Your young mother’s struggle to cope resulted in a volatile, unstable upbringing.
Unable to bear the weight of your burdens you resorted to self-harming. Somehow the physical pain blocks out your inner torment. When this no longer works, you choose to end your life.
The cost of not having a school chaplain could be far greater than its dollar value – for Aleaha, the price was almost her life.
“If it wasn’t for Matt and his belief in me, I wouldn’t be here today,” she says.
Aleaha first met Chappy Matt after self-harming in Year 10.
“I was really sceptical at first. But I remember one day he read me a book called, ‘You Are Special’.
“I was in tears… He said, ‘This is how I see you and I believe in you’. Nobody had said that to me before. The next day I came to school and gave him all of my razors and I said, ‘I’m not going to do this anymore, because your belief in me is enough’.”
Outside of school, Aleaha often stayed at her closest friend’s house to escape her stressful home life. When her friend said she was moving to Adelaide, Aleaha couldn’t handle it.
“I wanted to numb the pain. I went to school that day with the intention of committing suicide... Matt wasn’t there so I knew he wouldn’t be able to talk me out of it.
“Some teachers tried to stop me. So I ran from the school and out onto the road. I didn’t care if a car hit me. My principal drove down the street and got me.She had Matt on the phone and I was screaming...”
In the midst of her tears, anguish and pain, he reached her.
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