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Lee - Interview 08

Age at interview: 17
Brief Outline: Lee is 17 ' he's currently not in paid employment and is doing music. His problems started when he was younger; not getting on with his stepdad, running away from school and finally leaving home. Lee's music and his girlfriend are really important to him and help him the most when he's feeling low. (White British).
Background: See 'Brief outline'

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Lee is 17. He says his problems started when he realised he was not getting on with his stepdad. This caused problems and arguments with his mum, with whom he’s otherwise really close. Between the age of 10 and 14, Lee used to run away from home every day, and not come back till late at night. He says he always went back home for his Mum’s sake, to be there for her. Lee’s mum has had mental health problems and Lee says it brings him down to see her feeling low and upset.
 
Lee lost an uncle, who he was very close with, five years ago, on Lee’s birthday. He says his death affected him really badly and thinking about it still brings him down. Lee says he’s had suicidal thoughts, and in the past, his tried to end his life. He says he’s gone through stages of not caring about himself, not getting out of bed at all and not eating. He’s felt every day is as “shit” as each other, and that “it’s always the same everything”.
 
The hardest thing for Lee is handling the difficult memories of the past, which still get him down and angry. Lee says the best help for him would be counselling to help find strategies to pick him up when he’s feeling low. Also music, spending time with his friends, and his girlfriend help him to feel better. He says his girlfriend can cheer him up and make him forget about the bad stuff almost instantly. She’s been very supportive of him and Lee says he’s really lucky to have a girlfriend like her.
 
Lee used to work with his two brothers doing landscape gardening but he’s not working at the moment. He’s focusing on doing music with a mate of his and hoping to be able to record in a studio soon.
 

Lee wanted to leave home but he needed to stay to make sure his mum was safe.

Lee wanted to leave home but he needed to stay to make sure his mum was safe.

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Yeah it was arguing, he [step dad] was being like, he was making like me do stupid things and then making a joke of it, and then it was like tormenting me, and everything like that, and at like the age of 10 until about the age of 14, 15 I used to like run away from home every day. I’d get up like 5 in the morning, get something to eat, walk out, and then not come back until like half three the next morning or something like that, but like there was times when I did that and I used to hang around in my front garden at night and look through the kitchen window, and I’d see my Mum crying and everything.
 
And even though I didn’t want to go back in, but seeing my Mum sitting there crying just made me walk in. And then when I got back in it was all the same again and like arguing and stupid jokes and sending me to the room, all this rubbish. And that just went on for like a while and stuff.
 

Lee has done 'stupid' things when drunk.

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Lee has done 'stupid' things when drunk.

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I’ve done things where like I’ve like passed out and I’ve not woken up for like two days in a row. I’ve like drank, drank too much and then done something stupid like gone like, like on those spinny roundabouts thing and like passed out and stuff, I’ve had, I’ve had drugs and drink and, got into a fight for no reason, and I’ve just let people just beat me up. I’ve tried like climbing buildings and jumping onto a fence, I’ve walked across like motorways like whilst cars have been coming.
 

Lee raps and has recorded a CD.

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Lee raps and has recorded a CD.

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But now I’m at the moment I’m making music and a few people have got my CDs and I’m making music with big people in [place name] and it’s all good.
 
Can you tell me more about the music, what sort of music do you do?
 
Like rap and MC,
 
What do you rap about?
 
Like street crime, like how it’s not like, it’s not like, it doesn’t help people and not a joke or anything, and you’ve gotta think about it before you do it. Stuff like, what else? Like about how you need to like to make life better you need to have the energy to like get up and do things.
 
I started like doing recordings on my phone and like sending them around to all the people’s phone, like when I was like 16, 15. And then ever since then I was looking like trying to find a place where I could record music and do stuff with other people, but I moved in here and then I just found like a place off the internet with my support worker and I got into that and went to it, and it was alright so I carried on going and after that’s finished I can keep going and paying to use the studio so, I’m gonna do that and then see how it goes.
 

Lee says that people know when to leave him alone.

Lee says that people know when to leave him alone.

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I was alright when I first moved in for about the first week or so, I was all, I was like happy and everything but I was just hiding from people ‘cos I didn’t know they, ‘cos I didn’t want them to know that I was like this. But after about a week or so people found out what I was like, and ever since I’ve been in here and with me, the problems that have happened at home with my Mum and Dad whilst I’ve been in here, everyone’s like, scared of how I am because they say like I’ve got more violent and I switch more quickly.
 
When I, but I tried to like hide it when I first moved in. But I don’t know, just things make me lay it out, it’s like, you know, like it was being pulled out and yes like I just thought fuck it. I don’t care what people think and everything and I’m not gonna like hide it and everything. Just so people know that that’s why they, that’s why when I’m down I sit in my flat and people know when I’m down, so they don’t knock on my door.
 

Lee’s girlfriend is always there for him.

Lee’s girlfriend is always there for him.

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She said that she’s here for me like, and then I’m like how I’ll turn out or what happens, and when she says stuff like that it’s then that I feel like it’s too good to like be said to me. It needs to be said to someone that’s not like me. That hasn’t got all these problems and doesn’t have all these stupid feelings and doesn’t go through like the pain and stuff. But they think it’s alright so far so.
 
Do you find it hard to believe her?
 
Like you know I believe, like I trust in her so I believe her.
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