John | Māngere

No I didn’t really enjoy anything. I was pretty, raised up pretty much messed up. I’m an adult now so, I live basically, I take care of myself now.  

I’ve lost my 18-year-old son through suicide about four years ago, and it’s pretty hard for me. I’m still grieving, trying to get over it, but you know, there’re no answers in suicide. I’ve just started training at a new course called peer support. It’s to help suicidal teenagers, because I’ve been through that, and it’s a terrible pain. I just want to go and help kids who have been neglected from their families. They need to be, yeah pretty much loved, and know that they know they’ll be wanted, not pushed out. That’s what I want to do. Take care of suicidal teenagers. They’ve got a lot to live for.

Yeah, if I could change, man. I’d bring my son back. Pretty much, bring everyone’s loved ones back.

I’ve got two, I had three children, one committed suicide. I’ve got two more kids. Yeah, a nine-year-old and a 19-year old. Love them, and I’m pretty much here by myself now, with my children. My grandparents passed away, and back in those days, I think it was much better. You know? The value of the prices, and the food and that was a lot cheaper back then. I don’t know what’s going on with the Government now. At the end of the day, you get what you get, and appreciate it.

Losing a sibling is, well it’s the worst pain in the world, you know? I lost my grandparents, but they died of sickness. My son took his own life, and I don’t even have a clue why. The answers lie within him in the grave. He’s actually buried in Raro, but he lived here in Māngere. It’s, it’s been hard for me, but it took my appetite away. I couldn’t sleep. Pretty much basically ruined my life, what he did, but I’ve got two other boys. They keep me strong.

I had suicide thoughts, you know, taking my life too because I failed to be a father, because I lost my son. I wasn’t there for him. You know? And, what hurts me the most was he left us behind. I never raised my child like that. I always told my kids life is precious, and you only get one chance. He was, he was 18, and yeah my world pretty much crumbled when I lost him. I felt worthless. I didn’t even want to be here anymore, but at the same time, it was like a tug-of-war. I lost my son. I have two other boys alive. Pulling both sides. Shall I go with my dead son? Should I stay with my kids? I had support. I’ve seen mental health people. They, they lifted me up, made me stronger, and that’s why I’m here today, and I’m still here today, and I just look at it now, my son’s in a better place now. He’s in the Lord’s hands, and it’s made me closer to my kids, because man, if I get to lose another child man, oh bro. I don’t know, but yeah keep your kids close to you, man. Yeah, you see the same routine every day, something goes, something’s not right, and you’ve never seen him do it before, get in there before it’s too late, man.

I actually, I was born in the Cook Islands. I flew here when I was probably three years old. I’ve never been back. I’m 45, so I’ve been here pretty much all my life. My parents separated when I was young. I’ve been brought up by my grandparents. I thought my grandparents were my parents, but actually, as I got older, I figured it out. The lifestyle I lived was, well pretty much my life was pretty messed up, you know?  I couldn’t have things what I wanted, and everything. Yeah, I basically was pretty much homeless some of my years when I was a teenager, but now I’m living.”

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