Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Domestic Violence - Guest Blogger!

Today we actually have a guest! I’m going to be interviewing someone who I am sure a few of you are familiar with. She is the daughter of an alcoholic, and has recently joined the blogging community to share her story about dealing with domestic violence and alcoholism, a social issue often suppressed from public view.

Right, thanks for your interest Kirsty, could you tell us a little about yourself?

I'm a 23 year old Mum of one baby girl. I am studying for a PhD in environmental radiochemistry and love my work! This interview came about because of contact through our blogs, I decided to start writing a blog to release some issues from within myself which have gradually built up over the years. My parents are both alcoholics and as a result of their drinking they have had a very unstable and often violent relationship since I was about 12 years old. Obviously this has contributed to many thoughts and feelings and any decisions I have had to make in my life and I thought it was about time I shared these experiences with others.

Ok, so obviously, you’ve grown up a bit since. What is the most important thing you’ve come away from your experience with?

There are a few lessons I have learnt growing up. Firstly that alcohol is more dangerous than a lot of people realise. So many of us take it for granted and incorporate it into our lives as a completely innocent thing but I have never been one to drink a lot because of the things I have seen. In a way I guess I missed out on some aspects of growing up, I wasn't hitting the bars and clubs when my friends were etc but I would rather it was like that so I have no regrets. I have also had learn how to seriously put myself first, I spent so many years making sure that what ever I did would still enable me to be there and care for my family, it took me a very long time to stop putting my life on hold and gain some independence where I didn't feel constantly tied to my family.

Being the oldest sibling in your family, did you ever feel a sense of personal responsibility in regards to your younger brothers and sisters?

I felt I had complete responsibility! In my mind if I was there to care for them then no harm would come to them. As we grew up it was me they came to with problems rather than my parents. Even now that we are all older I still feel I have some responsibility towards them. If there is a bad episode at home and one or both of my parents gets violent as a result, I feel terrible for not being there to support my siblings. I am almost certain that were one of them to get seriously hurt then I would blame myself.

Do you feel that as a result of your childhood, you have been granted perhaps a quality or trait that not everyone has? Have you matured as a result?

I think I matured very very quickly. I practically became a carer for my parents and a parent to my three younger siblings when I was just 13 years old. And to make things worse it was all behind closed doors so I couldn't turn to anyone for help or advice. As far as quality and traits are concerned, I have incredible self control, I never gave in to peer pressure when growing up, when my friends were experimenting with alcohol etc I never joined them, although they didn't know why!

If you were to give any piece of advice to a parent, or for that matter, a child, who is experiencing a similar thing, what would it be?

To a parent - if you are the one with the problem PLEASE get help. If your partner is the one with the problem then you have two options, get them help or leave. Having seen my parents and the way they are, no matter how much I loved my partner if they had a problem and wouldn't stop for me and my baby then I would leave them without a doubt - my child comes first. You may think they are not aware of what is going on but I can assure you they do. You can try and hide it but a child will always know when something is wrong. It ruined my childhood. It has since ruined some of my experiences as an adult. Please put your children first.

To a child - I know it is very difficult to talk to somebody outside of your home. There is the fear that the violence will get worse and things will be taken out on you. There are counsellors offered at every school, speak to your teacher or school nurse about getting in touch with them and making an appointment. These people will listen to you and can't repeat anything you say to them so at least you can get things otu of your system. If you feel you CAN talk to your parents but don't know what to say, let them know how it makes you feel, how it is affecting your life. Point out to them they are unlikely to see you marry or have children. Try and shock them into reality. It may not work but it is always worth a try.

Ok, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us. I'm sure the awareness that you are helping to raise will serve to better the social recognition of this issue. If anyone wants to check out Kirsty’s own blog, which shares a number of her experiences, you can do so at:


Once again, thanks for reading, many thanks to Kirsty, and thanks to everyone who is following, and have a good weekend, wherever in the world you may be.

On a final note. If there is anyone that feels they have something to share through either an interview or direct guest blog, drop us a line at 2700@joeys.org, or leave a comment below. thanks guys.


  1. i really like that you chose to do an interview. it was a good idea to do it on one particular topic that a lot of people can relate to.


  2. thank you!

    it was fun writing it. hopefully I can do a few more in the future. i enjoyed it =]

  3. I like this idea very much! Thank you Nick :)

  4. Very well done. I've read kirst1986's blog and its quite moving.

  5. thanks for the feedback guys =] much appreciated. as i said i will try and get another one done in the future.

  6. Great job! I do one on one interviews for my phd, they are a very useful tool in getting down to deep issues. And they make for great reading! The best thing about all life's experiences is we can help others with similar experiences. more power to ya, Kirsti!

  7. wonderful interview! i really enjoyed it, yea moving blog too.

  8. alrighty. the idea of doing another one seems to have taken another step towards realisation then =]. just need an interviewee.

    pavitar: thanks, and yes they are, plus they give an added perspective with a few personal views.
    gigi: thank you =]

  9. Good topic.. and very brave of Kirsty to reveal so much.. all i would add is to fellow readers.. being young and partying can be a lot of fun.. but suddenly years can go by and you find your still drinking alot and then you have a problem without even realising it.. drinking and drugs start out as fun.. and thats why its so easy to fall into..
    take care out there..


  10. Kirsty, if you are reading these comments, i think you are an extremely brave and amazing person to have gone through what you did as a child. I recently turned 18 and girls at my school keep asking me why i havnt gone and gotten drunk yet. I dont see any point in having so much alcohol that you make stupid mistakes and have things to regret and i think the interview helped me to realise this even more :)

    thanks nick for this blog post :)

  11. I loved this interview, it's so raw and it gets you emotionally. Kristy, is so brave to have gone what she has gone through. Thank you both so much for sharing, both the interview and the story.

    if you're at all interested, I'm writing a fictional story called the Chronicles of Flora, please if any of you have time, please read! :)


  12. My experiences with domestic abuse have been as a child (emotional/verbal abuse of mother by father and, later, sexual advances by mother's boyfriend and emotional issues from mother - long story). In my marriage, I experienced a very slow, subtle increase in controlling behavior by my husband, which escalated into more overt verbal/emotional abuse and then, finally, sexual and physical abuse.

    I got out. It took me 15 years to see what was happening and to find the courage to get out, but I did get out.

    I've started a series in my blog, to start chronicling my experiences, starting with the night of my wakeup call.

    Here's the info:

    Facade: A Story of Abuse, part 1


    This blog entry is the beginning of a series about my experiences with domestic abuse. It starts with my marriage - the point when I "woke up" to what was happening.

    It's a long story - I don't know how many parts there will be. I am trying to write each entry as "stand-alone" as possible.

    My goal is to show that domestic abuse can affect anyone. It's not limited by race, region, or socio-economic status. And often, the victims are those women who seem so confident, so successful, and seem to "have it all".

  13. Sorry - wrong link -

    Facade: A Story of Abuse, part 1



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