I had just turned 18. In fact, it was my 18th birthday. By this stage I was well-known in the Oxford Street scene. Drugs were a part of my weekly routine. I wasn’t going too hardcore then. Just pills and G.
My mum and sisters were overseas at the time, so it was just dad and me. I decided to do the usual and go to my favourite club to celebrate that night. I remember having a ball!
Pills were being popped into my mouth, G was poured into my drinks and lines of coke were neatly racked up for me. I was bouncing off the walls!
I met a guy, and as we partied and kissed, the sexual tension between us grew. He lived on the coast, so his place was out of the question.
I had an idea. One which I thought was completely logical at the time. Dad would be leaving for work soon, so I’d have the place to myself.
‘Come to my place.’ I said.
Little did I know that this invitation, this tiny sentence, these four words would shatter my life into a million pieces.
We got to my place, and I made him wait outside so I could check if the coast was clear.
Dad was just leaving.
‘Are you OK?’ he asked.
Even though I felt amazing, clearly, I didn’t look it. He was obviously worried and suspicious that I was too intoxicated. He left after I convinced him that I was OK and that I wanted to sleep.
I called the guy inside and it was on. We were all over each other. It was the first time I had a guy over at my place.
We fell asleep, naked and out cold. I just remember hearing a creek and being woken up by the sound. I knew it was coming from the one stair that makes a noise when stepped on.
Still with a hazy mind and slightly scattered, I looked outside and saw my dad’s car. The guy was still asleep as I jumped up and put shorts on. By the time I pushed him off the bed, the door opened, and my dad was standing there.
He froze. I froze. The guy froze.
‘What the fuck is this?! What the fuck?!’ he yelled as he charged towards the guy.
I stood in between them and shouted for him to stop and for the guy to hurry and leave.
‘Just go! Quickly, get out!’ I screamed while holding my dad back. He ran outside with only his jeans on, shirt and shoes in hand. Now it was just dad and I.
I had never seen my dad like that. He went mental. Holes were punched in the walls and the bar bench was smashed.
Then it was my turn. He beat me for the first time. I just remember trying to cover my face, curling up on the corner of the couch.
I was crying, shaking and hyperventilating. He took his belt off and hit me a few times with that. He had completely lost his mind.
Finally, he stopped and said ‘I’m leaving now. Get your head together and we’ll talk when I get back’.
I didn’t have enough breath to respond. I stumbled to my room and waited for him to leave, one ear at the door.
Once I was certain that he had left, I started to pack a bag. There was no way I could face him in that state again. I wrote a note. My hands were shaking so much, and I remember how difficult it was to hold the pen, let alone write in such a way that would make sense.
‘I’m going to stay at a friend’s place for a couple of days while you calm down. I hope that when I get back we can talk properly.’
Just as I tried to leave, I realised that he had taken all the keys and locked all the doors. I only had one option. The window.
I threw my bag out, then squeezed myself through the metal bar placed at the centre of the window for protection. Thankfully, I was a lot slimmer back then.
I called a friend and asked if I could crash for a couple of days. He said yes and I made my way to the train station. If I recall correctly, I only had about 10 dollars in my pocket.
I stayed there and ignored countless calls from my father. About a week later, I gained the courage to go back.
In my little optimistic mind, I imagined that I would walk in, we would talk, he would apologise, he would accept me for who I was, we would hug and then get on with life.
Of course, when I got home, the image was anything but beautiful. It was full of screaming, arguing, swearing and hitting all over again.
This time, I didn’t have that 10 dollars for an escape train. I spent days in my room until mum and my sisters arrived from their holiday.
I was happy. Finally, surely one of them would back me up. Someone would support me.
It was little hopes and dreams like this that taught me that sometimes, being too optimistic can trap you into the painful realisation that in this big bad world, you yourself are all you can depend on. Anything more is setting yourself up for disappointment.
I still remember being in bed one night. Mum and dad were talking in the lounge room. I couldn’t hear exactly what they were saying, but I knew exactly what they were talking about.
I then heard mum start crying and screaming.
‘I knew it! I knew it!’ she cried, hysterically.
The cries and words were those of a mother who had just lost a son.
I was in bed, staring at the ceiling in the dark. Tears were trickling down the side of my face. That day, a part of me really did die.
After that night, for many years, I was never able to be so optimistic about anything.
My last bit of hope was to turn to my sisters for support. Yet again, disappointment coldly slapped me across the face, as if to say, ‘haven’t you learnt your lesson yet?’
They didn’t talk to me properly for months. When they did, it was abusive and degrading.
The year following all of this was hell. The only support I had were a couple of genuine friends.
My family used drugs as a reason to attack me. To them, drugs made me gay. Drugs made me crazy. I guess trying to believe that this was true made them feel better. Eventually the crazy part became true.
Any excuse to leave home was good enough. The more I was pushed away from home, the more I was welcomed by the open, inviting arms of drugs.
Anyone who has fallen into the world of drug abuse, knows that most of the time it is not so much the chemical that damages your soul, but rather the traumatic experiences you live through while in this world.
My next posts will be about these experiences, along with how I overcame the trauma they caused, and how it is that I can be so positive about life after living through them.