When I hit my, my mid-teens, I discovered the surf community.
Love the ocean, love surfing, but back then, the surf community was very much about rebellion, anarchy, and drugs.
So for me, I guess, wanting to be accepted by people. I sort of hit things twice as hard.
I was really struggling with depression. but looking back, I was in a pretty dark space.
My wife and I separated when Lily was 12 and Jack was seven.
Really vulnerable age for them, especially Lily. I started to get quite physical with a lot of people
and that's how I would deal with... I'd deal with my situations really aggressively and violently, and that started to,
you know, come out on my kids.
I'd started to get quite physical with my kids and aggressive, and because of my own pain
and my own hurt, particularly on my daughter, and you know she was my everything.
It got to the point where she didn't want to live with me,
and she didn't live with me, because just of the angry individual I had become.
I met this lady, and we started, we sort of started dating.
I'd been, I'd been seeing Rachel for probably about six months
and I'll never forget Lily saying to me...she said, "You wait till she finds out
what you're really like, Dad." And that really rocked me.
And I said to God, I said, "If you're real, I need to know that you're real."
And I just felt this, this warmth and this light, and I heard a real distinct
voice saying to me, "Are you in?"
And I just, I responded, "Yes, I'm in."
It was all the guilt and the shame that I carried
and all these heavy burdens that I carried that...
I handed them all over to God and to Jesus.
And that's when I started to heal, when I started to
become that man that I was actually created to be.
And so through this, my kids were, were seeing Dad change. And seeing a massive change in how,
I was treating them and how I was dealing with situations.
You know, so my daughter, went from not living with me or not wanting anything to do with me, to
doing a full circle, coming to church, and coming back to living with me, full time.
So I've had two and a half, had two and a half years with her living with me and us just rebuilding all
that damage that was done. And just the closeness I've got with her and with my son has been next level, you know?
And that'll be, that'll be that now, for the rest of our time.
I truly believe if I hadn't have found God and had the relationship with Christ,
that would be, that would be gone. That relationship with my daughter
would just not be happening.
Man, I love my kids. I love Jack, I love Lily.
I love Rui, I love Jesse.
But you know, what I'd love to say to Jack and Lily who were there eight years ago
and who went through all my crap and put up with all my crap,
I just want to say, thank you for just giving me the opportunity to be the dad that they deserve.
And thank you for forgiving me. Yeah, and loving me.
Because to be honest, I don't deserve their love, for the emotional harm that I did.
And just for the lack of respect and compassion that I had with them.
You know, I always had their back. I've always had my kids' back,
but I didn't have them the way they needed me to be, which was emotionally and
with empathy and with, with love. And now I've got that,
I've got their back, no matter what. You know, whatever they're going
through in life and their struggles, they can come and talk to me and,
and they know that there'll be no judgment,
Iit's awesome, man. It's so good to have a loving
relationship with your kids.