‘When I was really young, my mum found out that my dad was cheating on her… for the second time! She wanted him to leave the house immediately but for 18 months he refused to leave.
I remember them talking in the living room and knowing something was wrong. I don’t remember what was being discussed or how I was feeling at the time, but I sensed something was happening and whatever that something was, it was not good.
When my dad finally left, my mum said to me “he’s going out” and I remember replying “he’s not coming back is he?” She said “no”. I watched him leave from the window and I didn’t see him again for a very long time.
A year and a half later he took my oldest brother for a week. My Mum was really agitated, and I remember feeling really scared and upset. My Mum thought that my dad might keep my brother and not bring him back. We didn’t have a telephone so I couldn’t call and find out what day he was bringing him back. I spent the week feeling anxious.
Then one day we were walking up the road and there was my dad and my brother coming towards us. I remember feeling so relieved. I was 3 or 4 years old.
The thought that Dad might steal one of us stayed with me until I was a teenager. I would imagine that he would take me away and never let me go home. After I started school, my brothers and I had visitation on school holidays and some weekends.
I used to get anxious if I was not with my brothers when I went to stay at my dad’s house.
As I grew up, my dad ended up moving a few hours away and he did not own a car so I rarely saw him after that. I understand that parents separate but I wish they had dealt with it better.”