You can't judge people in five minutes

I was ten years old when my mum went to jail. She went for a long time.

She had kind of told me before she went that she would probably have to go; and I was spending more time at my dad's. But I didn't really understand.

After she went to jail, I saw her every week; and she rang me. But I couldn't ring her. You are not allowed to ring the prison. I guess I could have made up an emergency …

Growing up with a mum in jail just became normal – I had nothing to compare it with really. I spent a lot of time looking at everyone else and going "is that how normal is?" I really wanted to see a psychologist, to have someone to talk to, but I didn't know how to do this.

I feel like I've spent my life waiting; waiting for mum, and for things to be different. I guess I did okay though. I finished school and I have a job. I want to do some further education. I'm really into computers. I want to make the world a better place; but I'm not sure how I can do that.

Mum being in jail had a big effect on my life. I'm not as mainstream as everyone else. I have a more realistic view of the world and it's made me realise that you can't judge people in five minutes.

Talking to someone and thinking about your life

Dan really wanted to find someone to talk to, but didn't know how to do this.

  • Lifeline Australia - go to their Service SeekerLifeline Australia's service finder can help you locate services in your local area. See lifeline.serviceseeker.com.au or phone 13 11 14.
  • You could also contact organisations such as SHINE for Kids or VACRO. They've been set up specifically to look after people in your situation and could help you find this information.