"After my mum and dad got divorced and my mum started seeing another bloke, my dad changed a lot."
At first I used to go and see him at weekends and it was sort of alright but he seemed quite spaced out, like he didn’t really know what was going on around him. Then after a couple of weeks he started to get really stressed at me. He’d swear and shout out bad things about my mum and chuck things around the house. Other times when I went to see him he would just ignore me. He didn’t make any dinner or do anything with me.
I told my mum and her new boyfriend about it. They didn’t seem too worried about it and said it would hurt my dad’s feelings if I didn’t go to see him. Then one time when I went to visit, my dad went really strange and said that my mum was brainwashing me and that’s why I didn’t want to see my dad anymore, because of bad things my mum was saying. My dad told me he’d set fire to my mum’s flat if I stopped coming to see him.
When my mum found out she went to the Police for help. After a while it went to court and the courts said my dad shouldn’t see me until he’d got special help from a counsellor. I was sad about being separated from dad because I really love him even though he seemed to be acting a bit crazy. I missed the way he used to be and all the nice things we used to do when we were a family but I was also a bit scared about being on my own with him.
At the moment I see him once a week. I don’t have to go on my own. My mum takes me to a Spurgeons centre where there are people to look after me. Then my dad comes to the centre too and we have a cup of tea and a chat or watch a DVD together. It was frightening when my dad started acting weird but he seems to be getting a bit better and I think one day it will be safe for me to see him on my own again.
- ‘Sam’ aged 15