You are 10 years old and it is Christmas 1991.
Your Mum is sick. Not like a bug or perforated ear drums but properly sick. And nothing you do seems to help make her feel any better. She's not interested in the toys Santa's brought you or how they work, but you can tell that she is trying to be. She's just too ill to join in and Dad's not really into playing with the toys and games either this year.
You're not sure why, because he isn't sick.
You are scared and angry and no-one is talking about it.
The not talking thing will become a bit of a theme as you get older. So will the anger.
This Christmas you have a question floating around your head that you don't want to voice- in case you get an answer to it. You are too busy carrying on as "normal". You are concerned that if the little ones see you freaking out it will terrify them. So instead you pretend that this is normal and try to protect them from this strange Christmas.
This is a memory that you will have for the rest of your life.
One of many, but the first clear one that will stick out as the years pass.
You should know that it wasn't normal, wasn't your fault and that you are not alone. Other children will have seen similar or worse by the time they hit double digits.
That kind of thinking will get you through. A lot. Whatever you are going through, someone will be facing something far worse; so you just need to get on and make the best of it. Somehow.
You will be o.k and you are a very much loved little girl.
(29 and 3/4 's years old)