Part three of four.

The storyteller shares their experience of Multiple Disadvantage gathered by a community reporter as part of the Changing Futures Community Reporter Project.

I was. The next question feeds in as well. It says, how has living with multiple disadvantages throughout your life affected you? Ok, um so I don't know if I'd say that I've lived with him throughout my life. Um, I was a poor I was brought up, like, you know, in a relatively poor family, we didn't have much, but I had a lot of love

Do you know what I mean? And I thought I was very fortunate because I had two strong parents that really like they worked that hard, and they supported us loads, you know, And the, um they never complained. And they always did what they could to get us. Do you know what we needed? And they always provided for us

We never really like. We never looked really scruffy in front of the other kids or anything like that. Even if they didn't have much, they always made away

They always made it up. Do you know? And yeah. I mean, there was times where there was, like, five of us in a tea bed house and things like that

But that was nothing. Do you know what I mean? Like it was fun. We had loads of fun

So I think my childhood was really good compared to most. Like, I'm so grateful for that. Um, the only thing was that, you know, we have family issues in that, you know, there is, um it was stuff in my sister and I spoke to her about speaking about this

So I know that she's OK with me talking about it. Um, So I'll like, I'll use discretion and I'll try and protect the integrity. Um, yeah, we had issues with my sister, and, you know, she was She was amazing, your sister

But when she had her child, she, uh she went into post natal depression, and she started struggling really massively. And there was some other things as well. Um, various different reasons she's presented for how this might come about

But, you know, she started struggling massively and mental health and, you know, doctor's appointments, psychiatrist, hospital stays, suicide attempts, drugs, alcohol, parties, abuse all kinds of things, you know, And it was constant when we was growing up, and my mum and dad was constantly going out, trying to trying to rescue her, trying to fight for her trying to help her trying to assist her. He was raising my little niece as well. And she's like my sister because she grew up in the house from there

So we're really close, and I was just like I In some ways I was free to do my own stuff because he was preoccupied quite a lot with my sister. I was messing about with the lads and stuff, and I thought I was one of the lads, didn't I? And, um, I didn't make the most of it. Potentially

I had quite a lot of potential, but I started drinking and partying and smoking weed and going out to, you know, parties and stuff. But for the most part, I I I got on a function, and even when I left school, I went to college and I got all right job and everything else. So I want to say that that I live with multiple disadvantage throughout my life

It comes to me when I split up with my long term partner and I lost my job and I lost the place where I was staying and, uh, lost my car and things like that. Do you know and, uh, started taking drugs. My mental health started really deteriorating

I always took drugs, but started taking them, taking them, not just socially. And then, um, mental health deteriorated. And then yeah, like, it just got worse and worse, I suppose

And I was in that cycle, I'd say, For what? Probably about hang on. Probably about six years. Seven years that I was in that cycle, so I wouldn't say it's a lifetime

And I never want to exaggerate, You know, any troubles, you know, And it was a long time, You know where I struggled with it, but yeah. So how did I feel in then? Seven years. Do you still want to know that? I feel like I'm talking right

You're talking. It's fine. Um, that question was how living with multiple disadvantage throughout your life affected you

And the next question was, how have your lived experiences changed your life? Goals, values and perspectives. I have money that's been changed. My life goals, values and perspectives

OK, um, massively. Do you know the my lived experiences change my life goals, values and perspectives? Massively. Um, I mean, I've touched on it before, you know, about having empathy, having understanding about this kind of stuff

Um, if I wouldn't have got to the point where I did, if I didn't go through what I did, I didn't find a lot. Well, just to think what would have happened in all honesty, that's what I mean, Like, in no way would I trade the life that I have now for the life I was living before I started going into any kind of trouble. There's just no comparison on my life so much better

I have peace and everything else. Um, my life goes like, Yeah, I mean, I look at things differently. Like back then, I was more motivated by money

I was more motivated by, I mean, some kind of status and what people thought of me, I was more motivated by the things of the world. You know, like, uh, material things And, um, women and things like that. And these things that ultimately like no, like, I just I don't pursue, you know, And, um bye, I I want my life to have some kind of meaning

I don't wanna look back on my life and think that I lived it selfishly I When I look back on my eyes and think that, um, I took all the time and I never gave anything, Do you know? I know what my sa He laid down his life for me. Do you know? And that's all I want to leave myself. And I just want to lay down my life for others

And, you know, I've been fortunate enough to to see people that live sacrificially and put other people first. And and even when they're struggling themselves, even when they're hurting, even when they're suffering inside, they don't let it show when they get up. And they do what's right about the people and that, you know, they're strong for other people

And I I would be like, Ah, not there yet. You know what I mean? But, um, I wanna have some kind of legacy. Doesn't have to be it Have to be something prominent in the eyes of me

Do you know what I mean? It doesn't have to be something where they put me up on like screens or I have some massive funeral or anything like that. No, I'm not bothered about that. But in the eyes of God

Do you know where he could say that was me? So he always wanted me, You know, be a footprint on someone's heart. Well, yeah, you know, And if if even if people I don't want to be naming rights or anything like that, I'm not even I'm not even looking for gratitude. But if at the end of it, because I believe in a judgement there, I believe there'll be a day where I have to give a count in my life

And I don't want to be ashamed on that day, you know, I wanna look back and say I did my best And, uh, I always tried to live right, And he always always tried to show your heart to people. God, you know, um, and that So that's my That's my ambition. That's my goal

It's not about me. Um, it's about what God wants and where he's leading me. And it's like an adventure anyway

Do you know I get to live like a life that's better than any fairytale or any fantasy I could have thought of? And that's not even a lie that I get blown away sometimes by the places where I find myself. Um, so yeah, so I'd be grateful with that. Um, if that was me portion that I could say on that day, the Lord said he did

All right, I'd say that, Um, so yeah. So I live my life for him? No, not for myself. Not for my own means

Not for selfish reasons. And I tell you what, he won't lie when he said it's more blessed to give than to see you because you got a serious piece inside which you just never knew before. So it's hard sometimes, but it's worth it

Um, so he was like, Oh, what else was the sort of values? Oh, yeah. Like I said, like, you know, got to change my heart. And the things that I value in this life are totally different

And I don't I say I don't value things like, er I'm not so much seeking for people to honour me, and I'm not, not as I'm not 100% now with it because I feel we all like a bit of that sometimes. But I, uh I'm really not sort of driven by what people's thoughts are of me anymore. And um, like the things that I value is more like things like time with my family going in, going on a walk with the dog and, you know, like and just the way that I come over and the dog like, greets us and stuff like it sounds like a daft thing

But he gets so excited to see me and stuff. And I just like, just little things, like, act like they mean the world to me now. Whereas, like, in the past, I was never satisfied

Even when I'd taken loads of drugs and everything, I always wanted something more, something better, something bigger. And it never felt enough. And then I found God, and it was just like I had contempt and I had peace

And it was, like, just the biggest difference. Um, yeah. So, like, so, like, the things that I value have changed my actual values as in, like, my models and things like that

Um, they've changed radically in the in the past. Uh, I I thought I knew what morals were and like I felt like I was quite moralistic or I was quite on the surface. I appeared to be a good person in some respects, but like it's it's changed like it's in my heart

Now. I I sincerely, like one of the best with other people. I, um Yeah, I, uh I think that I think that I'm much more able to live out being the kind of person that I always wanted to be that I've never been before

Um, I always wanted to be a good man in my heart. I never wanted to be the kind of person that cheated on someone I always wanted to be like a loyal husband and a faithful husband. I never wanted to be a lazy man, do you know? But like sometimes I find myself being lazy and stuff, I never wanted to be a liar

And yet I find myself lying. No, I never wanted to be a coward. And yet there'd be times where I get afraid

And like, gradually as you're walking, you've got all them things about yourself, which you always wanted to be. The person you always wanted to be. You feel like it starts empowering you to actually start instead of just thinking about it and desiring it in your heart, It empowers you to work it out

I'm not there yet. Honestly, I'm not like I don't wanna talk myself up by no means. I've got a long way to go, and I mean that, um but I'm just so much better than so much more happy in who I'm becoming than the person that I was

Thank you, Patrick..

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