My memories of Christmas are highs and lows. But the memory that sticks out the most was the open coal fire. I’m twelve years old and it is 5am. Before anyone else I’m sat amongst the presents. The only light you have is from the Christmas tree and the fire coals. Everyone is fast asleep including our pet dog who is snoring in the kitchen. I sat there for two hours stoking the fire to keep it alight. The smell that came off the coals and the Christmas tree was unmistakable. With the big brass ships bell sat at the side shining with the flick of flames reflecting of its surface.
Christmas time brought its far share of tears with the flow of alcohol, but that memory no-one could have spoiled. It was me on my own soaking up every inch of it. Until my siblings came in the room with noise and shouting.
After that christmas things changed and so had I. When I was thirteen I was abused by a family friend. The abuse went on for a year and a half. My parents did not find out until I was fifteen. I had told my eldest sister on her sixteenth birthday, but she insisted mum and dad would do nothing. All my eldest sister was interested in was the gifts he gave her. So when they eventually found out about the abuse I was prepared for their response. From then on I was distant with my father because I felt he did not care.
I went to bed with a smile on my face knowing Sophia and Kayleigh will have something to open. It will be Sophia’s first real Christmas and I have made the effort illness or no illness.
We had roast duck for Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. All Sophia wanted was my home baked Christmas cake.
Later on we went to one of Steve’s friends flats and had something to eat. I did not feel comfortable there it felt intrusive. We all chatted and had fun, but I really wanted to go home.
I can’t stop thinking about my right breast and the results. You make banter, but it is false. People honestly do not understand the fear I have inside and Steve does not explain nothing to them. Again the loneliness I feel puts a dark shadow on my day.