Childhood Trauma: Drink Driving

“STOP! No mummy please, turn round mummy, go back! PLEASE mummy stop the car, stop mummy, go back… Please!!!”

I can’t remember how old I was but assume younger than eight as I don’t think I’d learnt how to swim yet. Mum was taking swimming lessons at a pool complex called The Dolphin. If I remember correctly, for some reason it wasn’t a school day so we went along to the lesson with her. I held onto the edge of the pool playing in the water whilst waiting for mum to finish. She’d made friends with another lady in her class and we were invited to her house for lunch.

I can recall very little of that day other than knowing we played upstairs with her children whilst they sat downstairs talking and drinking; my mum obviously a lot more than the other lady. It was starting to get dark and time to go home so mum called us down to get ready. The lady didn’t think mum should drive but mum said she’d be okay, it would be fine.

We all knew that mum was drunk and not in a fit state to drive but the lady didn’t argue or push the case so we got into the back of the car asking if we could stay, knowing it wasn’t safe. Once she started to drive off the car went up the kurb. My sister and I told her to stop but she carried on ignoring our pleas. The car was swerving on the road sometimes hitting the kurb or banking it slightly. At one point I believe we got very close to going over the edge of a slip road that led to the motorway, at least that’s how I remember it!

My sister and I were screaming and crying, pleading for mum to stop, to go back. Eventually, in tears, mum managed to turn round and go back. We knocked on the door still crying uncontrollably where mum apologised. My sister and I were led upstairs to calm down and play with our new friends. Mum remained downstairs to contact our step dad to collect us.

I don’t remember much after that other than him turning up over an hour later. By that time it was very dark, he was shouting at her for attempting to drive home, let alone get drunk during the day with children, then he drove us all home.

We never told our dad what happened on that day! 😔


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