She thought she knew, but she had no idea…

She thought she knew, but she had no idea…I had anger problems and because of this I would lash out on my mum. Things in my house were unbearable. There would be constant shouting, arguments and just no peace whatsoever.

From primary school all the way through to college, I was bullied. However, I saw college as a way out, so I became the bully and adopted a whole new attitude. I was so caught up in making a name for myself and having new friends because of the oppression I did to others that I ended up failing my A-levels and getting kicked out of college, and so I had to move on to a new one.

I always thought I was ugly and due to this I became very suicidal, but I never had the guts to kill myself. My mum and I were like two strangers living in the same house. We never had a relationship at all and would live in silence.

I started going to various parties and pub theme nights followed by excessive drinking led by the examples of my friends. I’d dress inappropriately just to fit in and to attract attention. I even started dressing crazy in many colours to stand out, but this was more of a scream for help than dressing this way because I wanted to. My outside was the complete opposite to my inside. Because of this emptiness and lack of love at home, I craved attention from outside. Something I loved to do was flirt, so I became promiscuous. I would advertise my body and come across as “up for it”, but when it came down to things, I didn’t want any part of it. This got me in to so many problems, so much so that I almost got raped.

old-joBecause of my unstable attitude and way of being, my friendships didn’t tend to last. There was a friend of mine that I was very close to, but we stopped speaking for two months. One day, out of the blue, she called me and invited me to the VYG. At first, I didn’t know how to take this sudden contact because we hadn’t spoken for such a long time and now here she was inviting me to a youth group (VYG) at the HelpCentre, but I accepted her invitation and went along.

Attending the VYG, I met other youths who had faced the same problems as me and overcame them. I heard the messages, which made me believe that I could change too, that I didn’t have to be the way I was or live the life I had been living. I learnt that I could be happy, so I continued going.

Today I am truly happy from within. It wasn’t hard for me to cut the things off that were no good for me because I learnt not to depend on them. My mum also comes to the HelpCentre with me and our relationship is much better; there are no more dramatic fights. I respect her and things are improving.

Change isn’t easy, but when you look back on how things were, I can guarantee you a polarised difference between what was and what is.

Jo-Anne Scrivener-Cox