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Mar 26, 2010

A Poison so Sweet...

I met Maree at high school. We didn't have the best relationship at the time. She didn't understand me, and I certainly didn't understand her. She was nearly 3 years younger than me, which didn't help. 

Now 5 years on, we reconnected on facebook. And we talked...and talked...and talked. We shared stories, and we laughed and cried together. I found her story compelling to say the least. And I knew I had to share it to the world. Why? 

Because her story is a vivid look into the other side of the world. It shows a world that I admittedly, have never experienced for myself. Just as my story contains a lesson or two, so does hers. Above all, it shines a light on things that are not really discussed in the polite society, and bursts a myth or several. 

I will warn that it may trigger some. 

It all began with a kiss, a poisonous kiss that would destroy everything.

I was 16 years old when my world changed: I had always wanted to run away from home: and escape the anger and violence.

The day was the 15th May 2006: I finally left home in a police car after a violent argument with my mother and father.

 For the first few days of my new-found freedom, I stayed with my best friend: living it up with G, a guy whom had just moved to M, I found myself completely seduced and captivated by his words and promises.

After a week of being out of home, I did the stupidest thing I have ever done:  I packed my bags, gave them to G (we won't dignify him with a name), said goodbye to my best friend's little sister and walked out while my best friend was in the shower (she would have never let me go if I had stayed for goodbyes).

I ignored the yelling of my name from her mum: got in the car with G, turned off my phone and off we drove together to C to stay with his aunty.

"Things are finally going my way, I escaped", I thought to myself as we drove out of M and on towards a life where we could be happy together forever.

We arrived in C to turn off into the local caravan park...."Its better then being at home," I told myself.

We managed to get a single bed mattress to put on the floor of the caravan as a bed. The place looked tidy, but it still didn't feel clean: cockroaches were everywhere.

As I looked around, and met a few people I began to realise that I looked out of place. I was too neat and tidy: too well dressed in clothes that looked too new.

 I was given a new identity that day: just in case anyone I met knew my parents and wanted to tell them where I was. I killed Maree:  I was now Tia and could make her anyone I wanted: even G, my own boyfriend, called me Tia.
The guy across from us was a nice man named Kimbo (I thought he was nice), and so, we started drinking with him on a daily basis getting to know everyone.

I also met L: she had three kids and the scariest husband EVER: he was always so moody and violent.

Within two days, I knew I shouldn't be there, after I discovered that K (whom lived across from us) was a full blown junkie who was being beaten by her husband. Also, Kimbo had taken a razor to his wrist and had mulitiple deep cuts. He then proceeded to ask me if I could stitch them up for him.

After a few crazy weeks at the caravan park, G's aunty (who we are staying with) announced that she had been kicked out for not paying rent and that we would stay with her family in GL. I thought it couldn't be worse than the caravan park: how very wrong I was.

We moved some stuff into GL and,  when I looked at where I was about to move......it was DISGUSTING.

Dishes EVERYWHERE, soiled nappies, flies, dirt: it was just a mess: a big, filthy, dirty, mess.....and I was about to move in here.

I died a little inside, overwhelmed by all that I was seeing and experiencing.

Thankfully, L had helped us move some stuff to this place and was so appalled by what she saw, she offered for G and I to move in with her, her partner and three kids. At first it seemed like an alright situation.

However, things went from bad to worse as we went from a single matteress in a caravan to a double mattress in an annex. It was the beginning of winter, and was so damn cold, to say nothing of miserable.

I started smoking weed with these people to try and make my surroundings not matter so much.  

Next to the lounge chair where everyone sat and smoked were the kid's bunk beds. Three little angels 7, 5, and 2 being exposed to all this. I had never felt so out of place before: I just wanted to go home.

We were made to do chores because neither of us had a job or any income: just our clothes in our bags and that was it.

I became a built in nanny: I looked after three kids, washed their clothes, and helped cook them dinner if we had food to do so.

The van had to be spotless before L's partner got home or, you were punished with no weed. While everyone else was stoned, not caring about what they were doing, you would be working.

After a while, I started losing a lot of weight (very little food will do this to you) and possibly a little of my mind: I started smoking more weed to try and block it all out, all the while doing more chores so that I could be accepted into this crazy little family.
This crazy little family that fed me very little and made me do a lot, had now covered my legs in bruises from a stupid little game they called hittsy. In this game, you got really stoned and punch the person's leg next to you unexpectedly and really hard. If they flinched, they got another two and the punch was passed down the line of legs.

Soon enough I realized my breast were swollen and tender to touch with lumps.......I felt sick a lot of the time: of course, I was pregnant! The next day after I found out I was pregnant, I started miscarrying. And the most horrible thing was that I was so stoned and drunk most of the time, that I didn't even care: to me, this was just a painful period, not a miscarriage.

Eventually, the people we were staying with got short on cash and stopped paying rent. In their world, priorities were WEED, alcohol, food for kids, then rent.

We were asked to move out, but we still had no income. I didnt even have my birth certificate to take to centrelink to get on payments: but in order to get a new birth certificate I needed $50 (that we just didn't have), it was a catch 22. 

I left first and moved in Roseberry House in GL, a homeless shelter for troubled youth. G moved in the next day as Roseberry House doesnt take in couples. I thought that we had weathered the storm and that things couldn't get any worse than they have been and that was all up from here.
Roseberry House wasn't too bad: we had our own room and assigned chores to do. It was the closest to family since leaving home. We cooked together, played UNO, and did endless puzzles. I found a best friend in T: she was my rock and didn't even know it. 

Eventually, I finally got my centrelink payments sorted and had a small income. However, G still didn't have an income, nor was he trying very hard to get a job (his first job interview at KFC went to shit as he didn't have weed to get stoned and so, he flipped out and didnt attend) and so, I was now supporting the both of us. 

In many ways, getting on payments was the worse thing I could have done. I started paying the people we lived with at the caravan park back the money I owed them for helping "look after me" but G didn't hand over a cent. This got a bounty put over our heads in the drug world: any one who could get the money we owed out of us and back to them was rewarded with drugs. I have never felt like I felt when I found this out.

How did it come to this?

Before I knew it, G and I were buying alcohol and weed every pay. Due to the curfews at Roseberry House and the no drug and alcohol policy, I ended up sleeping on the streets several times in the middle of winter in the skimpy clothes I had on my back. I got sick a lot, I lost even more weight, but still continued to abuse my body and mind for some kind of relief from the life I was living. I went everywhere with my eyes bleeding. I started to cut myself to try and relieve myself from all the guilt: what had I done? I ran away from home for this: with nowhere to stay, nothing at all, not even values or self respect.

The couple and their kids finally got their own place and it was right behind Roseberry House. I started hitting the drink and drugs more then ever before. I started to ditch Roseberry House my chores and friends that i had made, to hang back out with the people who made me so miserable in the first place. Roseberry House put up with me as much as they could tolerate but I had become too much for them and was kicked out.

So, I was kicked out of a homeless youth shelter. Maybe I had finally hit rock bottom.


Part 2 to come. 


Quivering Daughters said...

WOW! What a story! Thank you for sharing this ~ I know how vulnerable it feels to "go public" with something that has been so painful, but your bravery is inspiring. Can't wait for part 2! Hugs!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for being so brave. What a story. I look forward to the next installment.


Susan said...

That story of your life must have been both difficult and cathartic to write. Blessings on you for your courage to share it with us.


Xara said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I am sure it was painful to live and to write about.Hopefully you are finding a way to heal. I look forward to your next installment.

shadowspring said...


I hope every day the rest of your life is filled with enough- enough love, enough food, enough cleanliness, enough money to take care of yourself and then more than enough happiness to more than make up for the hell you've been through.

Peace, SS

Kay said...

How brave you are to tell your story and I hope that you continue and achieve some peace!

Lorena said...

Thank you for sharing, Jo. Some of us have no idea what life has spared us of. I always wondered what happened to run aways. Now I know. Thank you for sharing.

Laura said...

Powerful. That took a lot of courage to share. Thank you.

Aeryn said...

Thank you for sharing your story! You are truly an amazing young lady! And, I echo Shadowspring and wish you every blessing & comfort.

Aeryn406 on FJ


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