Isolation from Family

Tara Flood: Forgetting Mum

Tara was born in 1966 in Preston, Lancashire. She was sent to a residential special school in East Sussex at just sixteen months of age and remained there until she was sixteen. She then returned to Preston and attended a local mainstream college.

Here Tara talks about the impact of the loss of her family relationships.

  • Tara Flood
  • Tara Flood
  • Tara Flood


I didn’t see my parents for six months after I started at the school. And it’ll be no surprise at all that when they arrived I’d no idea who they were, no idea. And my mum tells the story that I was in the outside area, in what was called the PEC Block, Princess Elizabeth Children’s Block, it was called, for the under fives, and I was just playing with friends and when she called me I ran to the nurse rather than my mum. And I remember my mum describing that memory to me with a vague hint of somehow that being my fault.

She probably wouldn’t have seen me walk for the first time, I wouldn’t have thought, known what I liked to eat, all those things that you just know. Ooh God, it makes me feel quite upset. You can find a way of being parents and, in my case, daughter, – you can find a way of managing that relationship, but you can never repair it because the damage – the break was too early and for too long, sixteen months and then a six month break.

The reason why I know it was different for me is the connection that I see that my brother has with my mum and dad. I’m not saying he’s got the most amazing Partridge Family relationship with my parents but when I see them talk together there’s a comfortableness in that conversation that I don’t have.

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