Samantha, 24, SA
When I was about 5, my parents split up.
My mother met a new man within a few months, and he would beat her, and sometimes my little brother and myself.
Our mother eventually stopped my brother and I from seeing our father, and she still stayed with the boyfriend who beat her.
My mother never showed my brother and I any affection, and she also never told us she loved us, hugged us, told us we were special or even fed us properly.
Eventually, when I was eleven, the boyfriend went too far one night and hit me repeatedly with his belt, leaving bruises all over my backside. Thankfully, a friend of my mother's finally spoke up to authorities, and we went to live with our aunt for around 18 months.
Unfortunately, we suffered verbal and mental abuse from our aunt, and were lucky to be able to leave her care and live with her daughter and her husband. My brother and I also got in contact with our father again, and began to see him regularly.
I sought counselling, but I eventually stopped going, as I felt that it wasn't helping me.
In October of last year, our father passed away due to a rare hereditary disorder.
At the time, I was working in Aged Care, and found it incredibly difficult to go through a whole day without bursting into tears.
I sought professional help again, this time going to see my GP, and was referred to a Psychologist, put on anti-depressants and also saw a grief counsellor.
Today, I am currently following my dream to become a nurse. I am still taking my medication, and I do sometimes have days where I don't want to get out of bed. It is still really hard to deal with what I have been through, and I try my best not to let it bring me down.
My friends are around for me when they can, but it's my cousin that I lived with who has helped me the most, and given me the most support.