with one of my neighbours who turned out worse than my last. The beatings would be on weekends when my kids wasn't around until one night he beat me so bad I was hospitalised with a ruptured kidney. My children had witnessed what had happened. I discharged myself, went and got my children and left. We were homeless for 2 years, staying with friends, even the parents.
I kept my relationship with mother and stepdad going for years. I wasn't happy, I wasn't living, I was existing. I was a single mom, holding down a full time job whilst homeless and yet I was always at the parents beck and call. I would drop everything for them.
I was finally given a house by the council and at first it was just me and my girls, then I met my husband who changed everything about me by getting me the help I needed. I was registered with a mental health team, medicated and was finally happy. The parents would start coming to my house, staying all day drinking coffee. They would sit in my kitchen smoking and disciplining my children. When I got married I made the decision to have my cousin give me away. The parent had no input, they left my wedding reception to go to another wedding that had a free bar. To be honest I was glad they left. Everybody chilled out and celebrated with us.
I was seeing a psychotherapist and one day he said to me "you're never going to get better until you remove the negativity". I knew exactly what he meant and I completely cut my family off, apart from mother. She was riddled with cancer and was not allowed to speak to me. I was barred from the hospital and her funeral but I was ok with that. I rang the hospital and the chapel of rest allowed me to say goodbye.
That was almost 11 years ago and I still don't speak to any family. My family is my husbands family.
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