Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

From Rock Bottom to a Shining Light; Personal Experience of Life on the Streets Helps Ambryn Help Others

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

From Rock Bottom to a Shining Light; Personal Experience of Life on the Streets Helps Ambryn Help Others

Article excerpt

Byline: Lisa Chant Lisa.Chant@capnews.com.au

THE STATS

Homeless Connect is on from 8am-4pm with a free shuttle bus from the city centre.

Freebies include haircuts, lunch, eye checks, toiletries, entertainment, beanies and blankets.

AMBRYN Tatow can still remember the first time he was forced to eat out of a bin.

Young, homeless and living in a cave, he was caught in a vicious cycle of poverty, embarrassed by his circumstances but pushed into desperate measures.

He recalls the details.

C[pounds sterling]I had to wait until dark,C[yen] he said.

C[pounds sterling]I had to wait until everyone was away from the back of the shops, and then I went in there and got food.

C[pounds sterling]I was starving ... to the point of being sick.C[yen]

Yet that was not his lowest point.

Traumatised by an adopted childhood of neglect and abuse, Ambryn had fled New South Wales for Perth.

Yet the unresolved pain led to his darkest days, including a nervous breakdown and two suicide attempts.

C[pounds sterling]I wanted out; I was burnt out,C[yen] he said.

C[pounds sterling]I had lived the life of an adult as a child and I'd had enough. I felt like an old man already.

C[pounds sterling]It wasn't my fault so I didn't want to hang myself, cut myself or anything like that.

C[pounds sterling]I deserved to go to sleep for the last 19 years I'd put up with.C[yen]

Using pills, Ambryn's attempts failed.

C[pounds sterling]And the second time, something happened in me,C[yen] he said.

He realised he had to make a decision for a better life and sought help at a shelter where, with time and trust, a social worker helped him realise homeless did not mean helpless.

C[pounds sterling]I used to walk around with a backpack in yesterday's clothes all the time and I didn't feel like a proper person; I felt invisible,C[yen] he said.

C[pounds sterling]But she saw a bit of light in me and wanted to help and just got me back up, being a proper person again.C[yen]

From the perspective of decades later, Ambryn can look back with pride on the life he has since created.

This included raising daughters Kristina and Nateesha, and tracking down his late mother, Cynthia. …

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