The chaotic childhood of the rugby star between drugs and violence

Warning: Some people may find the subjects of this story distressing.

New Zealand rugby star Ruby Tui has for the first time lifted the lid on her turbulent childhood – trying methamphetamine, attempting suicide and watching a woman die of a drug overdose.

Escaping the violence of her stepfather, who hit her so hard she bled from the mouth, she went and stayed with her real father in Wellington, gravitating to a house full of his friends.

It was there, at age 10, that Tui first smoked P.

“I didn’t know what P was, really. It was just the powder, the smoke was a little thicker. It was just a normal thing and I thought it was cool, that’s what you did. “

It was also in this drug house that she saw one of her father’s friends overdose and die.

“It was quite a heartbreaking experience, watching someone like OD, basically in our arms. Dad and I were trying to save her, watching her body go limp with dad, and dad being really upset because he was trying to save her. to help.

“It was just a pivotal moment in my life, because drugs were so laid back and everything when I was a kid. I didn’t know what I was doing but I was helping to get the product around.”

“There was also ‘a time when I wanted to stop everything and I broke down, but it obviously didn’t work, thank God.’

Ruby was only 11 when she saw her father’s friend die of an overdose. She then swore she would never let drugs tear her family apart.

Tui’s mother wanted her daughter to return to the West Coast. But her stepfather’s violence was worse than before.

One day it started, but all of a sudden there were police lights and the family fled to the women’s shelter.

“So proud of mom,” she says. “I’m so proud of mum. The reality is that domestic violence unfortunately happens and not everyone gets out of it.”

She wants others to know that it is possible to escape these situations.

As a child, she thought, “I’ll never get out of this. I want the kids to know it’s not forever. You are not doomed, you can choose.”

After many successes on the rugby sevens pitch and her refreshing media antics, she is now tackling her next challenge – the Rugby World Cup with the Black Ferns.

“Women’s rugby is a huge force for change and, you know, standing up for things you should believe in. And I know if Aotearoa gets behind the Black Ferns, we’re gonna blow the world away. Like, we’re just gonna blow the world away. world.”

HELP RESOURCES

https://1737.org.nz Need to talk? Call for free or text 1737 to speak to an advisor

https://mentalhealth.org.nz 09 623 4812 Free Resource and Information Center

https://www.thelowdown.co.nz online chat, email chat or free text 5626

Free Helpline – Shine Domestic Violence Helpline 0508-744-633, free 24/7

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