I suppose I’ll begin my story with the previous night my mother had returned to my home (she wasn’t living with us and was undergoing psychiatric treatment and detoxication) to abuse my father of his neglect to my now late brother.
I am the eldest of seven children with my three young brother and sisters, and just days earlier my youngest brother was hit by a car. It was amazing he survived with just mere bruises. I remember my father was yelling at us, whilst we were looking for him. He had escaped out the back door of our single room unit and yet my father who was in the room at the time hadn’t noticed.
They were searching in the backyard but I knew better, dashing out the front door and down the street I heard a women screaming. My heart stopped and I was reduced to tears when I saw her there grappling my brother’s body in her arms. He wasn’t moving…
That night, I successfully avoided a beating because my father was with his friends. I could hear him saying how disobedient and ungrateful I was. Me?! I thought to myself huh! I wasn’t the one who would beat his children, deal drugs and run from police everyday for 15 years. As it was we were only living in Brisbane because of my father’s outstanding warrant in other states.
My sister was disgusted and told my father what a pathetic excuse for a father he was, … this I admired. Enraged my father attacked her and I stood in defending her. Taking the full brunt of his attack I was left with a broken nose and several scars and bruises. This wasn’t the first time we’d fought and it certainly wasn’t our worst.
Where I lacked the physical strength to compete against my father, my pigheadedness (as my sister called it) and inability to back down often left me more times than not broken and bleeding. Slowly but surely I felt it all become too much, and began to suffocate under the weight of my nightmare.
Over the next few nights the arrival of my mother there were more fights, worse ones, though I was neither scared nor angry, only tired and I retreated away safely inside myself. On the 13th I fought my dad again, defending my mum and the kids. He hit me hard, but to my surprise I felt nothing. He stopped momentarily, no less shocked then I was. And he was beaten, I knew it. He couldn’t scare me anymore nor could he hurt me and after nearly 16 years my chains were finally broken… he had no control…I was fine.
Over the next 8 months I faced a new struggle, after the intervention of the Department of Child Safety following the events of the 13th my brothers and sisters were settled in stable, happy homes. I however moved to stay with family some 300 km away. After it became apparent that I couldn’t live there (after a series of unfortunate events) I returned to Brisbane to continue my studies.
However I was turned away because I was a liability, a delinquent and a mis t, or so I was told. Slowly but surely I saved up every cent I had and moved out of the shelter and into a workers refuge. I didn’t tell the others my age and spent most of my time out.
Shortly after I was soon welcomed in a Christian community and I spoke to them about my struggles, they helped me to engage in studies at a private school. My life outside home slowly started to come together, and I began to move forward.
Through my new friends, I became involved with Student Care Welfare. Who helped me a great deal, including a supply of food and clothing. I would like to thank them and all the other people involved for helping me at my time of need.
Recently I’ve been speaking with Charles and he has expressed to me the possibility for some funding for school, and due to the overwhelming support I have now moved into my own unit and this year I will attend my first ever excursion. My life is coming together in ways I’d never imagined, and with my determination, and the help of a very stable support network provided by Student Care Welfare Qld, I am eagerly looking forward to the future. So it is with my fullest sincerity that I would like to thank everyone at Student Care Welfare Qld and others supporting me through my difficulties. My achievement so far wouldn’t have been possible without your intervention and assistance.
(*Names changed to protect privacy)