You are not another statistic:
I remember just after I got sentenced to an 18 month intensive corrections order I had to see a psychologist to be analysed to see where my mental state was at. After an hour-long assessment some of the questions that came up was about my family history and what number child I was in the family, after talking in depth apparently according to her statistics I was violent and an alcoholic for a reason. I remember telling her I didn’t drink and it was something that i was never interested In, she told me that if it wasn’t now It would be a habit I would later develop in my life and due to my family history and statistics with kids in my shoes it was highly going to happen. I remember leaving and thinking “ who the hell does she think she is, she doesn’t know me for shit” This upset me a lot and on the whole way home I was angry and upset that I was judged by someone who didn’t even know me.
I remember another time was with my corrections officer. We were in one of our weekly meetings and I saw her folder and in red it said high-risk client and I asked her what that meant and she said because of my age, history and circumstances there was a 85-90% chance of me reoffending and going to jail. All these statics and assumptions really annoyed me and again I felt judged and put into a box by someone who didn’t even know me.
I find it really strange when a kid comes in and says I’m a drug user and an addict and this is normal for someone like me because of my history. I always question them and think to myself what are these statics and assumptions really doing to the youth, are they giving them an excuse or reason for their behaviour? Are they shutting down their hope of breaking through and achieving something big because someone in a respected field told them it was normal to be an addict, depressed, suicidal because of their history and statistics based on similar patterns.
I believe each person is different and I have helped and seen many kids break that statistic and make something out of their life. You are not a label, you are a person and can achieve what you want in life, so go after your dreams and make them happen. Don’t let other peoples assumptions be the end all of who you are meant to be.
I knew in my heart I wasn’t those things that I was “supposed to be” and still today:
I am not an alcoholic
I am not violent towards women
I did not end up in Jail
I did not reoffend
Stuff the statistics and assumptions. Work hard and turn your life around because it is possible and something that you can do.
Youth YOU Program