We were all scared of dad. He would fly into rages and demand perfection in our school results, and swear and smash the table with his fist. Dad did the silent treatment whenever mum tried to assert her own views.

Our home was like walking on eggshells. You never knew what it would be like at home after school. You didn’t want to bring friends home. It made it worse. On your own you could make sense of it – but letting others see it somehow made it different.

How it affected me and how I coped

We stopped talking. We all kind of withdrew from being present or vocal. I wanted to be invisible. If I could make us kids be quiet it would be better.

I didn’t tell anyone. A couple of friends said stuff and asked if I was alright. One day it all came out. One teacher might have had an idea but I didn’t like her, so I wasn’t okay with talking to her about this.

My advice

Find someone to talk to about it, find a way to talk about what’s happening at home.