Things stared rather well for me. I was born to relatively well-off parents, and grew up in a village in rural Sussex. My parents were both remarried, from my mother's 1st marriage I have 2 older half sisters and a half brother.
From the age of 8 I went to a prestigious, progressive, boarding school. I liked the environment - it was a laid back school, mixed sex, no uniforms - where I was surrounded by friends. This also had the benefit of being somewhat shielded from my brother and sisters somewhat chaotic lives - 1 brother and sister are bipolar, and one was a heroine addict (at the moment they are all stable, well grounded, and I believe happy).
At around the age of 12 I was sexual abused by a friend's father, and that is really where my tale begins. I never really realised the impact this had on me until many years later, in rehab, when I started to examine my feelings around this. It coincided with my performance at school worsening, and my regularly getting into minor trouble at school.
From the age of 13 I had been regularly going out on 'binges', what we called going and getting pissed. Right from the off, I going and getting drunk everything about: the naughtiness, risk of getting caught, rebellion, acting out as a group... in short it was fun! This continued with time, slowly getting into more serious trouble, until at the age of 17 I had been suspended 4 times and finally asked to leave.
I enrolled at a local college to try to complete my A-levels. By this point I had also discovered smoking weed, and clubbing and after a year I gave up and dropped out. For the next few years I tried various jobs: office work, building, catering, bar work; but never stuck with anything. During this time I now see that my drinking got really heavy. I had some nasty breakups, and real breakdowns.
But I did, albeit temporarily, sort things out: years later I completed a college course and went to uni. This was short lived though. After retaking the 2nd year once, failing the 3rd I dropped out, took stock of my situation and went to rehab. That was a little over 3 years ago...