My stepdad, Barry, always spoiled me.
He'd been part of my life since I was three, after my real father had died in a car accident.
I'd grown up calling him Dad and he'd been a rock to me and Mum. He'd take me out for ice-cream, help with my homework and was the king of the barbecue at weekends.
He and mum were the perfect parents, and I knew they were desperate to have a baby of their own.
But sadly, it never happened.
So when I'd accidentally fallen pregnant at 18, I'd worried about how they'd react.
I wasn't with the baby's dad anymore and didn't have a job. But they were great about it.
"We'll help you bring up the baby, Kirsty", Mum said. "Don't worry about a thing".
When my son, Daniel, was born, he couldn't have asked for a more loving family.
When he was six, I met someone new and ended up falling pregnant with twins.
Unfortunately, that relationship didn't last either.
By then, I was working at a local supermarket. Juggling work and being a single mum to Daniel, Sarah and Emily wasn't easy.
Then I met Carl.
After a few weeks of dating, I introduced him to Mum, Dad and the kids.
The twins were five by now and absolutely adored him.
Within a few months, he asked if the kids and I would move in with him.
"Yes!" I squealed, delighted.
The kids were so excited.
But two people didn't share our enthusiasm…
"You can't take the children away from us," Mum gasped.
I was shocked.
"We won't be far away," I said.
"We won't be the same," Dad huffed.
I appreciated everything they'd done, but I was 27, I had to leave home sometime!
Shortly after, the kids and I moved in with Carl.
Two weeks later, I was running late to pick the kids up from school.
They usually waited inside with their teacher if I wasn't at the school gate, but when I got to Daniel's classroom, there was nobody there.
Getting a bit worried, I raced to the principal's office.
"Their grandparents picked them up," she said. "I'm so sorry, I thought you knew."
I went back to my car and called Mum.
"What's going on?" I asked, when she answered.
"The children are staying with us tonight," she said. "We'll drop them off at school tomorrow."
I was furious. I drove straight round there and told the kids to get in the car.
I got in a huge argument with Mum and Dad and was in tears driving home.
The following weeks were hard.
I wanted to call Mum but I was so angry.
The worst part was they didn't even think that they'd done anything wrong.
Then one day, I got a text from Mum inviting me and the kids over for a barbecue.
I knew it was a peace offering and I felt relieved.
Maybe we could put the past behind us and move on.
Carl was away on a buck's weekend, so it would be just like old times.
That Saturday, when we arrived, Dad had sausages sizzling on the barbie and the kids wolfed down Mum's chocolate chip muffins.
When Mum asked us to stay the night, I happily agreed.
After dinner, she bathed the girls and then she and Dad put the kids to bed in their old rooms.
The three of us then stayed up chatting over a bottle of wine.
"I'm glad we did this," I said, getting up to go to bed.
I got to my feet and walked to the stars.
As I put my foot on the first step, I felt a tug on my ankle.
I lunged forward and my jaw slammed into the step in front of me.
The all of a sudden, I was being dragged backwards into the lounge room.
The taste of blood filled my mouth.
Struggling, I turned to face my attacker and got the shock of my life.