Despite mum and dad saying they’d keep their divorce civil for the sake of us kids, they didn’t. I was 14 and it was a difficult time, made worse by a friend asking every morning when I arrived at school: ‘what’s the latest gossip’? Referring to the continual angst between my parents.  As Christmas neared I was so excited about the school variety show. It distracted my friends from the ‘gossip’ and me from the upset. Our year group wasn’t allowed to perform in the show but for the first time we were allowed to watch it. This show was revered. No one quite knew what happened in it but we knew it’d be great and that we could look down on the rest of the lower years at school knowing that we ‘knew’ and they didn’t!

The day at school arrived and so did my mum. Seeing mum at school during the day automatically flicked my inner alert button. She’d come to take me away. The family court had ruled that Dad remain in our home. Mum decided that if dad wouldn’t go, then we would instead. I was devastated at the thought of missing the show; it was the only thing that felt normal to me at that point.

I started my period that day. It kind of made it all ok. My friends had something new to gossip about.