When I used to go to my friend’s house I noticed how happy her mum and dad were. They didn’t seem to shout at each other. Her mum would make us tea. My friend didn’t have to do things like that. I was confused – why were my mum and dad not like that? Why was it different in my house?
To anyone who met us, you would have thought we were happy. Sometimes, though it was horrible in my house. Sometimes we were happy, but sometimes mum and dad would argue and I would get scared and hide in my room.
The arguments would start after my mum drank wine. She pretended she didn’t but I knew she did. Mum would drink from a mug and pretend it was tea. But I knew what it really was. After shopping I would hear the bottles clinking in her bag and my stomach would sink. I felt sick, knowing what was going to happen next.
After she had drank some wine she would get angry, I would try and be good and make her happy again. Other times she would become sad and cry. When she did, I would give her a hug, hoping she wouldn’t be sad. After drinking wine she maybe would fall asleep. When mum was like this, I had to do things all by myself. My dad would get so angry when he saw mum had been drinking and then the shouting would begin.
My friends never said that their mum and dad could be like mine. I felt so alone and never told anyone how horrible it could be and what happened.
It was only after my gran noticed that something was wrong I spoke about what it was like. She was shocked and upset. Then everyone came to my house and said to mum she had to get help. I didn’t understand what was happening. My gran and dad tried to explain things to me. Mum said that there wasn’t anything wrong. Then the shouting started again and I went and hid in my room.
One night mum went out with friends, I think, and she never came home. The next day I was worried. Dad explained she was ok but staying with gran. I was relieved she was ok but sad she was away. I worried “What was going to happen to me?” I stayed with dad though. He made sure I was OK.
Even though mum was at grans, I saw her nearly every day. It was like before, mum was always happy. She explained that she was trying to stop drinking and that made me feel happy.
She went to stay in a big house with lots of people like her who wanted to stop drinking. I went to see her with dad and sometimes gran. My mum looked much better and told me she was learning new things and wanted to change. For her, that meant no more drinking. I missed not seeing her everyday but everything was going to get better I hoped. I wanted to believe her.
When mum left the big house she didn’t come home. She went to stay with gran again. Then I got to see her nearly every day which I loved. I stayed at grans and we would all watch TV together. I got to choose any food I liked. Mum and I liked having pizza the best. Dad would come and get me and he didn’t argue with mum. This made us all happy.
Mum hasn’t drank for a long time now. She told me it is very hard. I have just got to believe that she won’t again.