The day I left home

how to help yourself

The day I left home started badly. With a punch in the face and almost broken nose to be exact.

One of the many lies I was told throughout my childhood was that my half brother and sister’s father was mine as well. Growing up I just felt there was something amiss, that he didn’t love me quite as much. When I was about 12 I confronted my parents about it and was told a pack of fibs. They said he wasn’t on my birth certificate because he was in prison when I was born. Of course he loved me just as much as the others, what a silly girl I was.

They had an on again off again relationship, he would flit in and out of our lives often going AWOL for big chunks of time. He was an alcoholic and emotional bully but he never (usually) raised his fists. He had an horrendous childhood, was the victim of so much abuse himself it really isn’t any wonder he is who he is. Maybe some day I’ll write a post about the terrible things he went through.

To paint you a picture of that time I was 15, and not enjoying myself. We had recently returned to the UK from living abroad for over a year where they start school later than us Brits. This meant I was repeating things I had already done when we were there and ended up really behind when we got home. It was my eighth school (four primary, four senior) and although I was a fairly bright kid all the moving had taken its toll on my education. I was also being bullied but more on that another time.

He had recently lost his job and was feeling the strain of not working, this meant he was drinking even more in the evenings and was in a vile mood in the mornings. The morning I left home started like any other school day, everyone getting ready and rushing around. We had been arguing about something or other and I called him a fat slob. Admittedly I shouldn’t have done, but before I had time to apologise and realise what was happening he leapt out of his chair and punched me in the face. I had so much blood on my white shirt it looked as if I’d been shot.

After a very emotional day I told my mother she had two options: drive me to London to stay with relatives and still have a daughter or try and make me stay and I’d leave anyway. It wasn’t much of a choice, we left for London that evening.

He said I’d be pregnant and living in a council flat by the time I was 18, I got great satisfaction out of proving him wrong. I can’t imagine she thought it was possible to end up losing me later down the track, and have no-one to blame but herself.

Shortly after this incident they split for good, and she told me the truth. He wasn’t my father after all. She put me in touch with my biological dad, who is currently the only family member I have in my life. It’s a shame his wife doesn’t know I exist but more about that another time.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how important it is to be open and honest with your nearest and dearest. Everything I’ve been through goes to show that secrets and lies cause nothing but heartache and drive families apart.


35 thoughts on “The day I left home

  1. Oh hun, how awful to have been lied to like that for your whole childhood. Honesty is essential. I could not agree more. Leaving was such a brave thing to do; it must have taken a lot of emotional strength. I imagine it was a tough (but cathartic) post to write. x

  2. I know how you feel, and am exactly the same. All those crappy things that happened to us have made us the people we are. It can be difficult to articulate feeling this way to someone who had a nice, normal childhood. Some folk are so messed up by the dysfunction they experienced, I feel incredibly fortunate to have come out the other end and be happy. We do say ‘it is what it is’ over here and I agree, it’s very appropriate in this instance!

  3. When I was growing up, getting my ass kicked at home on an almost daily basis, it never dawned on me that it was any different for anyone else–until it did, at which point I began to suspect that I was the aberration, the only one to be getting what I got. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. My wife pities me sometimes–she won’t admit to it, but I know that she does even though I explain to her that I wouldn’t change a minute of it because all that I experienced made me the man I am, in the place I am now. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel wistful for the little boy I see, never smiling, in all those old pictures, of course–but it sounds like you know what I mean. Do folks in the UK use the phrase “it is what it is?” Feels appropriate here.

  4. Very brave and courageous sharing this hun. I am sorry you went through hell.

    Thank you for linking up with the weekend blog hop

    Hope to see you again tomorrow

    Laura x x x

  5. Exercising the demons of the past and putting them to rest is my only advice. I am in the process of writing about my experience with counselling – can’t recommend it enough! Good luck to you

  6. Thanks for your lovely comments. Getting to the bottom of family secrets can be easier said than done, and really you’re right – it’s probably best not to know anyway! xx

  7. Wow, this is on every brave post to write and you sound like a very brave young lady to have left home before, god forbid, anything worse happened. Thank you for sharing your story. As another blogger said, you are an inspiration. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo xx

  8. Hi, this is my first visit via #pocolo. You show amazing strength of character and I agree, writing is very therapeutic. Im off for a nosy round the rest of your blog ;o) xx

  9. It was an emotional post for me to read – I have been through similar situations with lies etc.and finding out things. Life would be much easier with more honesty – I second that. x

  10. Our family has secrets, I know they do and although I have tried to find out the truth, they just won’t reveal! Sometimes I think not ‘officially’ knowing is better, but sometimes I just wish they would ‘fess up! Great post and really enjoyed your previous posts too. sending some #pocolo to you xx

  11. Oh my goodness, what a post to come in on! This is the first time I have visited your blog – I will need to read more to get the full picture I think. Sounds like you had a very very tough childhood but have managed to bring yourself up to be a well-rounded functioning human being. I totally agree about secrets and lies. The darkness breeds fear. When you bring things out into the light that is the start of healing and mending what is broken.

  12. Thanks Keren, what a lovely thing to say. I’m getting a lot out of writing about my past, it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time. Getting it out all of my head is so theraputic! It would be nice to also give hope to others, proving that there is life (normal life) after a dyfunctional childhood.

    You have a great day too xx

  13. That’s a tough story to read and yet you have obviously great strength to have continued on. I admire your honesty and agree that keeping secrets is damaging. You’re an inspiration- hope you have a lovely day.

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