“Mum took us away from Dad with no explanation. I needed answers…"

I always knew there were problems with my parents. After the hushed whispers and loud noises, I just knew there was trouble. Mum moved us to stay with Granny, but we had to leave everything behind. My siblings shared a room, but I had to share a room with Mum. She tried very well to hide her feelings from us but I saw her pain. She was very sad, and I remember hearing her cry into her pillow every night. I would ask her what’s wrong and where is Dad? But she never answered. I missed home and Dad so much, and I felt angry that she had taken us away. I just didn’t understand.

A month went by, and Mum told us we were going to see Dad every weekend now. I was so excited! We all loved spending time with Dad playing games and gossiping. My siblings and I would fight over our time with Dad though as we only had two hours. We hated saying goodbye to him. One day, I refused to leave and started crying. The nice lady at the centre helped me feel better and told me that Dad would always be here for us. I believed her so I went home with Mum.

But then things got bad between me and Mum. I hated that she took me away from Dad, and she never answered my questions. I also hated that I had to be the strong one for my siblings and felt that no one was there for me. I felt so alone. This made me very angry and one day I lashed out and hurt my Mum. 

After that, whenever we saw Dad, I would tell him how mean Mum was and how much I missed him. Dad told us that it wasn’t right to hurt Mum with words or with my hand and that I must try harder to be nice to her. So I did. I tried so hard. I just wanted my family back together again.

The centre helped us having talks with Mum and my siblings and they really supported us throughout the bad times. I felt safe there, and I knew I could tell them anything if I wanted to. I told them I wanted to see Dad outside of the centre but they explained to us that we needed some more time first. We carried on seeing Dad there for a while, and things got much better.

Time went by, and I felt much calmer around Mum and I was very grateful to Voice of the Child for helping us. We were able to see Dad outside of the centre now, and next week we get to have our first sleepover in our old beds! I can’t wait. Thank you, Voice of the Child for bringing my family back together!

Mr Sikes’ Family, told by Emma, 12, 2018