“You spend half a lifetime building a reputation, then you spend half a lifetime getting rid of it!”
Stuart is 33. He grew up in Sunderland, and spent a large part of his teenage years in care. A chance encounter with an abuser prior to Stuart’s last arrest sent him spiralling downward – ‘it was like all my walls had been broken down’. He couldn’t sleep so used alcohol, then cocaine to stay awake. By the time the police arrested him for being in the possession of a firearm, he had been awake for three weeks and was having paranoid delusions. He was sentenced to six years.
At 30, Stuart asked to be sectioned. He spent the first 21 months in a psychiatric hospital and slowly through therapy – ‘I called my therapist the thought Nazi’ – he started to understand why and how he had become who he was. Now out of prison for 5 months, Stuart has renounced his old life and is determined to not be drawn back into the criminal lifestyle. His key focus is his children.
Insights that relate to Stuart’s story: