I started getting racially abused at school at the age of 4. My Dad was drinking heavily. I was a wild child - starting fires, getting into fights.

When I was 6, my Dad dropped a scalding kettle of water on my arm when he was under the influence.

At age 9, my grandad died and my dad started drinking a lot more; he started saying our mum and us weren't 'worthy'; he started accusing my mum of having affairs. He started being racist to my mum.

When I was 14, he attempted suicide. He started writing us letters saying he was going to kill us all.

My behaviour got really bad. I was put on a part-time timetable at school. I thought this life was normal.

I got into drugs and crime. I couldn't imagine another life. Finally I was in a crash in a stolen car. They had to glue my head together.

As part of my sentence, I was sent to SOVA where I had to do some courses - discrimination, boundaries - it opened my eyes to what I'd been through. It was a bit like group therapy. I realised I wanted to help others.

I had some CBT but it wasn't right for me. It made me angry because I wanted to talk about the past, rather than work on a CBT sheet. The therapist thought I might have ADHD and referred me to the Community Mental Health Team. They diagnosed me with Borderline Personality Disorder and ADHD. Not long after, I got a job in a hostel.

Having a real, legal job meant I could help others and help myself at the same time. I could move away from some 'less useful' influences.

After that, I got another housing job. The staff were really caring and the people I worked with were really resilient - I learned a lot.

Now I work in mental health. I read a lot and educate myself. It's made me understand there's a lot of us who put a smile on, but there's a lot behind the smile.

I'm at peace with the world. One person's perfect isn't another person's perfect. I've learned to channel my passion into positives.