Father of a girl
Likes hunting, fishing and cycling
Sébastien, 47 years old
He didn't chose to be homeless...
I come from a rather dysfunctional family. I was sexually assaulted at the age of 12. From that time on, my path was pretty rough.
Before being assaulted, I had only smoked a joint once in my life. In high school, from the age of 13 to 17, I used every day. I started to hang out with a bad crowd. There was this one guy, among others, who stole acid from his dad. The first time I tried it, I was in my first year of high school. Sometimes, we put it in our eyes…and if we didn’t have any, we found batteries, crushed them and made lines to snort. I remember how that burned. It was terrible.
In my class, in the second year of high school, there were 15 of us guys who controlled the entire school. We beat up guys who were in their fourth and fifth years. We were so intense that in the third year of high school, they took us to visit Laval’s maximum security penitentiary to make us understand the consequences of our actions. We sold drugs out the window during class. When a kid wanted something, we told them to walk in front of the windows. All 15 of us got up and made a wall around the person who was doing the transaction. The teacher told us to sit down, but we didn’t listen at all. And then, we were often high…there wasn’t much that could be done. Obviously, I ended up dropping out.
At the age of 17, I started selling drugs. I tried cocaine and it became my drug of choice.
I went to vocational school to become a welder, but I also ended up dropping out there. Then my dad got me into Canada Post as a mailman. I had that job for 23 years. I continued to do drugs. I snorted a gram and a half nearly every day. It was like a bottle of wine for me.
I had a few girlfriends, including my daughter’s mother, who I was with for three years. We separated when my daughter was two and a half years old. After that, we had joint custody. About a year after she was born, I dropped most of my childhood friends because I wanted to stop using. I gave it up for maybe eight months. But it didn’t last…I tried crack and I lost everything. Everything I had saved during my lifetime… I smoked it all away, EVERYTHING. It’s been seven years now that I haven’t seen my daughter.
I smoked more than $150,000 in eight months. I had my post office pension. In the winter, I worked at an outfitters in a little town. The days passed slowly. I didn’t know anyone, but I was able to get a drug dealer’s number. I went to the motel, took speed and snorted cocaine. And the inevitable happened: I had a psychotic break.
It was late in the fall. While I was in my room, I heard someone running on the wooden sidewalk, kicking down room doors one after the other and firing a gun. I panicked. I threw on pants and, without thinking, I started running barefoot through the woods to go get help. I got caught in the branches and kept falling. I even broke a finger. No one answered the door at the first homes where I knocked. I ran across highway 148 to get to another house and they opened the door. I was able to call the police. Obviously they took me to the hospital when they realized that there was no shooter at the hotel and no one was dead...
I stayed at my mom’s house for the two years before I came to Maison du Père. Two years living on her couch! She was tired of me. Now I understand why, but at that time, I didn’t see myself going. I spent nights biking down Mount Royal. On the route back up, I picked up cans to buy some food. I got back, took a shower, bought something to eat and went back out. I could do that for three or four days without stopping. The last year, my situation got worse. I drank leftover beer and ate poutine I found in the trash. If someone had told me that I would be eating out of a trash can someday, I wouldn’t have believed it. My mom ended up throwing me out. She often warned me, but I didn’t believe it.
It’s not complicated. I used every day of my life. When you have an addiction problem, you never have enough. I used $800 to $900 a day. I’ve been sober since December 3, 2016. I haven’t taken anything at all. It’s been going well up to this point. I don’t feel like using, I feel nauseated. I’m close to death when I use. No matter how long you haven’t been using, it doesn’t take long for you to go back to where you were. I don’t want that anymore. I know the temptation is there and I really don’t want to use. I want to see my daughter.