I was intending to write over the festive season, but I found myself procrastinating, quite probably because I didn’t particularly want to face it! But, alas, I am going to. Since I left our childhood home, I’ve struggled at Christmas, selfishly I was bitterly disappointed by the standards others had for their festive celebrations. I finally figured out why.

You see, despite being left to it in all aspects growing up, my mum would always clean the entire house (dog shit and all I add, but not the clothing graveyard or Utility) from top to bottom, cook an amazing meal, loads of presents, pretty much a perfect Christmas! It didn’t matter that the table was left with food on for days/ weeks and the same went very much so for all the other rubbish. For that one day and the week leading up to it my mother made an effort for us, and it was amazing.

Of course the first Christmas away from that I almost cried because it just wasn’t good enough, how awful is that? It has taken a long time to realise that this was the cause of my festive woe, and thankfully this year was much better because I dropped the expectations that were left from a parent giving too much for a very short time. I wonder why it was that way an awful lot, was it out of guilt? Sad to say I don’t think it was out of love, I think she did it to try and keep us with her, living in the mess of a habitat, and I suppose it worked for a time, but the squalor the rest of the time was too much to hold on to the glimmering Christmas of 2004,

we got out.

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A Brief Summary of My Childhood

Figured I should force myself to come and write a post, for some reason I’m scared of doing it? Sounds rather silly, but I know there’s a lot of stuff to write, and it’s conflicted with intense feelings of inadequacy akin to others who suffered abuse as children. I know that this is just a long term consequence of the neglect, but it’s still frustrating at times.

Anyway, I’ll see how much I can remember and whether I can post it in order, there are large chunks missing from both my twin sisters’ and my memories, we’re trying to piece it together!

I think the neglect started about the time my parents split up, they were fighting a hell of a lot due to my mothers alcohol abuse. Most nights it was a case of mum gets drunk, argues with dad, tried to drive off, eventually successfully leaving behind a very upset father. We didn’t know at the time (too young I guess) but my mum was having an affair with some guy she met at the pub. I should explain that after we were born my dad wanted to settle down and raise his children, my mum wanted to carry on the party lifestyle, and did. Often these arguments would be about how my mum was leaving my dad for this man, wanted my dad out, etc. One time my mum picked up dads phone (when they were split I add, she was with this guy) and a female friend of my dads’ had a huge go at her. This resulted in a physical fight where my mother bit a chunk out of my dads’ chest whilst we were screaming hysterically on the stairs. My Nanna and dad got her into the kitchen where she broke 2 windows, I don’t remember much apart from that.

Anyway, eventually my dad grew tired of my mum essentially calling the shots with her affair and put his foot down. Once my dad was gone, the neglect started. It started with little things like not keeping the house tidy, not going shopping for food (suppose they aren’t really that little huh?), we relied heavily on our Nanna bringing food for us to eat at the weekends. We frequently suffered from worms due to the lack of cleanliness in the house, we ate little, the money given to mum to spend on us was spent on cigarettes and beer, and sometimes a sausage roll from the shop, if we were lucky. As we got older we started stealing money from her jeans pockets or the bowls with change in so that we could buy some food for ourselves. To be honest I think the dogs were better fed than us at times… The parrot wasn’t, but that’s another story I suppose.

So we had the physical neglect alright, but what I never realised was how much emotional neglect there was too. Looking back, almost every evening after coming back from School (even in Primary School she wouldn’t pick us up once dad had gone… we were probably 7?) she would be on the phone, smoking and drinking beer or cider. Barely a word was spoken to us apart from to make her a coffee, there was sometimes a rare slot between calls where we might get a single question asked about our day, but that was about it. We hounded our Nan to buy Odour eliminators we could use on our School uniforms so we didn’t smell of cigarettes, dog and general filth. To be honest it probably didn’t cover it.

The biggest question I ask today, is why didn’t my family do something to get us out? Not that simple, I’ll post about that another time.

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Well, here it goes.

My husband suggested the rather clever idea of creating a blog to help me get through my experience of Childhood neglect. I’ll just post a little bit about myself, I’m 25 years old and living in the UK. I work in a College as a Support Worker. I experienced neglect on both an emotional and physical level from my mother from the age of 8, until my twin and I left at 16 (the first opportunity we had been given to get out).

It is only 9 years after it ended that I’ve even opened up to be husband about the degree of neglect we suffered, I don’t know whether it was a shame issue or whether we massively downplayed what we suffered as those around us did.

I am currently going through counselling which has also in part inspired me to make something to begin the process of healing. I struggled to find specific groups on neglect survivors, and although there is a possibility of sexual abuse ( we’re not sure), I don’t feel it is appropriate to join until we remember more about it, if we ever do that is!

As you might be able to tell, I’m going to keep this anonymous, any names will be different to the reality in order to keep this part of my life safe for now, perhaps one day this will become a resource in my work, perhaps I’ll create a physical group for support, who knows? This feels like the logical first step though.

My next post will most likely be a brief history on the formative years of my twin sister and I.

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