I had a different childhood as my father was 41 and my mom 18. After they were married for 10 years my mother started seeing a woman behind my dad’s back.  

One weekend, me, this woman, an old family friend a few years older than me who was visiting from the UK, and my mother went camping. By dusk all hell broke loose. My dad had arrived, and everyone was going berserk. I ran into the forest screaming in the dark. My father came to fetch me and said he was taking me home. They were shouting he couldn’t take me. I asked what was going on and he said that they said he had molested the girl visiting from the UK years earlier. I didn’t even understand what this was. When we got home my gran who lived in the same building came saying I couldn’t stay with my father. I couldn’t understand what everyone was carrying on about. I was 9.

My parents divorced and my mother who went straight from her parents to my dad soon moved in with her girlfriend.  They hid their relationship from me for about 6 months until one day I walked in on them kissing.

Soon after I was sent to an all-girl’s boarding school at age 10. I lived 35 minutes away but was left there 28 days a month while all the other children went home on weekends.

Often, they would promise to visit me after church and I would sit watching the driveway for hours only for them to arrive 7 hours later, drunk, to give me a bag with biscuits.

After I was there a few weeks, I phoned my mom begging to let me come home because I missed her. My contact with my father was totally severed. My mother kept going in circles not saying I could come home. Eventually I asked “WHY” She said “UHM….BECAUSE I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT.”

I slammed the phone down, ran to my bed crying in disbelief, and decided my friends would have to be my family.

The rest of my family offered me no support during this time. I started talking to the hostel mother about their abuse. I knew what was going on in their household was not normal & severely abusive. I was 10. The hostel mother told a social worker. I was petrified to tell them because of what would happen if [my mom and her girlfriend] found out. I begged for them to remove me from them. I asked to go anywhere else for those 2 days a month when I went home. I kept repeating that they could not tell them about this unless they were removing me as they would NEVER STOP PUNISHING ME…

They then had a meeting with my mother and her girlfriend who I was later told convinced them I was just a spoiled brat not used to discipline.  They (the ACVV) left me with them and never checked up on me once in the next 7 years while I was in the hostel.  If they did, they never once spoke to me again. I was offered no therapy to understand the divorce, the transition, the accusations that I too was abused and used as a reason to block contact with my dad. I was left to fend for myself in a hostel with 200 girls and four hostel mothers.

Four years later when I was 14 and dating my 16-year-old “stepbrother,” they were aware of this relationship which became sexual at that age and did nothing to stop it. That relationship with many cruel endings and beginnings was the only attention I could get as my mother’s girlfriend for some reason was jealous of me and made sure I never spent time with my mother alone or in general again.

Also, at age 15 I was accused of being a drug addict. The more I said I don’t do drugs, the more they callously shouted at me “DENY DENY DENY ITS THE FIRST SIGN OF ADDICTION!!!”

This was how they carried on looking for what was wrong with me since I innocently kicked them out of the closet in 1990 by asking to be removed from the abuse, which was emotional, psychological, and financial. Towards her son it was physical. 

My mother’s girlfriend who had many unresolved childhood issues would attack people in the house all day long shouting and swearing.  

I can clearly see the pattern now of them constantly knocking me down over the last 20 years. I’m now 41 and their attacks have never stopped.