In this story: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) / LGBT+ /

"I enjoyed my brief stint with finally having a childhood and a young adulthood."

“When I moved away, things slowly started to change. In my head, I thought it might be more like “I don’t need you anymore”, but it wasn’t really like that. I wasn’t ready for another big change- I thought I could make it work in a “happy medium” way.

I thought this is great, when I first move, I’m gonna get myself better. I tried to transfer to a GP surgery in Glasgow, to get proper help, but I needed my NHS number. I called my parents, pretending I needed a vaccine, and they refused to give it to me. They knew it wasn’t really about that.

Another thing was that I wasn’t allowed to do my own laundry. They would come and pick it up, take it home and wash it, and then drive it back into Glasgow. If it was up to me, I would have only seen them at Christmas, but this became an excuse to see me, to check on me. They would go through my laundry, checking for spilt drinks from a night out, or stains, or anything that would raise “suspicion”. They would want an explanation. It was suffocating.

Even then, I was out of the home, I was out of town, but I was still being controlled.

It sounds silly, but I didn’t want my plan to work to have worked, to have got to 18 and then to die. I spent my whole childhood worrying about the plan, making the plan work, that I didn’t have the mental capacity to think about what happens after the plan. I just wanted to enjoy that period of relative freedom without thinking about another plan.

I was less worried about letting things go, I took more risks, with telling people my story, things like that. Almost all the leverage they had over me had gone, there was less to be threatened with. I enjoyed my brief stint with finally having a childhood and a young adulthood, drinking, having relationships for the first time, to have some freedom.

I was unwell but I was enjoying myself.”

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