how to help yourself
Mental Health

The day I left home

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.


You may also like...


  1. […] is no beating around the bush here, when I left home and emerged into adulthood at 15, I was seriously messed up, and how could it have been any other […]

  2. […] is no beating around the bush here, when I left home and emerged into adulthood at 15, I was seriously messed up, and how could it have been any other […]

  3. […] the thing: I’ve been defying logic all my life. When I left home at 15½ my step father spat “you’ll be pregnant and living in a hovel by the time […]

  4. Le Coin de Mel says:

    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

  5. […] be twenty years in January since I left home. I took any job going back then and slept on people’s floors. Within eighteen months I was […]

  6. […] our power to find a solution to make it better. We never put them in danger or expose them to the hideousness that I saw way before my innocent eyes should have done. I guess these things should be a given, […]

  7. […] line, was lied to about all sorts and suffered abuse in various forms throughout my childhood. When I left home at 15 it was without money or a single […]

  8. […] his fists which I’m thankful for. After they finally went their separate ways shortly after I left home, he travelled the world on his motorbike. He even came and visited me in Asia. I got on with him […]

  9. […] had a highly dysfunctional upbringing, left home when I was 15 and went on to cut ties with all my family. I slept on people’s floors and worked cash in […]

  10. […] have had a more colourful past than most. I had a dysfunctional upbringing and left home at just 15. Certain things I went through as a child lead to major bouts of depression as a young […]

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. Thanks Denise, your kind words mean a lot 🙂

  14. Thanks for linking to this from your post today.

    Well done for getting through it and becoming the wise person you are today.

  15. […] have no idea of the anguish and disappointments I’ve endured. That I had a messy upbringing, troubled adolescence and have battled with addiction. You’d never know the pain I’ve gone through to get to […]

  16. […] the parent role and she was the lost child. In many respects it had always been this way, but after I left home I became a source of financial aid for her as well as emotional. In the first few months that I was […]

  17. […] an early age I knew I couldn’t rely on my family, so I have always taken friendship more seriously than most. Once I knew who the keepers were I […]

  18. 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

  19. judithkingston says:

    Thanks! I love discovering new blogs. 🙂

  20. 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

  21. Thank you so much, your lovely words mean a lot xx

  22. Thanks CJ, seems silly now but it was a big thing for me to prove him wrong when I was younger :o)

  23. Thanks so much Kat! Hope you enjoyed it xx

  24. Lies are hard work, seems the best we can do as the victims of being lied to is not do the same with our own families xx

  25. 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

  26. Thanks so much Judith, and for all your other comments. Am loving your own blog :o)

  27. Very brave blog. Maybe one day ill be brave enough and ill remember this as the time I first considered it. Thanks.

  28. 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

  29. wow that must have been so tough for you! I am very glad you proved him wrong and you have your real father in your life. x Hopping over from Blow Your Own Bloghorn.

  30. 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

  31. 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

  32. 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

  33. judithkingston says:

    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.

  34. 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

  35. 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.