This is the story of Grant Douglas.
Memories have Teeth
My memory of my father was when he made me stand in the garage and watch him put a shotgun to his head; then he blew himself away.
I remember the smell of the shot and the sight of his body. There was so much blood. I was only five years old. I was very sad after that. I’ve never understood why he done it. I think that’s why my life turned the way it did.
I often wonder if my life would’ve turned out any different if he had stayed.
When I was 13, I had my first puff of marijuana – I was hooked. That first puff led to more drug taking, different drugs, different strands and taken in more extreme ways. I was getting paid for my work, and after paying Mum board, the rest would go on my drug and alcohol habit.
Over the 36 years of my addiction, I would’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, easy.
I met my wife at 19. We got married and started our family straight away. I think of my wife as an angel, she wasn’t a drug addict when I met her, but I enticed her one night – “here, have a toke on this.” Next minute, we’re all hooked.
Addiction and Crime.
My wife and I would take our drugs in the house and hide it from our kids when they were young. When they were in their teenage years, they followed our example and began taking drugs too.
I used to buy my kids drugs, they had no money ‘cause they were all at school, so I would be their supplier.
I think that’s the only way I could show them love – supply and feed them on drugs, that’s the only way I thought I could make my kids love me.
We’d gather round the table most nights and have a smoke together. I taught my kids how to do drugs - it was what we did.
The Government in their wisdom, allowed synthetic marijuana onto the market, and in the beginning, it was sold in the local dairies and garages. Once I had a hit of synthetics, I was hooked and introduced it to my family We could go through three ounces a day at least.
As a family, we were all about finding money for our next hit. We stole meat and alcohol to sell to the gangs, in order to support our habit. We were happy in our criminal activity, and proud of our grabs and ability to steal without getting caught. We had no fear.
We were hungry but we’d rather go and buy a bag. We started using our rent money, our kai money and we ended up about $3000 in debt in our rent payments at one stage.
The drugs would make us violent and fight each other… We had no filter and would bash each other over meaningless things.
I lost the tip of my finger due to a bite from my daughter!
Enough is Enough.
The turning point to all this crime and addiction was my wife. My wife had had enough – enough of the struggle, poverty and domestic abuse. After 30 years together, she made a stand for herself.
It was Christmas 2016, we’d come home from my sister’s place. Her and I just lost it – we bashed each other with patu. We were bleeding, there was blood everywhere. My wife was taken away in the back of a police car because my Mum had rung the police and got her trespassed.
She stayed with my sister that night, and then moved to her sister’s the next day. By 10 am that morning, she was in Destiny Church. I initially thought it was great that my wife wasn’t around, but then I came to my senses.
One Sunday, I got up and phoned her to say I was coming to church with her. That was the start of our new journey in life.
Heal the Man – Heal the Family.
Man Up saved my life. I was still addicted, stubborn and proud in my dysfunctions when I went along to a group, but the programme and facilitator confronted me on every dysfunction, I softened and began to change my habits.
I did 4 rotations of Man Up because I was learning something new all the time. After 36 years of addiction, I quit taking drugs and alcohol.
Man Up works! Man Up and Destiny Church have blessed my life and led me to change and to forgive myself. My children have watched and followed my example and have also forgiven me.
I’m proud of what I’ve come through. I’ve realized that the greatest tool I have is my story and the proof of my changed life. My wife and I know how to talk and communicate now. No more fights with patu!
My wife and children are all over 12 months clean from drugs. My kids are in legit jobs and I’m a proud father now. I’ve got money spare on a weekend!
I’m a beautiful man now, I have people coming up to me in the street and shaking my hand to say thanks and that they’re glad to know me. I’m actually a facilitator in Man Up, helping other men face and overcome the dysfunctions they’ve come through in their lives
Yeah, I think I’m pretty special now and I’m just so happy to have my family and my wife all as one.”
If you can change the man, you can change the whole family, and in my case, that’s just what I’ve done.