Updated: Nov 16, 2019
Hi! I'm Tad and I am the person who is responsible for creating Bullying Ends Here. I do so for two reasons, one is because of my own story of struggles with abuse, bullying and mental illness and that of Jamie Hubley who you can read about in my next post.
My story is a difficult one to share but one that I know is very important for youth to know about. The fact is that although my story may be 'rare', it does still happen and we all have a role to spot it and help the person struggling.
When I was five years old, my parents divorced. It was pretty simple overall as I just stayed in the house I had grown up in with my Dad and my Mom moved out. I wouldn't see my Mom as often as I would have liked during the next 15 years. My Dad struggled with addictions to alcohol as a coping mechanism for difficult situations. I will share about that shortly.
I was a healthy, fun and basically your average child at that age. This would all change when my Dad met who he felt was 'his dream' and invited that woman to move into our home. Everything about me would change immediately. I just knew inside that this new woman hated me and she would prove that my almost immediately confining me to the basement of my house. I should note that the current owners of that home refer to said basement as their dungeon. Four cement walls, cement floor, limited lighting, high windows which were either boarded up or cemented over, no heat or air conditioning and I wouldn't even be allowed any toys.
My only real opportunity to leave the basement was only when I went to school but was always to immediately return once the school bell rang. Once home, that woman would scream endlessly at me, threatening me with a wooden spoon, assault me and destroy whatever was left of my self-worth. I became introverted to a severe degree and would cry endlessly. That only emboldened her to be even more cruel with laughing and calling me names because of the tears. I began to believe just how worthless I was after hearing her tell me so over and over. Things got so bad at home that I still struggle with some of my experiences of abuse, neglect and being treated more like a wild animal than a child.
School slowly got worse too as the kids began to notice that I was crying a lot. They too called me names which then turned into assaults which grew in repetition and also severity over the years. Everyone around me seemed to agree that I was worthless.
I held so much in over the years believing that no one could help me. My Dad was present for all of this but his addiction to alcohol was so strong that all he could do was find me in that dungy basement and tell me to ignore her. Not once would he attempt to do as he should which was to address the situation or take care of it. I was alone and that thought would stay with me for years.
When I was seventeen I ran away and sought help by the Provincial Government. I was placed in their care and provided with emergency funds to help me stay safe. Although I had escaped the house in which I was confined, in a way I was still held hostage in my own mind because I wasn't addressing my serious mental illnesses. At the age of 21, I attempted suicide as I just wanted everything to end. I had had enough. Thankfully I was unsuccessful but I was successful in challenging myself to get some help and work to become the best person I could be, the person I dreamt of for so many years....to be a Police Officer.
I had also been having a very struggle for many years inside of my own mind and that was about my sexuality. I knew that I was gay but it would take until I was 25 to actually understand that, accept it and be in a place to share this new reality with others.
At 32 years of age, I began to believe in myself and and worked hard until I finally tried with applying to the RCMP. I was successful and my dream is still achieved to to his day as I am now a proud member of the Calgary Police Service since the spring of 2014.
I have come to forgive all those who did me wrong as a child. I hold no grudges as that would only slow my own progress down. I choose to turn my negative past into a positive present and future.
If you wish to learn more about my life, please visit the store on the website and order a copy of my first book, 'Bullying Ends Here - My Life'.
The second reason why I created this charity was because of Jamie which is outlined in my next blog.