44-year-old Mikey was constantly being told that he was ‘stupid’ by his father when he was a child. Despite having a ‘Statement of Educational Needs’ (SEN) his father still made him feel like he was worthless, and, at the age of 15, he started to rebel – this led to a cycle of imprisonment, which Mikey had been unable to break.
Mikey turned to drugs and alcohol to find solace in his sadness. His behaviour only fuelled the rejection by his father, which had now spread to the rest of his family; with his sister and brother also isolating him. To get the ‘family’ approval he craved, he turned to crime; this gave him kudos with his new-found friends, who positively encouraged him to carry out petty thefts; they would shower him with praise for his antics, and Mikey liked the feeling of belonging – something he had never experienced at home.
Unfortunately, drink and drugs fuelled his rage and he started to become violent, ultimately swapping his fists for weapons.
After his last prison sentence, Mikey moved back into the family home, hoping he could begin to get back on track with the support of the household but, sadly, after a drink he would reflect on his situation and would see his father and brother as the root cause; this in turn led to Mikey once again becoming
angry and frustrated. Then a fight ensued between him and his brother; leading to him becoming homeless once again, as his dad asked him to leave.
Mikey presented himself to the local council, who advised him to come to The Upper Room to get a hot meal and advice, as well as guidance on getting a job.
Since coming to TUR, through our employment co-ordinator he has secured employment as a Kitchen Porter for four nights a week; this is giving him the opportunity to save for a deposit to find a small bedsit or fl at of his own. He attends The Upper Room regularly, and is oft en on hand to off er informal peer
mentoring and help out with the deliveries. Mikey feels like he is valued; he has made friends, and enjoys the respect and praise he gets from staff and volunteers for his achievements.
He feels he can really start to focus on the future; one that is meaningful, without the need to turn to ‘alternative’ ways to survive.