Friday, 12 December 2014

My story - part 5

One of our Commissioners gives us a privileged insight into their life. They give us the good and they give us the bad. The story helps us understand poverty a little better. Here is part 5.

I was on wee training schemes where you were earning £70 a week for learning how to do bricklaying, gardening, plus you got bonuses £30 on top of that, and they would pay your travel expenses.  I thought that was good, I thought it was amazing at the time.  It was my first money, I’ve actually earned this, I’ve actually done something to earn it.  At the end of the day I would finish and sneak into the pub. I was 16, but I would dress smart so I wasn’t getting ID’d, so I would sneak into the pub, and it was kind of good.  

Then I got a job as a porter at a hotel.  That was good, a good wage.  It was my first big wage and was lot of money to me.  I bought myself clothes with my money and that.  The shifts were 11 hours, 15 hours though, and it was too knackering, it was affecting my health.  It was too hard.  It became too much.  I had to give it up in the end.

I was still living with my mum and dad at that point, but with me not working now, it became more and more difficult.  I did some bad things.  I was being bad with just drinking, being an idiot - my mum ended up having to threaten to throw me out.   

Things were really bad at home and I had to go - I decided to go myself though rather than be thrown out.  I thought this was going to be the answer, I would make myself homeless. I didn’t know what to expect - I thought I would be able to get my own place.  So I came into this world of homelessness for the first time, and it was tough. I did not expect it to hit me the way it did. It opened a new world.

I was a nervous wreck at first but was just trying to be strong. I got put in a hostel. I didn’t like it there. I got robbed it was a bad experience. People could just nudge into your door, and your door would be open, so I was scared to go to sleep. It was not the environment for me.

It was a tough world.  You have to be tough in the hostels, because if you show weakness, they’ll pick on you. Try to bully you.  If you show a weakness, you’ll be the one walked over.  You have to be strong or you learn the hard way.  Being in a hostel you need to be strong.

I was still drinking.  One night when I was out I ended up getting slashed by a bottle through drunken stupidness.  I had taken Ecstasy the night before, and was coming down.  I drank a litre of wine in 20 minutes to try and take away the feeling.  I was drunk, staggering about, not realising the stupid things I was doing. 

Watch out for part 6, tomorrow... 

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