I can remember when I was small, all I can remember is I was on the top of the stairs… my Dad was holding me saying “No one’ s gettin’ me”. Mum left to pay him back.
She had nowhere to go so we stayed in Edel House for a while. All the memories of living there, I couldn’t understand why I was there. I was five, six.
My brother was younger, I remember playing with my brother, with milk all over the place, we were pretending to cook sausages on the floor. My mother was downstairs… she thought we were asleep… we took out the milk and the sausages and threw them all over the floor. We had Christmas day there… the three of us.
She moved to Mayfield after that, we got the flat. We were living there for ages and ages, two brothers was born. She met my step Dad, it felt strange first, ’cos he was stayin’ and my own Dad wasn’t there. I didn’t know his number, nothin’.
But, I was in care before that, before I was eight. I think she got sick and couldn’t take care of us properly… so, social worker dropped us off. I was in foster care for ages… ages… I went back living with her, then I was out in my Nan’s. Then I went back into care, but I decided to come out myself …tried to sort things out… couldn’t. Then, after, we kind of got on, but as I got older we started fighting, arguing and shouting at each another. I was thirteen and my Nan passed away. Couldn’t take it.
Then it got ten times worser… I just wanted to end my life… I didn’t want to live no more. My relationship with my mother broke down, completely broke down. We were arguing… I decided to leave and go to Limerick, living with a friend. I was going up and down, she’d come up and collect me, she told me not to see my Dad, don’t go to Limerick… she wouldn’t leave me stay with my Dad… My step Dad died when I was eighteen and my mother couldn’t take it and I just couldn’t take it.
I became homeless… I knew this woman all my life since I was a child… she used to take me in… I was suicidal and she couldn’t help me… I went out again and I went to live at Good Shepherd Cork Residential Care for Teenage Girls They tried to help me, the way I was mixed up with the wrong people… I shouldn’t of… the drink… I tried to hide that I was upset… couldn’t.
They tried helping me by calming me down… after a year I wanted to go back to my mother …we kind of got on. Yeah, I decided to go back to her.
One morning I got up…found out my other Nana passed away. She told me what happened… I just ran out of the house… went back to the woman I knew… I bawled out crying to her …she held me… she asked me what was wrong. I just told her I needed help; I broke down on my hands and knees crying… she brought me in… listened to everything… I’m living with her now…
Then she told me about Good Shepherd Cork Education & Development. I told her I’d give it a go, went in for an interview. I started to do classes. It helped me out, it’s goin’ grand. All of a sudden, I just calmed down…. went away from the drink, went away from the bad people. I want to do work with children; Childcare. I want to do that in college afterwards.
I feel a lot better now…calmer, more confident. I used to think it was the end of the world for me… I had to remember my confidences… where they were … the person I used to be… I’ve a lot of friends at Good Shepherd Cork.
[Susan is not her real name]