7th of July 1998 

12 years old and sat with a hand full of paracetamol thinking there was no alternative, what did I have in life but more to the point who would care? The burden of life had become too much or rather the burden of another’s actions had, that person was my mother.

That night I’d drank 3 litres of cheap cider and was on self-destruct and I didn’t care no more if I died, I wanted to die. My worth was on the floor and I had no energy to hold myself together anymore so how could I even look after an abusive alcoholic? I remember thinking she probably wouldn’t even care anyway what I was doing considering I learnt from the master of self-harming and witnessed it enough. I sat an opened all the packets and stacked them up till there was a pile of pills, I remember looking thinking this is my way out. There was no one else at home, my brother Dougie was out and my mam in her second home the Tam O' Shanter pub.  I went into the kitchen an poured myself another cider and staggered into the room and took my first tablet, then the second till they were all gone washed down with the cheap poison I was drinking. I remember thinking to myself I hope it’s quick and hoped I would just fall asleep and never wake up! I remember crying like the tears would never stop my heart physically hurt but it was my mind that was more destroyed. 

I heard the front door go and someone was coming in, I tried to hide the evidence as fast as I could but just wasn’t fast enough and Dougie caught me, he wasn’t stupid we had seen my mam take enough overdoses to last us a lifetime. He was so angry with me and I felt guilty that he had to find me in this state but at the same time I begged him not to tell anyone, looking back now how could I have even put that on him? He screamed and shouted at me and said he was calling the pub for my mam to come home, by this time it was nearly closing time anyway. He called her and told her what I had done and she said she would be home soon. I remember the feeling of been pissed off but thinking she probably wouldn’t care at the same time too. She came back with her friend Vicki at about 12:30 am and looked at me like I was shit on her shoe and called me every name going, not once did she cuddle me and ask me what was wrong, but she probably already knew the answer anyhow. All she could say was if social services knew what I had done she would be in trouble, not what would happen if I died. So instead I was told to stick my fingers down my throat and drink endless amounts of salt water while she sat in front of the living room  fire smoking and pouring herself and Vicki a vodka while telling me I was pathetic, yes a pathetic 12 year old that had just had enough. It was getting late and I had enough of sticking my fingers down my throat to the point it felt raw whilst throwing up white horrible froth and listening to her depressing music on full volume so I took myself to bed around 3 am.  

I remember been laid in my bedroom in darkness still hoping I wouldn’t wake up, however all night I tossed and turned until it was light. I got up and felt so sick with pains in my belly and had to run to the toilet and was violently sick, the taste was horrendous and a mixture of cider tablets and salt, I felt so shaky but even worse I was still alive. I couldn’t do with been at home so I got washed and changed into my school uniform and waited for the time to hurry up so I could go meet my friend Fiona to walk to school, the house was in silence so I tiptoed down the stairs hoping not to wake anyone, as I went into the living room my mam was passed out on the floor with an ashtray full and her vodka spilt all over and Vicki asleep on the sofa I crept out of the door. 

I remember the birds tweeting and the sunshine but all I could feel was spaced out and teary. I walked up to Tang Hall Lane to meet Fiona at the bottom of her street and as she walked up she looked at me and instantly knew something was wrong, she asked if i was OK and I bust out crying and told her of everything that happened that night, I was still been sick all the way down the cycle track on the route we took to school and I asked her not to tell the teachers but she said “I’m sorry Becky but your my friend and I have to tell someone” as we arrived to school she looked for Mrs Williamson who was the pastoral teacher but I guess more than that she looked out for kids like me and always had the time to listen. Once Fiona found her and told her all what had happened she came and found me and took me to one side and explained she would have to ring an ambulance, I remember a bit of relief as someone cared but also what my mam had said the night before about social services kept playing through my mind. 

We had to go an wait in the reception area of school for the paramedics to arrive and this was right next to the hall were a full school assembly was going on and I remember feeling so embarrassed. When the ambulance people came and took me to hospital I was admitted to the children’s ward, and placed on a drip the nurses were lovely and contacted my mam to say for her to come to the hospital but she refused at first and said she couldn’t come as my brother was ill in bed with flu! Obviously this was a lie. They did eventually persuade her. She came and was fuming with me when the nurses weren’t around, but played the doting mother act when they were! I stayed there for 3 nights and was discharged home with a referral to Lime Trees to have a mental health assessment. 

© 2020 by THS Productions. 

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