Someone else’s survival guide
My name is Megan and I am now 19 years old.
Throughout my childhood, me and my siblings had to experience some things children should not go through.
Unfortunately my mum and her partner began drinking in 2014, my siblings were still very young but I was old enough to understand. At first I was happy, I had a young mum that was fun and always up late with me, dancing, letting me do what I wanted. Soon I realised it was something much darker than that.
My step-dad became abusive to my mum due to alcoholism. We witnessed things I had never seen before, the house being trashed, being threatened with knives, I had no hope.
I had noticed that their behaviour had changed. It didn’t seem like it did when they were drinking, things were calmer and it felt like everything was getting better until I realised that the alcohol had transpired to drugs.
Locked in the living room and door handles taken off
We soon had strangers in the house, being locked in the living room and door handles taken off so we couldn’t get out. My pocket money was stolen out the back of my phone case. An attempted murder took place in the home between two of the strangers that were coming in and out.
Because of this, we were placed under the care of family and friends until my mum and stepdad were able to move.
In late 2017, my family was put back together, the drug abuse stopped but their relationship with alcohol rekindled.
The abuse started again, it was constant. I was living at my grandparents house officially but I would stay with my mum to protect my siblings. I was staying there and putting myself in danger so I could record what I could and get help from social services, but nothing.
Social services never took me into consideration. It was all about my siblings, but that had very minimal effort, too.
I was contacting social services daily
It got to the point where I was contacting social services daily asking for help to protect them, asking for unannounced visits hoping we would get somewhere…but nothing. But I didn’t give up. I kept going even after a social worker accused me of causing some of the abuse.
This continued until early 2021 when all of my hard work finally had my siblings put on child protection, my mum and stepdad are now one year sober because of how hard I fought to protect them and my siblings.
All of my past has helped me realise that we don’t just go through trauma for ourselves, we go through trauma so we can help other people and that is really what I want to do.
I am currently fighting my best for some kind of closure from social services. Why didn’t they help? And how can I help them protect other families and children?
I wanted to share my story
I wanted to share my story to those who are potentially in a similar situation to me. If you need help please do not be afraid to ask.
I wish I had known there was a charity like Nacoa when I was going through this. I had no support and I had the responsibility of doing social services’ jobs for them. I’ve come to realise if it wasn’t for me things wouldn’t have changed and I am grateful for the risks I took in order to stop my nightmare.
I have made a life for myself and being a COA does not have to stop you from achieving anything. You can really do anything you put your heart into and I have learned that.
Find more experience stories in our Support and Advice pages.