Keira

I didn't know mum had been in jail

I'm 13 now and I live with my mum. I only found out a couple of months ago that my mum had been in jail.

I was told she was in hospital because she was sick. We only got to visit her once. She was in these blue clothes and me and my brothers figured it was a hospital gown. It wasn't like I pictured a jail to be, not like on telly.

While she was away, I wasn't very happy because everyone else had their mum around them and I wanted my mum – but I didn't know where she was. I would cry at night, but I wouldn't tell my dad. I would like to have seen mum … anything as long as I knew she still cared about us.

I kept a lot to myself. Sometimes I would talk to my cousin – she's 18. But mostly I kept stuff to myself, or wrote it down in my diary. I needed someone to talk to, but there was no one there.

When mum came home I was just happy to see her. But I didn't want to live with her straight away. I wanted to be with both of them (mum and dad).

Even though mum's been in jail, she's still the same person to me. What she's done is in the past. It's now.

A lot of stuff is really difficult to discuss with people close to you – we know that

Even though Keira didn't know her mum was in prison, some kids do know, even though the adults around think they don't.

KidsHelplineIf you need some help to talk with your parent or carer, perhaps start with your school counsellor or a teacher you trust. You could also call a service like KidsHelpline. They talk to hundreds of kids each day about many different problems. You can call them 24 hours a day on 1800 55 1800, or get in touch by their website: kidshelp.com.au