John was always the boisterous one with a short fuse. So unlike his brother Jack and sister Lucy. He was good with doing things like making and fixing stuff, but not very good in English or other subjects. I thought he was more like his dad, Jake.
Jake was away most of time working as a truck driver. It was like being a single parent with three kids. I looked after the home, cooked, fed and cleaned.
But maybe I never spent much time with the kids. They were all good so I never really thought about it. Not until the day Jack came and told us, about John missing school and having bruises all over.
I don’t know how I missed it … there were some signs but I had just thought it was him being a teenager. John’s clothes were smelly, he used to come home really late at weekends and he did not look healthy.
He did not even eat much except some coffee in morning. It was like walking on fire when we first asked John ... I thought John’s life was over. I cried, felt guilty. But Jake is strong now that he’s around more.
Peter the drug counsellor told us all about drugs, how we could help. Somehow I felt there was a ray of hope. It has been long rocky road but I feel stronger. John is enjoying his vocational courses. We make sure we spend time as family, go out even though we can’t afford much.
I wish I had known about these things before... maybe a parents’ evening in school.