Life Story

Posted by Sue Burgess · 4 min read

I was born in 1977 and experienced a turbulent and frustrating time at home. There were many arguments at home and I used to sit at the top of the stairs and listen to them. I am the youngest of 7 children with the next oldest just one year older than me. At weekends and to cope with the arguments I used to be out of the house in the woods and fields looking into what nature was around me. I did not have a good time at school, I was bullied and felt that I did not fit in. I kept myself isolated. I could not read properly or understand mathematics and was always looking over my shoulder for the bullies who sometimes were waiting for me at the school gates. I think that bullying was about my build, I was very skinny and especially in P.E. classes I was made fun of. I would not stand up for myself as I would not fight and this is the case today. In the 4th year things changed for me and I found that I had a skill in art. I could explore how I felt in colours and in painting. I excelled in this subject and gained an A+ at GCSE level in art. The creative side of me is strong and I like making things, drawing and investigating. I want to find the truth in things which I believe stems from my interest in nature. After I left school I spent most of my time on the river bank, fishing. If I was not doing that then I was visiting local churches or up in my bedroom or in the woods. Eventually my dad said that I had better get a job. I still felt a loner and segregated due to the arguments at home. I did not have any friendships as I did not know who to trust and I built a brick wall around me. I thought of becoming a hairdresser but after starting the course did not feel in place at the college. I then got on a YTS course in Welding and Fabricating. I enjoyed that because I was making things and being creative and got my NVQ. After that things went downhill. My sister left and then I left. My dad was very, very strict and I felt pushed away, further and further. I left and slept on the streets. I met up with some people who I thought would be my friends but I got into taking drugs. I think I was easily led at that time. My mum and dad eventually came across me and were worried at my physical condition and I was taken back home when I was 17/18. I thought I should sort myself out and went on an apprenticeship making fire surrounds. I was let down by the boss as I turned up one morning to find the place closed and I was not paid. I then moved around visiting Colchester and Leicester and ended up in a homeless shelter. I did not go back home as nothing I seemed to do worked for me and I did not want to remain a burden to them. I lived in the YMCA and met two supposed mates and a girl who I settled down with and had a two children, Jordan and Sophie. This happened so fast but my partner had an affair with one of my friends and I left home. I was on the streets again after I had worked my way up to being a Marketing Manager with a home and two lovely children. I started to use drugs and alcohol again and moved around sometimes sleeping on peoples sofas. I then got myself into car valeting and had another relationship and then had Maire who is now 6. That relationship did not work and I was on the street again. This was a painful period in my life which is difficult for me to talk about. I have tried to resume contact with my children and send them birthday and Christmas cards. I left in the main because I did not want them to experience the arguments that I had to experience when I was at home. I then received a phone call from my mum to say that my dad had left her, she was very tearful and I then made the decision to come down to this part of the world to help her. When I came down here I realised that I had to get off drugs and alcohol as I was just going around in circles. I needed to make the change although it was difficult and I was in a lot of debt. Within 3 weeks of coming to Hastings after the phone call from my mum I contacted Seaview to see what help and advice I could get and it was the best move I made. Seaview helped me learn to read and write properly. It helped change my life. I went and followed up all the advice they gave me and now I have a beautiful flat which I moved into about a year ago. I am still on my own which I think is best but I visit my mum on most days of the week. Instead of not being listened to and shrugged off I feel that I am now someone. My future is looking after my mum and to involve myself with charity work as I have learned a lot in my life about being on your own with no one to be interested in you. My dream job would be to become a Deacon and make mum proud, and help those who are struggling.