The oldest memories I have lead back to the age of 4 years old
I’m sitting at the bar of a pub my parents used to own
in a booster seat
my father commanding my mother around like she’s some sort of
twisted cinderella
watching them like a game of cat and mouse
that not even Tom and Jerry would want to join in

By the time I was 15 my mother had already had 4 nervous breakdowns
3 suicide attempts, endless trips to the hospital
and an addiction to alcohol
my father, anger issues he used to drink away and shrug
what use is a child in a situation of desperation
when the ones who are supposed to look after you
are the ones causing you despair

Flashbacks to sounds of 3am stumbling
turned into storms that were thundering
through the eyes of a 6 year old
my mother’s ghostly pale eyes haunted me like a nightmare
that I still wake up from
I remember looking at her wondering
if I even know the person stood in front of me
to this day, I’m still unsure

13 years old, I remember wiping away spit off my face
from the mouth of my mother
her vicious words attacking my pores
like they are clogged with too many opinions
but she meant no harm
the next day she does not remember
but how could I ever forget

My sister’s 18th birthday
she decided to throw a party
cake, champagne, close friends
a night to remember
So Cinderella went to the ball
but then the clock hit 12 and the spell came undone
my mum lying on the floor passed out
from her blood alcohol content
the 16 year old hiding in her room
anxiously awaiting for it all to end
I am still anxiously waiting

Some side effects of bipolar disorder are high-risk behaviours such as
spending sprees, drug or alcohol dependency, suicide attempts,
memory loss, forgetting about your responsibilities,
forgetting that you have children to look after,
not recognizing the fear on their faces that you caused

You used to be drunk in love with the family you created,
now you’re hungover stumbling on the mess you made
Mum, I do not hate you
I cannot imagine what demons you are fighting inside
and how brave you are being
but please forgive me if I cannot forget
the nightmares of a child in the back of my mind
when she is still living inside of me

The rest of my family,
oblivious to what is going on under these four walls
name-calling of “over-dramatic” and “attention seeking”
when I would cry out for help
thrown my way as a child
I have learned to be silenced from a young age

I do not want to talk about my own mental health
when my mother’s has been so blatantly ignored
and you know there’s irony
when you feel more comfortable around the baristas at starbucks
than your own family

Family traits run blood thick
and this is how I became the heir
of poor mental health
and crippling anxiety that I never asked for
but inheritance is inevitable