Some interviewees had happy upbringings and loving parents. For many, however, childhood was a difficult time in which they experienced abuse, both physical and sexual, and traumas such as the sudden death of a parent or abandonment. According to our 2012-13 Client Needs Survey, almost one in ten (9%) of St Mungo's clients have been in care.

"I blamed myself for the abuse I suffered; I blamed myself for my brother's downfalls and for him messing around and getting my foster mum angry; I blamed my foster mum for putting me in that sort of situation where I was living in a unit for young people with emotional and behavioural problems. Because I wasn't good at school. I didn't, you know, I'd do my class work and I knew what I was doing but I'd get into fights.... I had constant battles with authority. I hated anyone that had any kind of power because I blamed them for taking me away from my mum and things like that." Casey, 26

Some interviews contain strong language.

1. Bullying experiences 17.1 Kimberley, 40

2. Adoption and foster care 25.2 John, 44

3. Childhood trauma 32.3 Casey, 26

4. Child abuse 24.1 Linda, 52

5. Growing up 29.2 Stuart, 44