From the beginning of my life my 3 older sisters, my little brother, my mum and I were all subject to really horrific domestic violence by my dad. Every day we were so scared in case he would beat us or smash the house up. I frequently witnessed my mum get beaten, pretty much every day, and it was the same for one of my sisters. For some reason it was those two that got the worst of it. One of my earliest memories is being sat in the corner of a room facing the wall and being in such pain that I couldn't move my leg or sit down properly because I had been slapped so hard on my bum and my thigh that he had left a swollen horrible hand print there. This was all because I woke him up after having a bad dream; I was around 6 at the time. My little brother, who is 18 months younger than me, and I would hide in wardrobes and under beds when we could hear an argument starting and I remember telling my brother to be quiet and to not cry because I didn't want anything bad to happen to him.

Eventually when I was 10 I was taken into care because my dad had slapped my brother bum while picking him up from school; that's when social services got involved and everything began to unravel. All I wanted was to be with my brother and they split us up. I felt so pushed aside because every social worker focused so much on my brother (him being the youngest, it made sense to make sure he was okay) and my sister who received a lot of the violence, for obvious reasons. I felt so pushed out and this is when I started to find more solace in being around older people and doing drugs and drinking. This was when I was about 13.

I became increasingly sexual at this point, which I think stemmed from what little love I received as a child. I remember when I lost my virginity at the age of 13 to an older man (I think he was 17 or 18 at the time) and I thought I was so cool and it was great because I was with this guy who I thought loved me and would buy me alcohol and we would drink together and have loads of sex and it would be amazing. But in reality it just made me incredibly insecure and really reliant on other people for comfort and confidence, and I'm still like that now. At almost 20 I still most of the time feel like I am only good in relationships for sex and to be used when my partner wants me. I don't feel particularly special or like the strong, independent women I see in the media.

I came out of care at the age of 14, but this didn't really stop me when it came to the drinking and drugs and sex. I was constantly smoking weed, drinking alcohol, taking pills, and sleeping with anyone that would have me. During this time I began getting deeper and deeper into a massive state of depression, hence why I was drinking and doing drugs constantly. I was trying to fill a hole in my mind and soul, but it was just making things worse.

At 16 I fell in love with a boy. He was perfect. He was everything I wanted. He was amazing. He didn't do drugs. He rarely drank. I fell in love with him and he was the only person for the year and a half we were together that I had eyes for. Unfortunately the same couldn't be said for him. He would constantly flirt with other girls and send pictures of himself on social media. Although this was heartbreaking, I could never leave him because I loved him so much and he was all I wanted. I was completely enthralled and eventually when we went our separate ways I went back into my spiral of depression and drink and drugs and sex.

In 2016 I had just turned 18 and I thought this would be the time of my life. For three months in the summer I did MDMA, ecstasy and LSD very frequently, pretty much every day I would do at least one of them, and this completely destroyed my mental health. I am still suffering from the effects now. I have been diagnosed so far with severe depression, extreme social anxiety and PTSD, and I am still being assessed for other potential disorders.

I know that this has been very long winded and I appreciate the read. To be honest, I just really wanted to post about this anonymously without judgement. Thank you.