Anger, drugs and alcohol, crime and gang association have been a part of his life since he was a young teenager. Now in his 40’s, he has turned his life around to keep his children safe and ensure they don’t follow in his footsteps.
This is his story:
I’ve always been the black sheep of the family, the ratbag, the outcast.
Things were alright until I went to high school and started hanging round with a new crowd. Soon I was associating with a gang, drinking too much, and stirring trouble.
I didn’t realise it then but I was a very angry person. I had a lot of anger in me from being beaten by my father as a child. I used to get hidings often, sometimes with a hunk of wood. My mum always tried to stop it but my father was an overpowering man.
I was always stirring up trouble and ending up in court. I was always getting charged for violence-related crimes, along with intentional and willful damage. It was fun back then. You know? A lot of drinking and causing chaos. I went to jail a couple of times and had numerous sentences of community work.
My family hated what I had become, and I wasn’t allowed at my parents’ house for a few years. They were completely against my lifestyle. Ironic isn’t it?
I got married but I was still getting in trouble, fighting, and hanging out with the gang. My wife didn’t want a bar of it though so I kept her away from it. I eventually got sick of it all anyway and we moved to another city.
The next few years were great. My wife and I had children together and things were going well.
But then we met this guy who quickly became my best mate. Within a short time, he’d introduced us to methamphetamine, and my wife and I became hooked.
Soon after, he and my wife ran away together. I was so angry. I’ve never been so angry.
I kept to myself for a long time, but then there was another incident where I got into some trouble and I realized it was time to make a change. I had my kids now and I couldn’t do anything stupid to jeopardize that.
I referred myself to Nga Kete where I received counselling for anger and alcoholism. It helped so much. I don’t drink anymore and by that stage I’d already given up drugs.
Later I started coming to the Nga Kete Work and Living Skills (WLS) Programme and from there I was introduced to the Whanau Ora team.
I really wanted the help. I couldn't risk losing my children. Through Whanau Ora I established a plan through the Pathways programme, and I set myself three goals, which included keeping calm.
I had also lost everything in a house fire so a member of the Whanau Ora team came with me to find a house, helped search with me, and helped me out with furniture and things. She even took me to the doctor who put me on medication for depression and anger.
She helped me to think about my life a lot and realise that I don’t want my kids to be like me.
I’m not a client at Nga Kete anymore and I’m happy with where I’m at. I’m a happier person.
I don’t know what the future holds for me but I’m definitely looking forward to it.