Just something I wanted to share with people currently in a bad place
I don't know who you are, nor what you are struggling with, however considering you're on this site I would imagine we are both somewhat on the same page. I would like to share, I guess, in some way of a "success story" of someone who was given a pretty crappy time. I in no way wish to "brag" about anything, I am simply sharing this story to let others know that even when it's hard, you will make it through, that "light at the end of the tunnel" you keep hearing about is real, it might not seem it now, particularly when your head is full of that deep dark horrible stuff because someone close to you has a drug addiction, but one day you will look back and be happy you fought through each day.
My father always smoked cannabis whilst I grew up, it was a normal thing for me and I was quite happy to accept it because I didn't know anything better. He would keep me up late talking about Jesus because for whatever reason Jesus was the only thing he would talk about when he was high. The police were aware of his habit, however he was very friendly with them and never seemed to get into trouble about it because he hid it well and at the end of it, the police aren't going to spent their time following round a man who smokes 0.5g of cannabis a day and preaching about jesus every night, they have better things to be doing with their time.
I lived with my mother who treated me horribly because of her anger and anxiety, and when I turned 16 I was able to move to my fathers house and live with him, which was such a relief considering I spent years of my life being aggressively nagged and shouted at for everything. This was on of the biggest reliefs of my life because I was finally free to live a happy life, even if my father was on benefits in a small flat with nothing, it was better than living with my mum (or so I thought)
So this was all good until I just turned 17, when my father stopped cannabis and began smoking black mamber, a legal high known to cause hallucinations and psychosis. (I forgot to mention my father was also bi polar) I don't know if it had caused a trigger with his bi polar or if it was just the drug, but it sent him crazy! My once loving caring father, who would do anything for me and more, was now stopping me from going to College, stealing from me, threatening to kill me if I had "asserted his power" or something like that, he constantly squared up to me and told me he would fight me if I didn't do what he said. He once knocked my bike over in the hall whilst I was in my room, then burst in and started screaming at me because I didn't go and find out what had happened. He made me feel so depressed and I didn't know what to do. He began jumping out the first floor window (about a 10 ft drop) and running away for hours without explanation. I stayed up most nights with a dumbbell bar next to my pillow in case he came in with a knife or something.
I tried to wait it out but I started fearing for my life. One day my older brother came over and I told him everything as soon as my father went out. Luckily, he had his van outside so we moved everything in my room out the flat and drove back to my mums with it.
He came round a few times but every time I told him to leave and also called the police. He eventually got the message and left me alone. I tried to get him help but he didn't want it. There was nothing we could do unless he wanted the help himself
I'll be honest here, the months following were the worst of my life. My father, who I was closer to than anyone in my life, was basically dead to me. I was living with my anxiety and anger ridden mother who made me feel even worse about it, and I had no one. My friends didn't understand and I didn't expect them too. Most of my College friends had it great. Middle class, lovely families. Good for them.
I felt depressed and suicidal. My only pulling force was my older sister and the thought of getting away from it all by going to University. Every day I worked harder and harder to have good enough grades in College to get into Uni. Every night I cried and asked why a father would act this way to his son. Whatever happened, every now and then I would just tell myself it would soon be over, pick a Uni far away and never look back. During this time I had a lot of growing up to do, to better myself. I cut my hair short and stopped talking to anyone that I didn't know in College. I know this sounds extreme but my friends prior to this, apart from a few School friends, were regular drug takers and generally people with no ambition for the future. I was not going to let my experience pull me down, I would only let it motivate me to push forward with my life.
I eventually got through College and scraped the grades required for University. And just like I planned, I chose a University 200 miles away. Somewhere up north where people are nicer and my father could not ever get to me.
I remember it, sitting in the car as my sister drove away from the mother’s house with all my stuff packed for my new life at Uni. I tell you now, it was one of the best feeling I had ever experienced.
I sit here now writing this as a 3rd year University student, just finished applying for my masters degree (which the government now funds btw) writing a goodnight text to my lovely girlfriend, thinking what a distant memory it all feels like.
I am happy I told myself to carry on. At times the pain was sickening and unbearable, and the thought of suicide was very real.
Whoever you are, whatever you're going through, remember this:
When you're alone in the dark it can feel like it will never get better, but let me tell you now it will. Push yourself to move forward. Every day. Even if you have to do it alone. One day you will look back like I have and be thankful you did.
Thanks for reading.