I didn’t have a happy childhood. My Mum was so temperamental that I could never judge what mood she would be in. So I was always on tenterhooks.
I didn’t like friends coming over because one of them might have said something that upset her and she would shout at me as if it was my fault when they left.
Nor did she let me go to sleepovers because she said I was so easily led and she didn’t now what I was up to. So she couldn’t sleep properly.
I could never do well enough in school. She never said I looked nice and my home life was always about how I let her down and didn’t think about how she felt.
Well, now I am away at university I have a bit more perspective. I can see that her approach to life is negative, mean spirited and selfish, which strangely is making me more confident. I even told a friend the other day that I am grateful to Mum because she has shown me exactly how I DON’T want to be.
I was so sad when Dad and Mum split up five years ago. Dad and I had such a special relationship. He always called me his ‘best girl.’ He had met someone else and one day he was there and the next he wasn’t.
I really missed Dad and kept asking Mum when I could go and see him. She said he was busy. It was months before he came to pick up my brother and I. He told us he was going to introduce us to his new friend.
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I was sad as I just wanted to spend time with him but that was obviously not going to happen. I thought his friend Joanne looked a bit like Mum. He also introduced us to her two daughters and the younger one sat on his lap while we had tea. I was so jealous.
It was months before we saw him again. He even forgot my birthday. On his next visit he told us they were getting married and Joanne would be my other Mum. ‘No she’s not’ I thought. Joanne told her daughters to take us up to their rooms because ‘we are all family now’. My brother stayed downstairs. I wish I had because they both showed me the new clothes Dad had bought them. When I got home I burst into tears because I didn’t have a Dad any more.