I was 13 when infidelity smashed my life apart four years ago. My little sister Chelsea was 4 and my big sister Emma was 16. Life was so good up until then with great holidays abroad, lovely home, all the latest clothes. I was really close to my mum and dad even though I sometimes felt dad favoured Emma more than me. Emma who was always so good at sports, singing, dancing, in fact good at everything.
My mum suffered sometimes with serious depression so dad was very hands-on with us. Taking and picking us up from school, sport activities, drama, etc. But despite mum’s problem I always thought my parents were happily married. Then one Saturday morning my world began to fall apart.
Mum received a letter hand delivered through our door. Emma found the letter on the mat and handed it to mum who innocently opened it in front of us. The letter went into detail about my dad shagging some woman at work. My mum went to pieces and when dad got home they had a huge fight. We heard everything. Mum wanted him to leave but he convinced her it was all lies.
All this affected me loads and although they seemed to be sort of OK again after a few days, I wasn’t. No one asked me how I was feeling. My mum was always focussing on Chelsea because she was so little and dad always seemed to be supporting Emma’s sports activities and I just felt invisible and left out.
So I did a very silly thing. I told a serious lie to my friends at school to get some attention and sympathy. The lie got out of hand and when it came out that I’d lied and what I’d lied about it pushed my father further away from me even though the lie wasn’t about him or my family.
So now I hated my home life even more. So much so that the only way I could express my hurt was to start self-harming. I just wanted to get out all the hurt and anger I was feeling and didn’t know how else to do that. I also dramatically changed my appearance. I dyed my beautiful long blonde hair jet black, which matched my mood, and wore dark smokey makeup.
Then after a few months the arguments started again with my mum and dad. Mum crying, dad shouting. Then in May 2012 on a Monday morning I was dropped off at school by dad and everything seemed fine. I kissed him goodbye and his last words to me were: “see you at half 3”.
My two sisters had gone on a school trip. Mid-morning my form tutor called me out of my lesson and I was met in the secretary’s office by my aunty who said “I need to take you home”. I sat in her car and she told me to be brave and that my mum had been rushed to hospital coz she’d tried to cut her wrists after my dad had gone back to the house that morning and told her he was leaving her for his mistress of 5 years.
It’s now 2015. I’ve had counselling at school which helped me put things into perspective and stopped self-harming. I know I have a fab mum and a close-knit extended family and good friends
By choice I have no relationship with my dad at all. I don’t want to meet his girlfiend. I used to blame myself for everything that had gone wrong but I now realise that I obviously wasn’t to blame at all. My mum now has a boyfriend who I get on with well. And I’m looking forward to passing my ‘A’ levels, my driving test and getting on with my life.