The sheer mental torture that I went through as a kid, the fear, and now looking back seeing that I was manipulated by my Dad in the way that I was for his own interests, I mean, this is pure child abuse. We travelled around for ten years – the most we stayed in one place was maybe six months if that long. I couldn’t talk about my mother at all with my father during any of that time. Basically he’d freeze up or get very angry or do something kind of scary like throw something on the floor or just get really really really angry, and really tense. So I couldn’t say the M word, that was Mom, mother, I couldn’t bring it up, and it was frightening. It reinforced herscariness to me, it felt that shewas the cause of that fear, it was herfault that my father would get angry and withdrawn. So it wasn’t his fault it became her fault in my mind. … I think back to that little kid and I feel so much pain. Even the fact that I had had one perception of my father and his role in my life and how selfless he’d been and for years how he’d put his child first and he did all this for my sake to protect me against this terrible mother. And then when all that started changing it really screwed with my whole outlook on life and my own trust in my own perceptions on life. … It led to a lot of depression, a lot of anxiety, trouble sleeping, I have nightmares sometimes … It’s caused a tremendous amount of upheaval and pain.
Nick Child, Rtd Child Psychiatrist and Family Therapist, Edinburgh