This is my Story
I’m 21 now but I moved to Crawley when I was very young from London. I’m the youngest in my family – I’ve got two older sisters – and basically my mum and dad split up when I was 12 which had a huge effect on me. I ended up living with just my mum. I went off the rails and was kicked out of five schools. I smashed the fire alarm at one when the inspectors were there, I was smoking weed, and stealing alcohol. My teenage years were pretty much taken over by this kind of behaviour. My mum – bless her, I put her through hell. I had 33 convictions and 19 court appearances before I found out about abob.
The probation services told me about The Quest. Basically they invited me to step into the unknown in a community of men. I thought I might as well try it.
Harvey and Mark gave me an intro talk about it but made it clear that is was up to me to step up to the opportunity, that they wouldn’t push me.
I was freaked by the actual weekend to start off with. So much was outside my comfort zone. But it really helped me get in touch with my feelings. I realised that a lot of my old behaviour was down to feeling responsible for my parents splitting up. Also I found out positive ways to channel my anger, rather than negative ones.
I got my mentor Nikhil too who has his own garage. He is a very cool guy and we had a couple of activities in common. I’d done some boxing in the past, and Nikhil is a Thai boxing teacher. I’m going to get into it, and want my 4 year old son to learn too so that he has that sense of discipline. We met every week and really helped me reflect on my behaviour and also on what had happened during the Quest. We use the archetypes of the Lover, King, Warrior and Magician to help discuss what I’ve been doing.
There’s also a weekly Wednesday evening meeting where we go to share what’s been going on for us, feelings-wise. And when we need help. It’s a mixture of mentors and mentees. There’s also a forward fund for turning up at meetings and I’m saving mine to put towards a new passport and driving lessons.
Work-wise, I going to go on a chef course soon. I can cook and I like to cook so I want to make that my profession. I’ve already done some trainee work. I feel optimistic about work.
I’ve already staffed a Beyond The Hero and look forward to doing more. It’s a way of catching up with the others as well as helping other men. It also helps build community. The work that abob does clearly works, I’m still going so I want to help other men find it.”