Gish's Journal

I'm 27 years old and have lived on the streets since I was 6 years old.

Three months ago I moved into Rebeccas Community 'Hospitality House.'

This website chronicles my life journey through foster care, homelessness, drug addiction, prison and my new life off drugs and off the streets.

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I guess my life can be classed as a total failure I am the first person to admit that my life to date has not been a bed of roses. I have broken the law almost more times than most people have had hot dinners.

I know in my life that I will probably break the law again and will probably do so for the rest of my life, not that I am complaining I learnt a long time ago to take responsibility for my actions and nobody else's.

Living on the streets is not what most people think it is, most "normal people" that I talk to have a very misconstrued conception of who a streetie is and what they do and how they live, which is why most homeless people don't have a lot of daily contact with "normal people," I use the term normal people to refer to people who have never lived on the street and don't know anybody who does.

I hope that by sharing my story it will help people who don't understand the life of a streetie and that they will at least learn about the human who is underneath all the dirt and the bad manners, the same human who most people would rather not be seen talking to even if it means crossing the road when they see them in the street.

My early life is mostly a blur, I only remember the bits that really had an impact on me, mostly the violence and the neglect that was a daily way of life for me until I got hurt real bad and decided that I would be better of anywhere else as long as it wasn't here. I remember at the time that I didn't hate the people that were hurting me I just didn't know why I was getting hurt and I was afraid, very afraid.

It was just after my sixth birthday and at the time I thought I had only sprained my wrist real bad and my breathing would return to normal soon and I would be okay. I just knew that I wasn't going to that house ever again if they found me I would get even more hurt so I had to make sure that I was never found.

I guess I got a lot of luck when I was found by "Rose " a hooker who worked Brunswick St. in Fortitude Valley (Brisbane). She found me crying in the gutter and asked me if I was okay. I remember telling her that I was alright while I kept my wrist out of sight and hoping that the pain would go away so I could stop crying but Rose was a bit smarter than that and she kept asking me what was wrong till I showed her my wrist.

The doctor at the RBH said that he had never seen a worse set of fractures on a six year old and that my injuries could have only been caused deliberately. It was this and my belief that it would only happen again if I went back into foster care which decided for me that I was better of with Rose who offered me a place to stay if I ever needed it, and it was in this way that my life on the streets began.

I stayed with Rose on and of again for the next three years, during the day I tried to learn at school and be a normal kid and do normal kid stuff but it was at night that my real education began. Rose had a regular client named Gary and me and him got along really well.

He said I reminded him of his son Derek who he had to another pro who got locked up for drug possession and armed robbery causing grievous bodily harm. She got eight years and Derek was placed into care and I guess Gary saw me as the son he never had. It was great, I would go cruising in Gary's Holden Monaro all night with him and his mates till I fell asleep and he would drop me of at home.

I didn't know at the time that Gary was addicted to heroin and the times that I was in his car at night him and his mates were cruising around looking for ways to make money so they could get a fix.

I never understood why every so often he would stop the car and one or two of the guys would get out of car open the boot and than disappear for five or ten minutes and than come running back and put something back in the boot and we would be off again.

I didn't learn why until I was ten that they were doing break and enters to feed there habits. I was inducted into the world of crime one night when we were out driving around as usual and we had pulled up out the front of this place. We had been sitting there for longer than usual and Gary came back to the car and said he needed me to do something for him.

I was ecstatic, Gary needed my help and there wasn't anything I wouldn't do for him or his mates who all made me feel like I was one of them, one of the boys.


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