This post deals with addiction, suicide and body dysmorphia, and might be triggering for some readers.
I was eight years old the first time I saw my brother using heroin.
My mum had gone to the supermarket and though the house was quiet, the energy of what I had known to be a quiet house had shifted.
Months before, if my mum went out, I would sit quietly, comfortably reading a book or playing with our dogs, but since my brother’s partner had left him and he had moved back in with us, a quiet house became uncomfortable.
Watch: The Innocent Victims Of Australia's Ice Addiction. Post continues after video.
Shadows on the walls, which I wouldn’t have noticed before became cold and haunted places, reflecting just what I was feeling inside. I quickly went from being a happy tomboy to living in a constant state of hyperawareness and anxiety. Sitting in my room, listening to every sound.
I turned 33 this year and I still deal with post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder daily.
I really wish I knew if I would have been any different had it not been for the dysfunctional domestic situation that I grew up in. Had it not been for a childhood that was ripped from my hands and replaced with existing quietly to not upset my brother who, depending on where he was at with his addiction, could lash out.
It wasn’t once where he threw everything off the counter past my mum at the kitchen wall.
My brother was a troubled child.
He had, what my grandmother referred to as a restless spirit. My mum often described him as always needed something to do.