I read the personal experiences and I thought that I would write my own. I have not told anyone what happened but maybe this is my chance!
So I will start at the beginning. My dad was in the navy so he was away all the time. My mum found it very hard and that’s when the violence started toward me, and my brother. My brother spent most of the time out of the house. He was four years older than me.
I had a feeling then that something was different and that she was not meant to be acting in this way.
I lived with being a carer for her from when I was 5 to when I was nearly 15.
Just after Christmas this year my dad went back to Belgium where he was serving and my brother went back to university in Aberdeen, it was then that my mum started becoming ill. She stayed down stairs all the time, she couldn’t even go to the toilet. My work started to slip, I had to tell someone that I thought she had a problem.
By last lesson on Friday I had picked up the courage to tell someone but the person I was going to tell wasn’t in, so I went home hoping that my dad would be back on Sunday.
I got home and my mum was acting weirdly, her speech was slurred and she was hallucinating. On Saturday I went down stairs and there she was, lying on the floor, she had collapsed during the night. I phoned an ambulance and waited, hoping my dad would be back the next day.
She went in to hospital and I had to tell the doctor that I thought she had a drinking problem. He asked how much she drank, I told the truth, ‘7 litres in two weeks’ I said, looking at the floor. I sat with her all day, holding her hand until a social worker came and said that I had to phone someone and find somewhere to stay.
When I was on the phone a call came for me, it was my dad. I felt really confused and picked up the phone. He had got home a day early and had found the house closed up and a neighbour told him we had gone to hospital. I told him where we were and waited as my mum went for tests.
She stayed in hospital for 1 week and 6 days. We went in one day and she had gotten worse, my dad had seen her in the morning and she was fine then. A doctor told my dad that she wouldn’t survive the night. I was gutted.
My dad and I sat with her crying, until 7pm when a nurse on night shift came in and said that she would sit with mum all night.
I said goodbye to her for that last time, but had no idea what to say, so I said that I loved her and would never forget her, and hoped she had a good journey to wherever we go to afterward. She died at 1.am on Friday 28th 2005. I remember it so clearly.
We went to see her in the Chapel of Rest the next day. She looked so peaceful, like she was asleep. A priest came and said some prayers with us. I have never regretted going to see her.
So that’s my experience, and to anyone that has gone through a similar thing I would like to say: things get better, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.