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Living in a home where drugs, criminality, violence and mental health disorders are commonplace can feel like a rollercoaster ride that doesn’t stop. It gets faster and faster with each year that passes and tempting as it sometimes is, jumping off, you think, will end with serious injuries, maybe even death! Regardless, jumping off would mean leaving everyone in the family, not just the one, who in some way or other, seems to be responsible for the dramas.

The dilemma is, that sometimes, the ride is fantastic! There are moments when the butterflies in your stomach bat their wings so hard that with each flap, the exhilaration rises. The good times when you laugh so hard your sides ache. The minutes when you haven’t a care in the world – life is good!

Then, just as quickly as you recognize that feeling, you hear the ticking start. You are sitting in the carriage as the rollercoaster ascends the steep slope, you don’t know what’s waiting at the top. You hope and pray that it’s going to be good, but inside the fear, the apprehension and the anxiety starts to grow.

You are past the point of no return….no turning back now……………………………!

It’s a love-hate relationship with this rollercoaster ride! The hair-raising part is over and quickly you are into the fun of the bends and then, you feel the beads of sweat breaking out on your hands again as you grip the bar, the new slopes coming into view.

There is no on and off switch…. There is no emergency stop!

Every occasion splits you in two. You look forward to the confirmation as much as you dread it. You look forward to getting married whilst inside you are petrified and ashamed.

Your excitement about going on holiday builds up like a tower inside you which, in the blink of an eye, comes crashing down at the airport. How foolish you feel when the reality kicks in and you realise this day will end in the usual chaos and craziness.

Many wonder why you put up with this pitiful life? My answer is that it’s not just about feeling frightened and living through gruesome and near death experiences. It can also be fantastically funny, animated and lively. I am really living and feeling and breathing!

What I wish for most of all, for those who have sat or are still sitting in these rollercoaster carriages, is for companionship. Step inside and sit beside us. Put your hands beside ours and let’s hold the bar together! Lean towards us as we go around the bends and up the hills. Whisper softly that there is a way to stop this ride; that my hand is going to find the brake. If you are there with me, maybe I can find the courage?! Maybe not today, maybe not this year but one day…..


Because everything is easier when someone holds you hand!

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