I read a blog recently that got me thinking about my childhood. Until the age of four, my sister and I, who are only a year and a half apart in age, were two very happy little girls. I can remember swinging on the front gate, waiting for my mother to come home from work. She worked long, hard shifts as a waitress and always brought us a small gift home, when she was on her afternoon break. A neighbour was paid to look after us. My father was an office worker and both my parents were hardened gamblers. My mother became pregnant and had a weird, ghostly experience, which I may blog about on another occasion. She was developing a duodenal ulcer and my father lost his job. Things changed. Every night my older sister and I prayed for mummy to get better. She gave birth to my younger sister and resumed work after four weeks. She was in terrible pain every day and frequently vomited blood. She was on morphine based pain killers, uppers and downers. Her personality changed. She beat me remorselessly for years. My brother was born and was spoilt from the first day. When I no longer cried when she beat me, she bound my dogs muzzle and beat her to make me cry. It worked. I had many nightmares about that. My younger sister was also abused but not the eldest sister, nor my brother. Once, my sister held me whilst my mother approached me with a red hot poker, for telling lies. I kicked my sister and ran and hid up the road, in a neighbour’s garden. I heard them pass, muttering dire consequences. When I got home, my father gave me a hiding but that was better than being branded. If anyone at school asked about the bruises and wheals I said I had fallen over. I kept a 5 year diary and ticked off the days ‘till I was old enough to leave home. At fourteen, I ran away, got caught and had an exorcism held over me!! I was always afraid of my mother but loved her fiercely and still do, even though she passed away 20 years ago. I never forgave my father for allowing it to happen. You see, I understand she was driven mad with pain and drugs. I wonder what his excuse was.