For everyone there is start to their troubles this is the start of mine.
It was the 4th of February 2001, exactly a week before my sister, Maryann's birthday. I remeber it so clearly. Maryann and I were asleep in the room we shared on the second floor of our two story terrace house. Suddenly we were woken by raised, angry voices floating up from the sitting room. Our parents were having another argument. We were use to this by now. It was almost normal for us to be woken in the small hours of the morning by the immature, selfish people we believed were adults. These fights had become an almost weekly event in our lives. So, as always, I rose from my bed to attempt to dissolve the situation.
I walked into the sitting room. My mother was sitting on the brown chair by the fire place in her flowery dressing gown and slippers. My dad was standing in the middle of the room in his work clothes. He worked night shift in a bakery so was due to leave for work any minute. I sat in my usual position in front of the sitting room door so neither of them could leave til this problem was sorted- again. I don't even remember what the fight was about- another immaterial and pointless argument.
However this time it was different. I would usually have sat blocking the only exit until the fighting was resolved so we could all return to our beds safe in the knowledge that nothing had changed and we were all still together. However this time I could not do this as my dad had to go to work. My sister had been sitting at the top of the stairs crying, her normal place, but when she saw dad walking towards the door she ran to him. He told her he was going away for a while to find a house for us all and then he would send for us. I burst into tears. My mother would never leave this place and even though I was only seven I knew this better than my ten year old sister who hugged my dad and believed his lie. My mother was also in tears. My sister shed not one tear that night while Isat on my mother's knee. We cried til we had no tears left. Not only had my dad left but he had lied and worst of all my sister believed him. I knew I would have to explain this to her later but that night I didn't have the energy. I could not even talk for the tears would not stop.
I felt abandoned, hurt, betrayed. Before this my mother had worked all day while my dad looked after us. We didn't really know this woman who had now become our sole guardian and thanks to her new bofriend we never really would get to know her. I never felt truly loved or appreciated again after this. I felt that if my dad who loved me more than anyone else didn't love me enough to stay then he couldn't have loved me at all and so I believed no one would ever care for me. Nine years later the effects of this night still weigh heavily on my soul, crushing my heart.