For the past six years *Helen’s daughter has abused drugs and alcohol.
“She has bullied me so many times to get money from me, threatening that bad things will happen if I don’t give her what she wants. She’ll even get me to ask other people for money and of course I have to lie to them about what I need the money for, but I know it’s for her drugs.
My daughter makes me feel like I’m a bad parent, like I’m to blame for her drug use. She tells me that I’ve been a bad mother and that if it wasn’t for me, she wouldn’t be doing what she does. I feel isolated from some friends and neighbours, like they know about my daughter and that they think it’s partly my fault. I used to be a friendly person, but I started to feel like people were looking at me in the street, like they were disgusted with me, they knew police would often visit our house because of my daughter and they must know she was involved in using drugs. They must have felt I was a bad mother. People would ask....”Why don’t you just kick her out?” but I can’t, I love my daughter, I feel I have to give in to her, to keep her happy, I know giving in to her is wrong but it’s just the way she makes me feel.
I have so many sleepless nights. I wait for a knock on the door, Will it be the police? Will they have arrested her? Will they be coming to tell me something bad has happened to her? Will it just be her coming home in a terrible mood?
She tells me her friends might do something bad to me or my house if I don’t give her money. I live in fear like this all the time. Whenever she is bad to me she often says sorry the next day, and that she’ll never do it again.....but she always does.
*Helen's name and image have been changed at her request to protect her anonymity