I have lived in poverty and have been food insecure for the majority of my life. I was born to a poor, abusive family and experienced the full wheel of abuse: emotional, mental, spiritual and sexual. I was sexually abused by outsiders, my parents beat me repeatedly, and I was constantly berated for how much of a ‘stupid reject’ I was, which carried over into school where I had not a single friend until I started grade 9.
I was kicked out of school at 16, and couch surfed for 2 years. To get away from my family I moved to Alberta, then to Vancouver where I started working on cruise ships. I was out of the country for almost 8 years, until a bipolar mania hit and they had to give me medical leave. Because I hadn’t lived in Canada for that long I could not get any immediate support, which meant no welfare and no doctor.
Back in Vancouver I became lost, confused and homeless. I had no money, no friends, no family, and I had to rely on the local shelters to stay alive. It became a hustle just to survive. When trying to seek help people don’t really want to hear your ugly truth. I was told I was hopeless and was refused service. In my life I have been labelled with bipolar, OCD, ADHD, PTSD and a substance abuse disorder. Addictions, along with mental health issues, are tough to overcome.