At just 20 years old, Jackson has endured more hurt than most of us will have in a lifetime. “My first memories are of being surrounded by drugs, alcohol and violence. It’s all I knew.”
Rather than being protected from harm, Jackson lived in a house that sounds like hell on earth. His mother was a chronic addict and from his recollections, home was a drug den, a place where junkies ‘crashed’ and dealers lashed out. Dark, dirty, unsafe. This was no place and no way to raise a child. But somehow Jackson survived.
At one point in his cloudy and fractured childhood Jackson was given drugs by someone in the house. “I didn’t know what was happening, but I remember it took my mind away from everything else that was going on.” He thinks he was 11 years old. And this started his own addiction...
As his drug use continued, Jackson was physically abused by family and others. He even witnessed stabbings and members of his family overdosing. Sick of the violence he moved interstate away from the family home at age 13. Since then, Jackson bounced between friends’ sofas, homeless shelters, the streets and jail. Seven years in which his addiction waxed and waned, his education was abandoned and his mental and physical health took a battering.
His drug taking continued as a coping mechanism, an escape from depression, but it has left him feeling “more alone than I was before”. As he got older Jackson realised that he can’t keep running from the shadows of his childhood forever, and that with the right help, he can be worth something. “I want to be clean and sober. To have something good to focus on, to be around people again. I want to have a chance.”
Today he is living in crisis accommodation and his wonderful case worker is helping him as he prepares to go to Triple Care Farm in just a few weeks to start to build a life he can be proud of. When asked about his goals, he said "I just want someone to love and to be loved."
The Triple Care Farm team will have to help Jackson slowly rebuild his life. He is going to need a lot of counselling to overcome the abuse and trauma of his childhood. He will need to learn coping strategies – other than taking drugs – when hurdles are put in his path. And then he will need help to fill in the bits he missed out on through his troubled youth. He will need to finish his basic schooling to allow him to take on any job or re-enter education. He will need an independent source of income – so he will need assistance with vocational training. And a safe place to live. And then support him to rebuild bridges and find new ones to love.
It’s a long list and it will be a tough journey, but, thanks to your support, Jackson will soon be supported by the experts at Triple Care Farm to achieve all this, and more. They can help Jackson find what he is looking for.
What Jackson is looking for is someone to love. Looking for people that don’t hurt or hate. Looking for a second chance at life. Thanks to you he can find that at the Farm – and he is hopeful and excited about what the future holds.
*name has been changed for privacy reasons