Every Friday used to be movie night and we made pizza on the last Friday of every month. The last one I remember was when we spent the whole day making pizza and then argued who got to sit where at night. These were the happier times before everything started to change.
Dad started getting angry more often and started arguing a lot with Mum. It was really scary hiding upstairs with my brothers when there was a big shouting match going on downstairs. This started happening a few times a week and it was really embarrassing knowing the neighbours could hear everything.
People would often visit us to try and help with everything but I always felt quite lonely in my head. I managed to convince myself that I couldn’t tell anyone about it and it became a big secret.
With a little bit of help, Mum managed to find the courage and strength to leave my Dad. It was a big change because we picked up everything we had and left. We moved into my Gran and Grandad’s house in a completely different town. We had to squish into the rooms and share with each other so I didn’t have as much privacy as I used to.
When we left my Dad, we had to leave my pet gerbils behind. I trusted him to feed them and take care of them but he didn’t. It hurt me quite a bit because they were my first pets and I love them so much.
Over the next year, we moved another few times. We first moved back home when my Dad moved out but he would always visit and it was terrifying to know he had a key. I started getting more paranoid and protective over my family but I knew there was nothing I could do. I hated feeling vulnerable and nervous all the time.
I started noticing that my anxiety was rising a lot which scared me. It was horrible to always be looking over my shoulder and I always had this urge to keep my brothers safe. Then we moved back to Gran and Grandad’s house where Mum suggested that I find someone to talk to.
Now I’m getting support from my key worker and I hope it will help me with everything that has happened.