Pt2, From Troubled Beginnings
From troubled beginnings.
What may seem like your normal Western Society achievements,... Car, House, a Partner, Career, aren't always as normal as you might think.
And here's a perspective as to why, in my world, getting to this level was no average feat.
At the age of two and my sisters being only 5 months old, our "Father" decided to abandon ship and leave our young Mother to cope with 3 young children on her own with no financial help and very few possessions. Stranded in Port Hedland at the time, it was an instant struggle for all of us. Mum decided that she had no option but to leave the Mining life and come down to Perth where she had more support from family.
The coming years would see us bounce from school to school, living in often borderline destitute public housing. We often had very little in the way of possessions, new clothing, shoes, and toys. On occasion we would receive packages from The Salvation Army and similar services with food and second hand toys for us kids. Our Grandmother and Great Grandmother helped as best they could but living day to day was a constant struggle.
I found school very difficult. For most of my life I reckon I was about 2-3 years behind in all developmental areas, Social, Emotional, Intellectual, and one of my coping mechanisms was aggression. Another coping mechanism was being a ratbag, or as I call it, being hilarious [icon icon=icon-smile size=14px color=#000 ] I would often get into fights with absolutely anyone, including my poor teachers. I hated my home life and I needed to pay it forward somehow, violence was one of the few things I knew.
Why did I know violence? Well my mum just wanted the best for us, and she thought that having a father figure was paramount to a good home. Unfortunately, mum had her own demons with depression, severe anxiety, and chronic migraines (which she struggles with to this day), and her outlet was alcohol. Being an alcoholic with depression isn’t a great mix, and mum attracted a terrible crowd. When mum would try to form relationships, she would find guys that would also have similar demons and would frequently find herself on the end of severely violent beatings and abuse, often in front of us. This was always devastating to me as a powerless little boy over these big men. I would have so much anger and resentment that when I would go to school, on very little sleep, a half-empty stomach, few friends, and someone would look at me sideways…..look out! Win Lose or Draw… shit would hit the fan.
I never seemed to understand what was being taught in schools. My brain simply wasn’t developed enough. I would get so frustrated that I would hate myself for being dumb. I was poor, looking after mum and my sisters, bouncing from house to house, school to school, friends to friends, I fucking hated life and I behaved like it.
In early High School, I found Graffiti and it resonated with me. I wasn’t coping in class so I would drift away and draw. If you looked over my shoulder you would see half a page of attempted school work, and 30 pages of Graffiti and drawings! Graffiti was the first ever environment I felt like I belonged in. Graffiti Artists were young and troubled like me. They typically had poor – or no – boundaries at home, and came from violent, low-socio environments. I had finally found something I was good at and helped me express my pain. But, it’s widely illegal, so it came with its own set of troubles too.
I left High School in Year 9, but officially in Year 10. My High School times were a struggle, as they are to most of us really, but I do have mates from those times that I have today so I’m very blessed. One of those mates took me to a Boxing gym in Balga Western Australia. Man…. I was hooked! A place where I could fight without getting in trouble. A place with a positive father figure, a place to have routine, push my limits, exorcise my demons, a place to learn discipline, respect, and love. Plus, I wasn’t going to watch my mum receive beatings anymore. I was growing in all areas thanks to Boxing, and I would finally become the man of the house.
If you’ve read Part 1 of my blog, you’ll see that the wonderful life I had created wasn’t a small feat. In fact, it was remarkable. So what now? How did Belief Clothing sprout from this kind of beginning when finally I had all of my ‘ducks in a row’?
Well, life is what happens when you’re busy making plans right? Turns out, life wasn’t finished with me at all….
**Please note, I have left out several details into how extreme our life was in respect to my family, I'm sure you get the picture. My Mum did the absolute best she could with very few tools in her toolbox. And I’m in constant gratitude for the life my family provided for us despite all of the forces against us. Also, when I moved to London in 1999, mum was able to overcome the severity of her alcohol addiction and is a better mum to all of us each and every day, she really is Inspiring**