It all started when I lost Jamie…

I was brought up an only child, and until I was 13, it stayed that way. Its not so much what I found out that bothers me – its how. A friend of a friend thought it wise to come up to me at a party, half cut, and announce to the world: "Your dad's not your real dad, is he?"

Cue complete mental overhaul. It took a long time to get the truth out of my mother. It turned out my biological dad (or, as I like to call him, the sperm donor) is a very dangerous man, in prison the first 18 years of my life for serious sex offences. Imagine. Without going into uncomfortable detail, certain circumstances during my life at that time made this particularly horrifying to learn.

Fast forward a year or so. I'm at my cousins, for a birthday celebration, and I meet someone very important for the first time. His name's Matthew, he's a couple of years older than me, and he's cooool! Against the better judgement of those around me, we become the best of friends. You see, Matt was in a relationship with a very violent man. These parts, I will NOT talk about, but suffice to say it was around this time that I started to go mentally…awry, I think is the word.

I get to sixteen. Matt finally sees sense, and breaks free,but there's a lot of work to be done building him back up. The inevitable happens – we fall absolutely and completely in love, in that way only teenagers understand.

A few months pass before his mother drops the bomb, and the bomb is this: Matt doesn't know the truth about HIS dad, either. It was hard not to feel guilty when I realised what my father had done to his mum…and worse to think of how far she let it go before she told us the truth.

At this point, Jamie arrives. Matt has had a total mental breakdown, drinking heavily and not taking his meds (he suffers from a form of schizophrenia, but is the nicest person, as long as he sticks to the anti-psychotics). I get a knock on my door, and there's Jamie. He says he's been pointed in my direction by an aunt on my fathers side of the family, and the rest is history.

So there I am, an only child with two big brothers, and for about six months there are some really good times.

October 24th, 2001. I get a phone call from Jamie, inviting Matt and I out for a meal. I get ready, and then I wait. And wait.

Jamie never comes.

The next phone call I get is from his mother. To this day I don't remember her exact words, for the moment I realised what had happened, I shut down.

My brothers car had ploughed into a wall at around 60mph…

Not so long after, Matts ex got out of prison, and I haven't been able to find him since.

If my ocd started anywhere, the general consensus is that it started there.



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