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Forums / Welcome and orientation / Starting over at 51

Topic: Starting over at 51

  1. Jafar the Barmecide
    Jafar the Barmecide  avatar
    21 posts
    18 March 2022

    Ok, this is take 2 of my first post, I was wisely advised to edit it as I probably gave too much detail and risked doxxing myself and went into triggering territory so here is the revised post-

    Sometime ago (redacted to summarise) I had legal issues, and as a result I lost my job, my car, my license, the respect of my family, friends and colleagues, my dignity, my house and eventually, my freedom. I was in a dark place, that is allI can probably say

    The journey from there to where I am now is why I am here. I have been through a hell of a lot more than 2500 characters can describe and there is still a long way to go. I am now homeless and unemployed with a conviction that is proving to be a barrier to progress. I have to start over, I have to find a reason to live, some spark that gets me up in the morning. If I can get myself through this, I will be well placed to help others who find themselves starting over, whether they have just been released from prison or newly sober and commited to remaining that way or need help navigating the courts and justice department, I now have experience to share in all these areas and if that can make a difference in even one person's life, then I have found my spark, my reason to live.

    My goal is to get to a place where I am comfortable enough to turn around and reach out to people on the same path, learning how to use the systems and services put in place to help people in the most effective way possible by using those services. Beyond Blue is one of those services. I'm here to learn and share and try to stay focussed in the face of the daunting task of starting over at 51.

  2. Petal22
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    19 March 2022 in reply to Jafar the Barmecide

    Hi Jafar the Barmecide,

    Wellcome to our forums and thank you for your contribution.

    I think that you are amazing, standing here in front of us wanting to start over and just needing some one to give you that chance to help you to move forward with your life.

    I understand that having a conviction can be hard sometimes because this conviction can try to stand in your way and it’s also something that society seems to hold against people who have convictions……….. but for you to move forward you need find a loop hole a loop hole that will enable you to find employment and a home and believe me it’s there!

    I believe that people who have done their time should be accepted by society to move forward from that they shouldn’t have to pay for the conviction for the remainder of their life.

    It was a lesson not a life sentence.

    You will get through this and you will help others…….

    Someone will give you that chance just believe in yourself and your future of helping others and it will come to fruition.

    Im here to chat to you

    2 people found this helpful
  3. mmMekitty
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    19 March 2022 in reply to Jafar the Barmecide

    Hello again, Jafa the Barmecide. 😺

    Having gone through so much, losing so much along the way, still homeless & unemployed, with your future so uncertain, it's pleasing to hear you want to use your life's experiences to help guide & support others. I applaud your every effort here.

    I've noted how many here have voiced a wish to find a reason to live. Your reason seems to speak of a belief that you can take the rough course of your life & imagine how this can be turned to a positive benefit for others in the community. This looks to be quite a turn around. I'd like to understand how you reached this point.

    Again, welcome, Jafa the Barmecide.

    mmMekitty

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Jafar the Barmecide
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    21 posts
    19 March 2022 in reply to mmMekitty

    Thankyou very much both Petal22 and mmMekitty for kind words and support.

    When I say homeless, that is technically true however I am staying for a little while with friends, I am SO lucky to have had people who stood by me and supported me throughout and it was a real surprise to find out who knew there must be more to the story, and that the conviction didn't make sense without context. It is hard to talk about it without breaching any guidelines for my own safety and very hard to talk about the depths that the mind goes to without touching on trigger points- but I think on this forum many of us have been to those depths and they don’t need over explaining.

    Once I had finally decided to get clean, I reached out to an organisation who specialised in alcohol and other drug (AOD) dependencies, like AA but not religious, and they referred me to a rehab clinic. I still attend both these institutions and they have been critical to my survival, this isn’t hyperbole, the support they have continued to provide me cannot be overstated.

    After my release I realised the chances of a job were minimal, I had worked in one industry and had very little training outside that industry. I can’t work in that industry anymore without a police clearance (this is 12 years away, it takes ten years of no convictions after a parole period before I can apply to have the conviction spent, I’ll be 63).

    An old friend of mine from my shady past, who had managed to turn her life around, reached out to me and I went to have coffee with her. She had been a drug dependent sex worker when I knew her but now, she’s working as a peer practitioner for women suffering AOD and DV issues. I was really inspired by her and realised that this was the path for me, one of the only career paths where a conviction is not a barrier, and it lit a spark in my chest. I can help other men like myself! She told me the peer industry was calling out for blokes like me.

    In my time attending men’s groups, I have found that ex-cons don’t respect educated professional counsellors, they are more likely to trust men like me, someone who looks and talks like them and has a similar background. I think I can do a lot of good for these guys, help them stay out of prison, kick substance abuse and respect their wives and families. If I can make a difference for even one bloke in trouble it's gonna be worth it.

    4 people found this helpful
  5. Petal22
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    19 March 2022 in reply to Jafar the Barmecide

    Hi Jafar the Barmecide,

    Im glad to hear you are living with friends.

    Congratulations on getting clean I understand that it takes great courage and commitment.

    I think it’s absolutely fantastic that the path your friend took inspired you and “ it lit a spark in your chest” that my friend is your soul speaking to you………… follow it….. believe in yourself and keep building and believing that your dream of helping others like yourself will become your reality…………….. keep working towards it….. it really can be a reality for you.

    I understand what you are saying in regards to ex cons not respecting councillors but they would trust someone more like yourself who has a lived experience of what you want to teach…. Someone like themselves but someone who can walk the talk.

    I believe you can help many but you just need to find the path way forward to do this and I believe you can.

    I wanted to share a couple of things with you.

    Please google them and have a watch of the 4 u tube videos starting from 1 to 4.

    The U tube video I’d like you to listen to is

    Gangs, Jail and redemption

    The second thing I’d like you to google is.. Arcofyre.

    The guys that run this company are doing what you have mentioned that you would like to do.

    They are mentors and have experience of being in custody.

    They want to give back and help people feel that they can grow and see their self worth.

    Arcofyre was established because there is a lack of support available for people who have been in prison.

    No matter how bad your situation is, you can change it, through positive mindset, resilience and belief you can change your destiny. Life is what you make it , every passing minute is a chance to turn it all around.

    Maybe you could even have a chat to the guys at Arcofyre to see how you could become a mentor just like them.

    Please let me know your thoughts.

    3 people found this helpful
  6. Amelia02
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    50 posts
    20 March 2022 in reply to Jafar the Barmecide

    Hi Jafar,

    wow! I have so much respect for you - kicking an addiction, on your way to bootstrapping yourself out of a challenging situation! Respect.

    Post traumatic growth is yours for the taking. You will be a “bigger” person than you ever were before all your challenges/ learning opportunities started. With the depths you have gone you will be able to appreciate how sweet life can be all the more.

    It is so great to hear that you want to help others, I think you could be a real asset to the community and a beacon.

    I’m glad you have empathetic friends, you are fortunate in this.

    I’m sending you love and energy to get through your next steps - you’re on a great path, no doubt with further challenges and tests too. Take care of yourself, A 💞

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Ggrand
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    20 March 2022 in reply to Jafar the Barmecide

    Hello Dear Jafar...

    You have even through so much turmoil and trauma in your life...and you’ve come out of it with a very good and kind heart....

    Your posts are very inspirational and let’s others know that with some self care, and a want for a better life...things can turn around...

    You have not let your past define the person you are today..I think that you are a good person and wanting to help others here, through their hard struggles..show that you have a beautiful soul....

    Thank you so much for joining this amazing community and for your want...in helping to support others here...

    My kindest thoughts with my care and respect...🦋🕊🌱🧸..

    Grandy...

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Jafar the Barmecide
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    21 posts
    20 March 2022

    G’day everyone and thankyou for your encouragement, kind words and welcomes.

    Towards reaching my goals I have enrolled in Community Services Cert III for the time being, I am looking to also enrol in Mental Health Cert IV but I would prefer to do that at TAFE. The first course is online and while that’s convenient I would prefer to interact with other students on a campus. I haven’t ever had any education beyond Year 10 and the theoretical training the Army gave me, but I am self-taught and well read. I would really like to experience a college by being there rather than watching lectures on YouTube and Academia websites.

    Speaking of YouTube, I have made a note of the videos Petal22 suggested and added them to my watchlist, when I have a quiet moment alone, I will give ‘em a squizz.

    This week I am going to stay at my sister’s place. She has just moved house and is keeping all my possessions until I find a place of my own. She lives with her 2 kids and Dad. Dad has been suffering from depression for more than a decade and is a shadow of his former self. He’s a Vietnam Vet and former SASR Sergeant, though you wouldn’t know it if you met him. There’s a whole other thread in itself so I won’t get carried away.

    It just made me sad, when I went to visit them the last time, that my sister is run off her feet between working and the kids, she just hasn’t had a chance to get the house sorted since they moved in. That’s where I come in, the friends I am staying with are being visited by their daughter from interstate, so she needs the room during her stay. In that time, I will do my best to organise my sister’s place to a standard where it can pass their first inspection, which must be coming up soon. I plan to keep busy and sleep on the couch, hopefully leave the place squeaky clean.
    Thanks again for the support and a place to think out loud, family relationship issues are probably imminent…

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Mark Z.
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    20 March 2022 in reply to Jafar the Barmecide

    Hi Jafar,

    I'm sorry for what you've experienced, I can't imagine how hard it is for you. But I have a lot of respect for your ideas. A thought flashed through my mind, maybe you'll be interested to be a Mental Health Peer Worker?

    You can consider learning this certificate, this is a journey of reviewing and understanding yourself better, and equip yourself to help others with your lived experience. Have a look here: https://www.swinburne.edu.au/study/course/Certificate-IV-in-Mental-Health-Peer-Work-CHC43515/local

    Hope it'll help a bit.

    Mark

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Jafar the Barmecide
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    21 posts
    20 March 2022 in reply to Mark Z.

    Gday MarkZ,

    Cheers, -that is the very same course I have been looking at, not my state however but essentially that is what i intend to enrol in. I will continue the community service course until I can do that. My priority now though is trying to find accomadation, hopefully somewhere my boys can come and stay

  11. geoff
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    20 March 2022 in reply to Jafar the Barmecide

    Hello Jafar, I thought I had replied to you and if not I apologise.

    You know there are many good people who have, unfortunately, been caught in something on the spur of the moment and didn't really have time to think of the consequences and truly want to redeem their bad luck.

    It's the same with an alcoholic who has stopped, but been through what no one else has done, because a book can't necessarily tell you what actually happens, but an alcoholic can, so being in a group or an organisation that can explain all of this is wonderful.

    Your knowledge and experience will do wonders for the site.

    Good luck.

    Geoff.

    2 people found this helpful
  12. blondguy
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    20 March 2022 in reply to Jafar the Barmecide

    Hi Jafar

    You are strong.... I started on the forums back in 2016 (when I was a nervous wreck) and I didnt have the courage to post my own thread for weeks. You are always welcome

    Thankyou for being a part of the forum family Jafar

    my kind thoughts

    Paul

    3 people found this helpful
  13. Mark Z.
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    21 March 2022 in reply to Jafar the Barmecide

    Yes Jafar, I've completed the course last year and I ready recommend it.

    You'll find that a lot of your classmates have experienced or are experiencing a hard life, they want to heal themselves and support the others, during the journey you will get great inspiration not only by your teacher but also by them. And you will be the one who contribute a lot, which will make you feel so fulfilled. Hope you enjoy your journey.

    Mark

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Jafar the Barmecide
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    21 posts
    22 March 2022 in reply to Petal22

    G’day Petal22, I had a look at those videos that you suggested, the Kirby bloke who started Arcofyre had a very similar background to me, I had a look at the organisation and was disappointed to see that the two bikie fellas he started Arcofyre with left over disagreements, by the looks of the stories only within months of that video being made. There doesn’t look to be any branch in my state, but I did send him an email telling him my story and goals because we got a lot in common, I’m hoping it will get off the ground.

    I must get a “Working with Children” card to start this course, I am nervous about it even though there is nothing to do with children in my criminal history. I have been told not to worry; they are only looking for people who needed to go into protective custody, so I am sure there won’t be any problems, but it never feels good having someone look at your record. I better get used to it though, I gotta be upfront with every potential employer about my past however uncomfortable it is or however anxious I get.

    Most of the time they have made up their mind about me before I get a chance to speak. If I wear a suit, I look like I stole it or I’m going to court as the defendant. I have spent more money removing tattoos than I did getting them, and it’s only made a dent. My face is clean now but there’s still a bit of work to do on my hands and fingers, the rest I can cover with clothing.

    Alright kids are home gotta go


  15. geoff
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    22 March 2022 in reply to Jafar the Barmecide

    Hello Jafar, I'm not going to blame you for having them, that's your choice, as I'm not against tattoos so much, it's just I don't have any, and some small ones are attractive on a female, but there are on an occasion this is decided for different reasons, but it doesn't mean you don't have the experience to help others, as it's just cosmetic.

    A while ago the Champions had to get WWC and the only trouble was filling out the form and signing it within the small sized box allocated, that took me a couple or tries, but I have my WWC.

    You will be OK and your valued experience will definitely come in handy for many people.

    Good luck.

    Geoff.

    2 people found this helpful
  16. Petal22
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    22 March 2022 in reply to Jafar the Barmecide

    Hi Jafar the Barmecide,

    Thanks for watching the video’s and looking up Arcofyre……. I hope you hear back from them 😊 please let me know how it goes…. If you want to….

    Please don’t allow fear to ever stop you from doing anything you really want to do……….. just dive in…… you really are doing great things and because your intention is to help others things will fall into place for you.

    remember your past was a “ lesson “ not a life sentence.

    To be truly free you need to free your self from the false thoughts inside your mind… only then you will be truly free….

    Your tattoos aren’t the person you are they are just in the outside of you….. the true “ you “ is on the “inside”…, allow this to shine through you…

    Believe in you and great things will begin to happen.

    1 person found this helpful
  17. Amelia02
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    23 March 2022 in reply to Jafar the Barmecide

    Jafar - I had to laugh at “If I wear a suit, I look like I stole it or I’m going to court as the defendant”! Hahaha! It sounds like you will get a lot of cred/ respect from those you wish to help once you get into the role you’re heading towards ie others who are walking a challenging path.

    I wouldn’t worry about the working w children check. Your name will be just another “meaningless” name in a massive pile of names the checker has to get through as quickly as possible (I’ve heard this is often a backlogged task as there are so many people getting the check so the checker is v busy).

    Keep on trucking, A

    1 person found this helpful
  18. Jafar the Barmecide
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    21 posts
    28 March 2022

    G’day you’se mob,

    Reading through this forum makes me realise just how much I gotta learn before I attempt to peer anybody, let alone answer a post. I really want to rescue everybody, you know? -from bullies, from their toxic partners and relatives, even from their existential dread. The couple of times I have posted in someone else’s thread I’m anxious as hell trying not to overstep the mark, and I want to make sure I only address those things I have direct experience of.

    I had a catch up with what I call my bogan mates, these blokes I’ve had to keep at arm’s length since I got out. They are all drinkers, but they are more than just old drinking buddies, a few of them I have known since school, a couple were in my battalion, and one was a cell mate. These are also mates who stuck by me and encouraged me to get my s*** together, they are my brothers.

    They are all ‘going straight’ like myself but I was the one who had to give the grog away as an everyday thing. I fell off the wagon first time since April, but I don’t see it as a lapse or relapse, it was more of a planned once a year kind of thing. I made sure I only had a limited supply and made sure I was full of food and made sure I was first to say ‘See ya later’. I haven’t re-ignited a dependency, in fact the next day reminded me painfully why I don’t want to do this every day.

    While it was great to catch up with buddies it did remind me how behind I’ve fallen in the ‘Game of Life’. I remember my 40th birthday and thinking on that day that I’d ‘made it’, I had my house with a pool, 2 motorbikes- my Harley Softail Fatboy Lo & the Triumph Bonny Bopper and, 2 cars- the SS work ute & my treasured 1972 HQ Kingswood. I was looking at buying a boat, I was working in security, managing a team. Not only that, but I also had a beautiful young wife, soon to be the mother of my youngest son. A year and a half later, she was gone. 5 years after that, everything else was gone too.

    I find it hard. It’s one thing to know that something is true intellectually and another to apply it into your life. I know that money and toys don’t make a man, but that’s exactly how I judged myself and every other man. My shame and embarrassment at catching public transport, standing in line for my dose at the chemist, going to Centrelink really destroyed my sense of dignity and pride. It’s hard to break these ideas and use other ways to measure your own worth.

    Anyway, gave me something to think about.
    See you’se later

  19. Petal22
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    29 March 2022 in reply to Jafar the Barmecide

    Hi Jafar the Barmecide,

    I understand how you use to judge your self worth.

    But I can see that you have awakened to the fact that your worth really isn’t measured by that all.

    I believe our self worth is measured by how we treat others and how we treat ourselves……

    Everything you are doing now In this moment to better yourself you should be proud about because all of those things will mount up to alot and it’s creating the new improved version of you……

  20. Petal22
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    29 March 2022 in reply to Jafar the Barmecide

    Thank you also for your contribution.

    I think it’s great that you have mates that encourage you in life to do great things.

    Im glad to hear you kept your alcohol in check.

    Im sorry that you had so much and then you lost it including your wife….. did you ever get to meet your son?

    I understand it’s so hard to feel like everything is gone that we value in our lives……. But you really can get all of that back…. It will just take time and hard work but it’s possible.

    I understand that standing in line at the chemist to get your dose, getting Centrelink and catching public transport could feel embarrassing to you and bring down your sense of pride if you look at that way.

    The thing is we can alter our perceptions at any given time we can look at things in all types of ways…..

    One way to look at standing in line at the chemist to get your dose is………. I’m being proactive by getting a dose.

    Catching public transport….. you are doing this to get from A to B on your own and not having reliance on anyone else…….. you may just meet someone on the transport who’s having a bad day and you could make it better for them by just being kind.

    I understand you think of your life before everything was gone try to just let the past go and move forward into the future building a new version of yourself ….once you get to the top of that mountain the view will be amazing.

  21. Jafar the Barmecide
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    21 posts
    30 March 2022 in reply to Petal22

    G’day Petal,

    My son was only 11 months old when my third wife passed. I remember coming home to find her, and my son was screaming and smelly, so I changed, washed and fed him. I then found pain relief and sat in front of the telly for I don’t know how long. In that time people came and went. I remember it as one of those timelapse scenes you get in films where the camera is focussed on me not moving while all these people come and go, ambulance, police, her parents, friends with casseroles and lasagne, and then my second wife was there, I don’t know how she found out within a day and then drove for 500 k’s but she offered to take the boy so he could live with his brothers and sister. I agreed and so did my 3rd wife’s parents, they were elderly and ill equipped to care for a baby. So was I.

    I sat in that same chair until people eventually stopped coming. But every holiday time I would get on the Harley and ride down to my family’s town to be with my kids, at least at the beginning but then grief turned into depression. My second wife is the one my son calls mum, he is 10 now, he doesn’t know about his real mum, neither of us know what a good time is to tell him, that causes us both a lot of anxiety. Her own son still at home is my 17-year-old boy who has just come out as gay to her.

    My second wife is my best friend now, we had briefly got together again because we found ourselves locked down together at the beginning of the pandemic, we had 2 boys left at home and she was staying with us during her chemo/radio therapy because it was close by (all clear now, 2 mastectomies’ later). She has every reason to hate me, but she is just too forgiving for her own good. I was asked in therapy to picture someone I hold in high esteem, and it was her who came to mind straight away.

    I have a relatively good relationship with him, his mother was French and so are his grandparents and he attends a French school because he is bilingual (grandparents have paid for his education). I am proud of him, but I can tell he’s wary of me, visiting me in prison was a frightening experience for him. He is not proud of his criminal dad; I’d be worried if he was. He wants to be a soldier just like his adult brothers. He watched YouTube videos to find out how to make his bed to military standard and sleeps under camouflage webbing/mosquito net. He asks me to assess his efforts to pass inspection, it warms my heart. Cutest thing I have ever seen.

  22. Petal22
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    30 March 2022 in reply to Jafar the Barmecide

    Hi Jafar the Barmecide,

    Im so so sorry for what happened to your wife that must have been so traumatic for you.

    Have you ever been able to seek professional help for yourself through what happened and what you witnessed?

    Your second wife sounds like an absolute angel….. what a beautiful lady to take care of your son so he can also be with his brothers and sisters…. It’s fantastic she is all clear now.

    I understand why your son calls her mum and I also understand yourself and your second wife’s anxiety around telling your son……… you will both know when the time is wright…..

    Its great that your 17year old son was able to tell his mum he was guy….. that’s a huge step for him I’m sure she was very accepting which is all anyone really wants in life is to be accepted as they are.

    I understand why visiting you while you were in prison would have felt frightening for him…… it can be confronting….

    Im sure in time he will be proud of you with all the positive changes you are making within yourself.

    So cute that he asks you to asses his bed making…. So cute…

    I understand he’s wary of you maybe you could both do some father son bonding when you are ready…… maybe go fishing together or bike riding….. something you both enjoy..😊

  23. Jafar the Barmecide
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    21 posts
    12 April 2022

    I feel selfish posting here because I really haven’t got the time to read through other people’s threads and contribute. I gotta limit my screen time for my mental health or I get carried away for hours and nothing gets done, then I feel bad. I must be looking for somewhere to live every spare minute, or I feel like I am overstaying my welcome couch surfing with friends and family.

    I met a woman a couple of weeks ago, she was great to talk to and she made me feel good and I laughed a lot and really enjoyed spending time with her. Nothing happened. I really wanted to ask her out, but I couldn’t. She is 40 years old, separated with 2 teenage boys, a level 4 psychiatric nurse with a nice California bungalow. She is very small but has a big personality, a sharp but kindly sense of humour. It was so obvious that I was attracted to her, and my sister told me she wondered why I didn’t make a ‘move’.

    Well, it’s because I’m a homeless, unemployed ex-con who’s been married three times, not a good track record. I have nothing to offer her, I have no money to take her out, I have no place to take her home to, I have no car or motorbike to pick her up. I am inadequate as a man. I am no catch at all just now. I wish I could have met her a few years from now once I have my sh** together, an incredible woman like her won't be single for long.

    Feeling like a loser.

    1 person found this helpful
  24. blondguy
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    12 April 2022 in reply to Jafar the Barmecide

    Hey Jafar

    I hear you loud and clear about reading posts (especially long ones) and contributing as it took me months to do so when I joined in 2016

    You are strong by being a part of the forums even without participation Jafar

    And you are not a 'loser' as I also would have little to offer a nice girl like that with my left over anxiety issues

    please be gentle to yourself Jafar....you deserve it

    Paul

    3 people found this helpful
  25. Amelia02
    Amelia02 avatar
    50 posts
    13 April 2022 in reply to Jafar the Barmecide
    Good morning Jafar 🙋‍♀️. You’re definitely not a loser!

    It sounds like you’re on the right path.
    When you’re at the bottom of the hill (or maybe even a gully next to a hill to be climbed) it can be heavy sledding but just put one foot in front of the other and it gets easier and easier and at the right time - you will be where you’re supposed to be.
    The view will be that much sweeter to you after experiencing the contrast of difficulties to bring it out. And you will reach a better place than your previous highs. You will have achieved post traumatic growth, be more evolved and be on a different level qualitatively.

    It sounds like you have a lot of wonderful people in your life supporting you. That is so wonderful. And of course you have people backing you on this forum too 🙂.

    Re meeting someone you fancy but currently feel inadequate to asking out. Maybe you could make friends with her first. Maybe you could really get to know each other first instead of following the way you previously would have approached someone.
    Also sometimes you know you’re not ready for a relationship even though you may get some conflicting feelings of damn! I wish the timing was right! I’m trying to figure out relationship stuff too so I’m sorry I can’t give you any solid advice here. I guess you really know what’s best for you right now anyway.

    Btw Re answering threads- just do what you can only. Take care of you first. Only once you’ve taken care of yourself can you help others. It sounds like you have a lot on so focus on caring for yourself right now. You need it and deserve it.
    I wouldn’t feel shy about jumping in on people’s threads though - input is the idea 🙂. As long as you’re posting in good faith people would want you to I think. And you have a lovely energy on here🙂.

    Wishing you have a great day 🙂.
    1 person found this helpful
  26. Toomucheffort
    Toomucheffort avatar
    1 posts
    13 April 2022 in reply to Jafar the Barmecide

    Hey mate,

    I know exactly how you feel. I’m a single mum, on a disability pension, 48. My daughter is 18.
    I also feel I have nothing to offer, or - who the hell would want me.

    I relate to the feeling in your post. For me, everything I was, and was good at, is long gone. I have medical issues, I have weight on, cptsd, unbelievable anxiety blah blah

    it’s been a long battle which most people had no idea was happening, and I was doing well, but a stroke kicked me in the guts and after trying with everything I have to get my daughter through, and try to get help for me, I’ve got nothing left to keep trying.

    it doesn’t stop me feeling like crap though, alone etc

    there is a lot to be said for how we choose to look at things, and I’ve been an advocate of that for as far back as I can remember, but for me it’s too late now. So I want to say to you this…

    if you can still function, live. Live while you can. Jump in the deep end. Living in fear is a life half lived.

    cliche cliche cliche lol

    but honestly, the only thing I have is my memories of how I lived life before I couldn’t. I’m proud of who I was, and the adventures I’ve had, even if that person is long gone, at least she existed.

    if you can walk and talk, then it’s not too late for you. Baby steps, connect with people. Learning how to do that comfortably can be a scary daunting prospect, so break down your fear to yourself. What is it your scared of? Then tackle the actual root of your fears. Sometimes dwelling can lead to permanent inaction, so if you feel your thoughts becoming circular, maybe you just need to jump. Even a little hop of action can be immensely self empowering.

    being able to identify your feelings, then the cause and then articulating them is well over half the battle, and you have a cheer squad here xx

    1 person found this helpful
  27. Jafar the Barmecide
    Jafar the Barmecide  avatar
    21 posts
    11 May 2022

    Gday Folks, it's been an up and down few weeks, but I found a bit of enthusiasm, it's always in the last place you look.

    Last month I had an appointment with my Community Corrections Officer at 11:30 but I didn’t make it because I was sitting in the local Station Lock-Up. Police pulled up beside me at 10:45 or so and called me over by name in the main street. The sergeant made a big show for a rookie constable by making me empty my pockets and getting him to frisk me against the window of a supermarket while he stood there calling me a scumbag and explaining to the young cop that I was a dangerous and violent criminal. They even got me to take my boots off so they could check I wasn’t hiding anything in them. They found my meds in a bottle and arrested me until they could verify what they were and that I had a prescription. At the time my bus came I was sitting on the kerb handcuffed in unlaced boots, being laughed at by passers-by.

    It took them 3 hours to verify my prescription with the pharmacist and by that time my CCO had reported my no show and a warrant was issued for my arrest even though I was already sitting in a cell. The whole mess was cleared up 4pm and I walked out of there with black bruises on my wrists from the handcuffs I had on for 5 hours. The sergeant had a smug look on his face the whole time and it took a superhuman effort not to knock him out. He said ‘We’ll getcha again one day"

    So the spark I need to get up in the morning comes and goes, but the good news is I got a place of my own through the Public Housing Authority and I get the keys and sign the lease tomorrow so I'm stoked about that. Finally have a place where my boys can come and stay. I mean it's pretty humble and basic and the building seems to be full of men like me, I recognise the prison tats and the hyper-vigilant awareness that we learn inside, but it's in a different suburb so maybe the cops will lay off a bit and let me get on with trying to keep my nose out of trouble.

    Still waiting on my WWC card and my job network provider isn't so confident now that she's seen my record. As I have to stress, there's nothing related to kids on my form- it's just long.

    I spent money I don't have for my second youngest son's 18th birthday, a pair of work-boots in the hope that one day he might need them when he decides to do something other than PlayStation 5 or when his mother has to pawn the PlayStation to pay the rent.

    Still here, it's gonna be a good day tomorrow, G'night

  28. Jafar the Barmecide
    Jafar the Barmecide  avatar
    21 posts
    11 May 2022

    Gday folks

    I found somewhere of my own to live in a different suburb where I am more anonymous and can get on with life. My boys can come stay and I am happy about the future again.

    My second youngest turned 18 yesterday and I took him shopping for a pair of work-boots with money I don't really have. He was a bit confused as to why but he's been playing video games since he finished school and his mum is threatening to pawn the Playstation to pay the rent. He wants to be a Ranger, he'll need work-boots. Whatever job a man has, he'll always needs a good pair of sturdy boots at some point in his life.

    We still haven't talked about the gay thing, but I sense he's close to telling me, we have been spending a bit more time together and I have joined him on some of his video games (don't tell his Mum lol).

    Anyway, still here, I will be living alone soon so I anticipate needing this forum more in the coming days.

    G'night Folks

  29. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    mmMekitty avatar
    3903 posts
    12 May 2022 in reply to Jafar the Barmecide

    Hi Jafar the Barmecide,

    I saw your post last night, but was too tired to post right then. I think it was a sensible move to find a place , on your own, in a different suburb.

    😸Happy Birthday to your 2nd youngest! I read on your other thread, more about how he's gained useful skills & knowledge towards becoming a ranger. Mind, I don't know how playing video games can help towards that goal?!

    I would caution about creating a 'secret' life , you & your son playing video games together, both of you knowing mum does not approve... it's like trying to win the young man over to 'your side', making mum the 'bad guy' & meanie. Wouldn't it be better for her to be onboard with how the relationship between you & your son is? Then she could express support & encouragement instead of seeming to be in opposition?

    Given his goal, I wonder if going out hiking & bushwalking, fishing, (ever done fishing?) you know, doing more active things, getting the fitness right up, might work better in the long run.

    There was a short film on tele about a ranger in the far north, who had spoken a lot of how the work was, of the many skills he had gained, including learning from indigenous people, about the land & traditional ways. I was very impressed. 😺 If I recall correctly, he talked of learning about bush foods, how to identify tracks in the dirt,, & therefore know what was in an area... ah, my memory! I wish I could remember it all.

    I don't know how people begin working as aranger, how or where any training is done. It does seem to me, finding & working with experienced rangers, maybe one as a mentor to your son, while he is learning?

    I know, doing things together will bring about a more comfortable relationship, which may give him a greater sense of safety , enough to have the deeper conversations. Oh, patience! You gotta have a lot of that. 😸I agree, he does have to take the lead when talking about his own personal life.

    Wishing you & your family all the best,

    mmMekitty

    1 person found this helpful
  30. Jafar the Barmecide
    Jafar the Barmecide  avatar
    21 posts
    15 June 2022

    Gday Folks,

    I have finally got a place of my own and I've been here a few months now. It is great to be somewhere I am anonymous but it hasn't been easy peasy. I am lonely and while my boys have come to stay I don't really have enough to offerto keep them occupied or funds to spend on them. It's a top floor flat of a 3 storey building and it's a bit draughty so when the wind blows it sounds like wolves are howling which scares my ten year old.

    I have been advised to lower my meds, so I have but it takes some adjustment. I have a lack of enthusiasm for everything I used to love. Gym time has gone down to once a week and I only drag myself there to feel as if I am not throwing money away but my heart's not in it. I don't have a shed or bike to work on my bike but I get the feeling even if I did I probably wouldn't. Well maybe that's not right, taking the bike out for a spin used to help a lot until the cops pulled me over.

    It's good not having to take up other peoples space tho, but I do miss the company, I am so far away from my old stomping grounds that the thought of visiting friends and family via public transport turns me off. I can't even find something to watch on the streaming channels, everything bores me after about twenty minutes and I look for something else.

    Things should fill me with joy like i remember, there was a time even walking through the park and breathing made me happy and grateful to be alive because the colour of the sky and the shape of the trees and clouds and the sound of children playing, the smile of a pretty woman walking by. I wish I could be as happy as the dogs in the park.

    I also feel bad because it really isn't all that bad, I should be grateful for a roof over my head, I really should be happy. It's not through lack of trying...

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