I was fifteen when I finally got to live with my Dad – I saw him on and off over the years since him and Mom split up, that was before I remember. I was sent to grandma’s, that is Dad’s mom’s house.

We got on alright but all I ever wanted was to leave grandma’s – go and live with my father.

Grandma’s was clean and tidy, always had crisp clean sheets on the bed, fresh tablecloth on the table – the house smelled faintly of lavender – and the yeast in homemade bread. It was fine, I loved grandma but my parents held allure – what did they get up to in their lives – that was not a life for a child, so my grandma said.

Grandpa was more forthright – he was a retired cop – he told me that he’d kept my Dad in line – often used the strap. Dad had suddenly gone off the rails, left home. He said he hadn’t spoken to Dad at all since he’d married my mother. That had been a big mistake – which was why they’d had to do the right thing, take me into their home.

Very occasionally I would get a visit from my mother – that is if she didn’t completely forget to come. You get used to it but at first – that first time when she didn’t turn up as promised – it ripped a hole in my heart. I had a new dress, had styled my hair – I was all of six years old – and the day wore on. I didn’t want my tea, took off my clothes, went to bed and sobbed myself to sleep.

So, I finally got to live with Dad. I don’t know that he didn’t set it up that I would go looking for him in his room, only to find him snorting cocaine. I’d never used drugs before, he didn’t offer it then, but when I went back to boarding school – I took to mixing with the girl’s who did drugs – alcohol, marijuana.

Now that I was more grown up my mother made arrangements for me to stay with her in the school vacations. We both drank far too much alcohol, and she encouraged it. It was like we were two naughty girls together when we got into drinking – a couple of drinks and Mom would find a party, do the clubs and end the night with company. I felt lonely back in my room, that would be swirling around from the alcohol.

Quite a few times I lost track of Mom at the parties – someone would take me home – I would say it’s not Mom’s fault she likes to party – but one guy said “Baby, you’d better face it, your mother’s a nympho – an alcoholic.

So I spent a few years between Mom and Dad, neglecting my schoolwork and looking foward to getting high – Dad gave me an allowance that was part paid in cocaine, with alcohol from my Mom.

Then Dad got a new girlfriend that staked a claim, moved in. I felt jealous, angry, went to live with some friends from school that had got themselves into a house. I was determined to live the party life, til one day I got really sick, and the doctor said it was exhaustion, malnutrition – I had to give up the drugs.

Of course, I tried and failed, I couldn’t go a day without. Looking for distraction I tried piercing – put in a nipple ring, put hooks through my lip – one I put in my navel got infected and caused a lot of trouble.Having tatts was good – it made me feel like someone strong who was in control of their life – which isn’t how I really felt.

Some days I just want to be a kid – want a hug from grandma – can’t go back to grandma now, not with all these tatts – I feel I’ve lost my way somehow – not a child, not grown up.

I want to get a job, get my life on track, meet a really strong man who will look after me.

All I meet up with is dealers and junkies – needy, greedy people, who would steal from you if they could.

So, look at me now, 21 – went to the best school – should have the world at my feet. But what am I – nothing!

Morbid, depressed – deep down ashamed – so addicted to cocaine. I need to turn a trick or two – to get money – I use cocaine every day.

I’ve noticed I’ve lost customers – reckon they’re out of town. Some of the one’s I go with now – well, they are kind of seedy – I don’t like to knock them back – they come in on recommendation.

I’m having to do a lot more work since I decided to drop my fee – could have been a mistake. These guys seem to think because I’m cheap, they can do anything they want – and I don’t want to argue too much – I just want the money.

So, is that right what you say, you’ll offer an apartment and protection – get me out of this rough trade – something more specialized?

Yes, I will – I’ll come in with you. It sounds just what I need – someone strong to look after me – I’m so alone in the world.