I remember when I was 6, running up the stairs with the stinging on the back of my leg. Running from the anger in her voice, the evil in her eyes. I remember when I was 7 saying “daddy, mummy hits me and I don’t know why”. The surprise and anger in his eyes were ones I had seen before, and would see many times from him again.
I remember being 9 and having the shadow of my Dad looming over me. The raised hand to my face, the tears in his eyes that were reflected in mine too. The screams from my stepmother, directed at me, were equal to the ones in my head. I remember being 10 in the back of the car surrounded by bin bags, the garbage of my life I called them. There was a searing anger in the air mixed with a disgusted disappointment. The child lock was on. He knew what I was thinking.
I remember being 12, living with my grandparents, my Nan being diagnosed with Cancer. I sank to the floor as I listened to her on the phone downstairs. The agony roared up inside me again. I cried for many nights after that, wishing for it not to be true, I had just found a home again, it couldn’t be taken away. I remember being 14, or maybe 15, my life being a blur. I looked after my grandparents now. My Dad had also been diagnosed with Cancer, this one terminal. I banged my head on the wall, trying to overcome the pain of it all.
I remember being 16, a not-so-typical moody teenager. My Nan holding me against the wall, shouting in my face. That was the day she blamed me for her and Dads Cancer. My Grandad shouting in the background that he was going to murder me, with the hatred of a thousand men in his wheezy voice. That was the day the guilt started.
I remember being 17, in foster care already for a year, after being in too many other homes before. I found my forever family, I thought. I remember on the 13th of December, 2015 my phone ringing. He had died. Tears flooded my eyes and I cried and sobbed into my Foster Mothers shoulder. I couldn’t believe it. After everything, he was my Dad, my BFG, the hero that saved me from Mum and brought me into a new hell, but still my heart was full of love for him.
My Grandad followed him a few months later.
I remember being 3, when it all started. My Mum and Dad screaming, threatening each other with knives and irons. I remember the sirens, my sister on the phone, locking the bedroom door.
I remember it all, and oh god I wish I didn’t. I wish it never began.