This is my story of substance use, being in care and finding a home
“As a young person growing up in foster care, I’ve had some fun times, but I have made a lot of mistakes that I am not proud of. Most of the time I was sad but I wasn’t depressed, I was just feeling more than sad. I was ashamed of what I had done in the past. For example, I used to hang around with bad people who take MDMA, cocaine, and smoke weed. I started taking the drugs to help me stop thinking about the mistakes I had made, and to stop missing my baby brother.
“It felt like to me, no-one understood my feelings or cared about me. But they did. I could not get my head around that they wanted to help and they loved me for me. But I thought everyone who tried to help me was out to get me and put me somewhere where I will be on my own and never see my brother. I was wrong. Looking back, I wish I got the help sooner. But that’s all behind me now. I now live in a place I call ‘home’, with loving people. I just want to say thank you so much for helping me with all my problems. Making me feel a part of the family and getting me the help I needed. I look up to them like the grandparent’s I never had.
“But before that, I was angry at the world for taking me away from my parents. I was only fourteen-years-old when I was placed into foster care. I am now I’m sixteen. Missing my brother and living with the mistakes I had made, were the hardest thing I ever had to deal with. I really wanted a family to love me, but my friends and my lifestyle kept getting in the way of the life I dreamed of. I was going out all day, taking drugs and going home. The next day would come and I would do the same again. If someone tried to help, I acted like everything was fine. I didn’t care about anyone’s feelings, because I felt like no-one cared about mine. My friends and my lifestyle would always cause a problem. My feelings became numb after failing so many.
“On the 10th of September 2019 I started to get support from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). For the first six months I kept saying I was fine but I wasn’t, and everyone knew it. So I want to say thank you to CAMHS for staying by my side and getting me through it. Also I want say thank you to my school for getting me in touch with Barod. They have supported me with my drug problem, and helped me get on the right path in life. So, thank you to Barod too.
“Stacey from Barod, and I, sat down and made a plan for my future. My hope was to join the army and become an infantry soldier with the Royal Welsh. I’m proud to say that I have stuck to my plan. I’m currently at Military Preparation College, working on my fitness, learning more about the army and how the army is a great culture for me. I am so excited for the future and to see where life takes me. I’m not the boy who is ashamed of himself anymore. I love myself, and I know it’s not my fault I am in foster care. It was my family.
“I just want to say to young people who are hopefully going to read this, just be open and truthful, and everyone can help you. The date is the 7th of August 2020 and I’m just ready to get on with my life.”
Anonymous young persons service user