Always a rainbow after the rain
Artist: Chrystal Rimmer “This work is a response to Ms Edwards story. Growing up in a volatile environment faced with adversity she was able to see the light through the darkness. For her, that light came after each rainfall in the form of a rainbow.”
Ronin Phillips interviews Pipi Edwards for Stories of Strength
If you’re feeling trapped in life, read this interview. Coming from a rough & violent childhood, Pipi shows there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. You just have to wait for it.
Could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Pipi Edwards.
Okay, let’s get started. When and where were you born?
Um, I was born on the 11th of October, in the year of 1986. And I was born in a small town in New Zealand called Rotorua.
How long did you live in this small town?
Uh… Oh gosh. In the small town, I don’t really know cos I moved around so much, but um, I moved from Rotorua to Melbourne when I was 10-years-old.
What was the cause of moving around so much?
Um… I came from a… quite a violent background. My childhood was surrounded by domestic violence. Um, yeah, so my mum would always leave and that was the reason.
Oh, okay. Is there, like, a significant — is there a significant smell or anything from that small village?
Small town, yeah, there was. So Rotorua is famous for geysers and the smell of sulphur is very strong, it’s actually known for its smell and it’s not very pleasant.
Oh, okay. Where do you live now?
I live in Middleton Grange, New South Wales.
Does it feel like home? As in, does it feel like that small town?
No, it feels a lot better. I’ve been able to create a new life for myself here, and I feel like this place has brought me a lot of opportunities.
Okay, you said earlier that you moved around a lot. Which [place] felt most like home?
Probably this one.
Okay. Um, did you have any dreams for when you were younger? And, like, did you achieve them?
I feel like I have, I think there’s still more that I need to accomplish for myself and for my children. Um, I think my greatest dream was pretty — it was pretty standard to be honest. Considering my childhood, I didn’t really wish for much. I just wanted a safe, secure home for my family.
What made you want a safe and secure home? Wasn’t your childhood safe enough?
Definitely not. Definitely no. I was very, um… as I said, it was a very violent background. My father was a one-percenter bikie and so I was exposed to a lot of horrible things as a child, so…
Um, how did you overcome it?
I think I just kept a positive attitude. I think that’s very important. Um, I had my children quite young as well, so that was… that was a big starting point for me to create the life that I actually wanted, not the one that I was born into.
Okay. Do you consider yourself strong for that?
Um, I don’t myself, but everybody that knows me, they do. That’s good enough for me.
What do you believe strength means?
Perseverance, not giving up… not accepting failure. Not letting other people beat you down.
Uh, could you elaborate on that a bit more?
Uh… I think it’s really important for children these days to stay positive, to stay focused on the future, and to always believe that, no matter how bad things are when they’re young, when they’re adults they have opportunities to change that.
Okay. Um, did — talking about your childhood, did that bring any strengths or qualities to you?
I think so. I think I’m — I think I’m very strong, very supportive when it comes to friends that have had the same sort of upbringing, and I think I can give quite good advice to people that need it.
What — speaking of those qualities, what are some of them that you love about yourself?
Oh, that’s a hard one. Hmm… I really don’t know.
Oh, okay. If you were to talk to your teenage or child self, what would you say?
That there is always a rainbow after the rain.
Oh, okay. Um, do you feel free now that you’re an adult? Do you feel free from your childhood?
Yes, definitely. Cos every choice that I make is my own now.
So, the choices you made when you were a child weren’t your choices?
No, no they weren’t.
Okay, um, if you had some advice for others that are going through what you’re — what you went through, what would you say to them?
Just to stay strong. To talk to people, be honest about your feelings. Know that there is always help around the corner if you ask.
Okay. Well, this was a good interview. Thank you Ms. Edwards for allowing me to interview you.
It was very nice getting to know you. Thank you.