True Story –
Nov. 10, 2019 – She’d never had a problem with drinking before, but felt she needed something to help her cope. She would say it was juice and drink it out of soup mugs to hide it from me, but even aged four I knew she was drunk. I’d find empty wine bottles in the washing basket, and recognise the vacant look in her eyes. When Mum’s drinking got out of control, she would forget to look after me, so her father – my grandad John – would take me in for months at a time. He wanted to give Mum the chance to pull herself together, but we’d miss each other so much that I’d always end up back with her.
Grandad didn’t tell social services because everyone was scared of Peter – Grandad was in his 70s and no match physically if things turned violent … I remember Mum being sober for a few days and she’d be the best mum I could ask for – funny, caring and chatty. Desperate for her to be like that all the time, when I was around nine I told a teacher what was happening, but Peter convinced them I’d made it all up. It was devastating. A few months on in 1991, Mum finally left Peter and shortly after that started seeing Steve, a plasterer, who was kind and gentle and loved her very much. I desperately hoped things would change, but Mum’s boozing continued.