- By girly-d
- On 20/12/2017
- 1 comments
The first time I saw a police car up close it was outside my house.
Inside my house, waiting for me to come home early from school, was the news that my dad had died suddenly, at home earlier that morning.
I was 6 years old. My brother broke the news. He was only 4.
I thought it was a joke at first. I remember going upstairs and sitting on my parents bed waiting for someone to come and fetch me. To tell me that they were kidding. That he had been hiding in the wardrobe all along...but the police were there too so I figured that probably it wasn't a joke...and if it was it wasn't funny.
Long story short, he never did jump out of the wardrobe and not too long after that, my mum had a breakdown. She couldn't cope with being on her own with two barely in school children to look after. So she stopped trying.
Alcohol became her new best friend. I got promoted to mum, our world fell apart and that was the start of my relationship with police cars...
As I grew into my teens I had a friend in the police force. The car would pull up beside me when he found me wandering the streets some nights at stupid o' clock after my mum had locked me out again. She'd either kicked me out in one of her drunken rages or I'd run away to escape one...leaving my brother at home to play piggy in the middle.
My friend was concerned. Would ask me if I was ok. I always answered yes. We both knew that it was a lie. Occasionally I would agree to a lift back home. Most of the time though I preferred to be out just wandering. Less of the spanish inquisition that way.
I would throw stones up at my brothers bedroom window when I came back. This was our code for "if it's safe, come down and let me in". At this point hopefully our mum would be passed out in bed or on the sofa, if not I went walkabout until she was. We never talked about it afterwards. The next morning she would never remember.
Things were different back then. It was easy to fall through the cracks. We did have a social worker, and at one point there was talk about taking us away, but nothing ever materialised. I can only assume that my mum managed to get her act together long enough for social services to back off in the end. Plus I was attempting to cook and desperately trying to look after us all. My first attempts were horrendous if I'm honest, but after that I got pretty good. Enough to earn a living as a chef eventually anyway.
In my late teens I developed my own relationship with alcohol. Maybe it was genetic for me - maybe I was just curious to sample this strong smelling medicine that put peoples heads to sleep. I needed to find something if I'm honest because mine was starting to hurt.
I liked it - although it didn't like me at first. I was sick a lot. But I kept on and kept on and it eventually did what it said on the tin. The pressure on me lifted a bit and I was able to relax a little.
I partied through my twenties. That bit was fine. I was the same as my friends bar the odd occasional blip.
However an assault in my home in my thirties raised the bar and instead of drinking to socialise, I drank to get wrecked.
Every night actually.
There was no police car that time. I didn't report him. I did what was best for me back then and I ran away instead... I don't regret it.
But as my drinking and my vulnerability increased I saw police cars more and more. Interventions to save me from bad boyfriends mainly.
I was reported missing on several occasions when things were particularly bad. My name was on official reports. I was a vulnerable adult and there were serious concerns for my well-being.
With good reason.
The last time I saw a police car I was sitting in the back of it. Being driven from the hospital where I had gone for an examination, back to my local police station to make a statement. The nurse who examined me called the police. Duty bound apparantly because my bruising was so severe. I was sat in the station for hours. Tired, traumatised, stiff and sore and starting to withdraw. Eventually I was driven to a different hospital but I was too overwhelmed and upset to go through with the examination.
They understood. He was going to be questioned anyway. My bruises told a story. He was going to have to tell his side.
A week later I was admitted to detox.
I've seen plenty of police cars since. But these days the occupants of them are passing me by, no longer concerned for my well being or out looking for me. I'm probably still classed as vulnerable. A lot has happened to me lately. But my drinking days are a thing of the past. I take care of myself as best I can and choose my friends and my company wisely.
And with immense relief and gratitude I can safely say now that the last time I was in the back of a car it was a Taxi.