And so there we were…my Mum in the driver seat, me in the front passenger seat and my two sisters in the back seats, all looking out of the car windows. The car pulled up to this double story brick building me with my nose against the window smearing some green friends along the glass. Mum turns the ignition off opens the door and tells us to wait in the car, she walks into the building, straight away I turn to my sisters, “Where are we” my Sisters don’t know. After a while Mum comes out to the car with another lady. We get out of the car and go over to her. “Hi, you guys are staying here for a few days” I notice she was saying this to us but kind of to Mum, “Why don’t you get your bags” Mum and us go to the boot of the car and collect our clothes, we follow the lady to the front door of the house. I distinctly remember walking into this huge house and straight away seeing posters of women and comments such as “need help, call us”. I remember this so well. The lady turns to my Mother and says “follow me”, we walk up the stairs and just like a tour guide commenting “Over to the left is the lounge room” There was two other people in the lounge room, I presumed that they were mother and daughter. As we walk up the stairs the lady comments “You’ll see there the kitchen, you can put your food here in this cupboard and use this fridge, we try and finish all cooking by 8pm, follow me”, my Mum, two sister and me follow her past doors I only assumed were bedrooms, she stopped at one door and opened it saying “This is your room, one rule is that we don’t have visitors here. If u have any questions please come and see someone in the office downstairs”. And then she left. straight away when we were alone I turned to mum and said “Why are we here where’s dad?” Mum just said we were staying here for a few days because she’s left dad.
She’s left dad, thousands of thoughts were spinning through my head. My god this is all my fault just wait till I see him, thinking that he was going to come through the door at any stage. That night laying in bed, I just watched the door in the dark listening to my sisters and Mum sound asleep and expecting that at any stage my Dad would appear. He didn’t.
We stayed at this place for a couple of weeks and then we moved back to our house, when we arrived Dad wasn’t there and his clothes were gone, Mum just explained that he doesn’t live here anymore. Life started become routine without my Dad around, for some reason I never slept in my bed, I always slept in my Mums bed. My behaviour turned for the worst, I became angry and resentful of everything, I still didn’t like being at home, at any chance I could I was over at my friends house. Sleep overs on Fridays after school became the norm. Mum got a job as a delivery driver for Pizza Hut. This meant that she needed to find a baby sitter for us. My Mum ended up finding a person named Michelle and her boyfriend Jacko, Michelle was 19 and the boyfriend was 26. Thinking back these two people were the appitamy of stereotypical bogan, mullet hair cut and all. But I liked them, we always went to their bottom level apartment when they looked after us. They were cool and friendly and fun, one night when Mum left us there, my sisters went to sleep, I was still awake, Michelle said come into the kitchen, so I did. Jacko came in, we all sat down at the table, then all of a sudden out came a plastic bottle with a hose poking out of the middle, with some water at the bottom. A bong. They started talking about pot and how it was a soft drug and fun, but should never tell anyone that they smoked, I reassured them that I would never tell anyone. And from that moment on every time they babysat us, my sisters went to sleep and I watched them smoke pot in the kitchen, they never let me smoke it but always wanted me to watch, actually thinking about it now, this was really strange, but felt normal at the time, I was in their secret little club of trust. One time Jacko went out of the room and Michelle quickly packed the bong with pot and lit it, smoke started filling the bottle. She leant over and blew the smoke into my mouth, smoke enveloped my mouth. Jacko walked back in and said “Has he had a smoke”, Michelle said “no”, so I went along with it. So this was the norm for so long, Mum must of made friends with Michelle’s friend, there was a guy who used to come over to our house, he called me Bluie, he was pretty cool, but every-time we saw him he was drunk, and then Mum and him would go into the bedroom for a while. Things felt very safe for me for a time, I was calming down. Then one day I remember my Mum having a flu, her sickness went on for a while, one day before school she asked if I could stay home to look after her, my sisters went to school. During the day we went to the doctors, who told her she just had a cold and gave her some medication, we drove home, pulled up out the front of the house, the car stopped. And then all of a sudden things turned for the worst, my Mum became very disorientated and started shaking and saying she was cold. Mum was physically shaking, I opened the door ran to the house to get a blanket, when I came back Mum asked me to help her to the house.
I was scared, something really wasn’t right.
Mum had her arm around me and I helped her up the front stairs into house and then into her bedroom, thoughts were rushing through my head, I could still feel Mum shaking and finding it hard to walk.
Little did I know at the time, things would get a whole lot worse from here.