Before I begin, I want to start by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which I am writing this story; I acknowledge the Yuin people, the Aboriginal owners and first storytellers of the land on which I write this, and pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. I recognise and appreciate their connection to Country, and their role in caring for and maintaining Country over thousands of years. May their strength and wisdom be with us today and always. I extend that respect to any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reading this story. Always was and always will be Aboriginal land.
Hi! Thank you for deciding to read my story. This story has been floating around in my brain for a few months now, waiting for me to put it into words. I'm so excited to tell it to everyone finally, but nervous too.
At this point, I am planning to publish one chapter a week. If anything changes, I will try to keep you updated on that. I have an idea of what happens with most of the story, but some things need to be fleshed out and will change as I write it down, so this could affect my pacing.
Firstly, I want to clarify that this book is written by an Australian in Australia and set in a fictional town in Australia. Some spelling, slang, and terms may be strange to you if you are not Australian. Feel free to ask about them in the comments! I might create a glossary and update it as we go.
This story will contain some heavy themes that may trigger you, so please take care as you read. It has issues many teens face, such as eating disorders, self-harm, suicide, drug addiction, sex, neglect, trauma, and possibly more - I'll update as I go.
These issues will be covered in a way that won't be graphic or gratuitous but may still be confronting.
If you decide you need to skip this book altogether, please do not feel bad for doing so! I want you to put yourself first.
Yes, sex will be mentioned in this book. Sex is a normal part of teenage life. But it is not going to be smut or graphic in any way. If you're looking for smut, move on now! Don't hang around waiting for it to happen. There are plenty of other books on this website full of it. No judgment at all; it's just not right for my story.
One last thing! I hate to give away my own interpretations of themes and meanings in my work because I thoroughly believe the takeaway meanings are personal for each person, but I do want to clarify something. Co-dependence is a heavy, heavy theme in this book. I'd say that is probably the main theme. At times, it might feel like it's being glorified - don't let that overshadow the times it isn't. The main characters of this book will be learning to deal with this and the bad sides of it.
I just wanted to make sure people are
one) Aware I'm not condoning nor encouraging this toxic pattern and that they are
two) Aware, as they are reading it, that it is not as romantic and sweet as it may initially seem.
Okay! I'm off! Here are some numbers and websites.
Beyond Blue for Anxiety, Depression and Suicide - https://www.beyondblue.org.au/ + 1300 22 4636
Blue Knot Foundation for Complex Trauma - https://blueknot.org.au/ + 1300 657 380
Butterfly Foundation for Eating Disorders and Body: https://butterfly.org.au/Get%20Support/Helpline/ + 1800 33 4673
Headspace for Mental Health support: https://headspace.org.au/online-and-phone-support/ + 1800 650 890
Friendline for anyone experiencing loneliness: https://friendline.org.au/ + 1800 424 287
Kids Helpline for confidential 24/7 support and advice for young people 5-25: https://kidshelpline.com.au/ + 1800 55 1800
Lifeline provides 24-hour crisis counselling, support groups and suicide prevention: https://www.lifeline.org.au/ + Call 13 11 14, text on 0477 13 11 14 (12pm to midnight AEST) or chat online.
Mensline is a professional telephone and online counselling service for Australian Men: https://mensline.org.au/ + 1300 78 99 78
QLife provides anonymous and free LGBTI peer support and referral for people in Australia wanting to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings, or relationships: https://qlife.org.au/ + 1800 184 527
Suicide Call Back Service provides 24/7 support if you or someone you know is feeling suicidal: https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au/ + 1300 659 467
For other countries try https://checkpointorg.com/global/ for an international directory for mental health services for your area. Please stay safe, and look after yourself.