I never liked to read when I was young. But after my youngest brother was born, my mom started drinking too much and my dad was never around because he couldn't stand what was happening at home so he worked a lot. Sometimes even slept in one of the sleeping rooms in his office building. I'm the oldest so I had to do everything my mom should have done.
I had to wake up my brothers before I went to school, when I came home in the evening I was the one they did homework with, I even learned the signature of my mom so I could sign my brother's exams. I cooked every day and did everything else in the household when I was about 13/14.
That's when I started going to the library, when my mom had a bad day and started beating me and yelled that I was useless and should help her more instead of meeting with friends. In no time the staff at the library knew me and had recommendations ready for me. When I finished my 9th grade I had to go to another city for school and had to leave a lot early and came back later. So, I couldn't wake my brothers up, and the oldest of my little brothers who was about 9/10 had to take over this part. I had accepted the pressure on my shoulders but felt awful that I had to put it on his to. With a school way of more than one hour one way I really fled into books to forget about home and what was happening.
From somewhere the youth welfare office heard something and made an appointment, which is kind of dumb, because that was the first day since years that my mom was not drunk at 12AM, so they didn't notice that something was wrong. The next day, she was back to her normal behaviour. She didn't even intervene when my youngest brother started to call me mom and called her with her name. That was the time I really realised that something was terrible wrong with my family and my dad just looked away, I later learned that he did things and I just didn't notice it, but I feld alone and the pressure nearly destroyed me. I isolated myself from my friends and started living in my books because it was easier that way then trying to change something when I didn't know how. My best friend was the only one who knew a few things but everyone else just thought that I became a book nerd and started to bully me therefore.
My best friend gave me a "Still waiting for my Hogwarts letter" shirt because she knew that I would rather live there, than were I was.
2016 was the year where everything changed. It was the year I finished school and didn't knew what to do with my live. Where I live, you don't leave for college, you normally stay at home when you start studying. But I missed the registration period anyway. So, I finished school and had no plan. My parents left with my brothers for 4 weeks on vacation. I read 47 books in this time span just to have something to do, because I isolated myself from everyone, so that no one would realise what was happening at home. Therefore I didn't had friends to do something with. One day was particularly bad and on the other hand apparently exactly what had to happen. I tried calling my best friend on that day because I hadn't talk to anyone in days. But I couldn't reach her so I left a voice mail. I don't know what I said anymore but it must have been bad because when she heard it, she called one of our classmates who lives in the same village as I, to go and look if I'm okay.
When he came, I was so deep into one book that I didn't realise, that someone was in my home until he put the book out of my hands. Next to me where my dad's sleeping pills and a bottle of vodka from my mom.
The book I was reading was "All the Bright Places" by Jennifer Niven which saved my life. It was a gift from my best friend. I don't know if she knew that I thought about killing myself but I wanted to read it because she gave it to me. And the time I needed to read it was enough that he found me and I was so touched by it that I want to think that I wouldn't have killed me in the end.
He called my dad and told him what had happened. My mom didn't want to shorten the vacation but my dad was the one who had to drive with the caravan, so they travelled home. I spent the days they needed at my best friend's house because I couldn't stand the silence at home. My family was back four days later. Two weeks later my dad and I moved out and into a new apartment to start over.
In the first weeks, I spent days crying in my new room because I left my brothers behind. After some time, I realised that I wouldn't be able to work through all that alone so got help. I did a lot of psychological processing the last years with a psychologist and a social worker. Now I don't feel guilty that I left anymore because they spent half the time with my dad and his new girlfriend so I know that they have a better life than I had.
I have an apprenticeship which I love. I have a boyfriend who understands my problems and hasn't left me when I had bad days. I have a lot of new but also old friends which help me when I have problems. And my dad does everything he can to make the situation as bearable as possible for me.
I'm still a book worm but not like I used to. I read because I like the stories and not because I want to escape the reality.
Everything I have now is thanks to the pages which kept me sane a long time and the one book that saved my life in the end. I haven't finished it yet because I start crying when I try to read the last 40 pages, so it's standing unfinished in my shelf. Maybe I will be able to read it in the future but right now, it just reminds me of the past I want to leave behind.