Life Story Part 4: Building an Online Mafia Game and Exploring Tilburg

In my previous installment, I shared the struggles I faced, earning my high school diploma, and my initial experimentation with soft drugs and ecstasy at 16. But let’s start on a positive note this time.

My personal success story unfolded as I developed an online mafia game, a project that brought me immense pride. This game, created on a platform that didn’t require coding, allowed me to focus on building a strong community. Inspired by the fascinating world of the mafia, the game offered players various roles and strategies. I managed to attract players from Habbo Hotel through effective online word-of-mouth, contributing to the game’s rapid rise in popularity.

The increase in player numbers led to significant revenue, a surprising and welcome outcome. I eventually earned several thousand euros, far exceeding my initial expectations. This financial success served as tangible proof of my entrepreneurial skills. It motivated me to look forward to other projects, like this blog. This experience confirmed that pursuing my ideas and passions could be not only personally satisfying but also potentially lucrative. It gave me the confidence and motivation to continue my journey of entrepreneurial endeavors.

After completing my high school, I proceeded to a level 4 secondary vocational college as an Assistant Accountant in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. During this new phase, I underwent a transformation. Previously the quiet kid, I became more active and spontaneous. I sought out more interactions with others and wasn’t as introverted.

I didn’t find the program particularly challenging. Sometimes, I lacked the motivation to do homework or work hard for school. But overall, I was doing well. I enjoyed having more freedom and learning new things as a student.

My time at this vocational college was a journey of self-discovery, significantly different from my earlier schooling. It helped me uncover my passions and talents, which was crucial for shaping my future plans. This period was vital for my personal growth, helping me to find direction in my life. Although elementary and high school undoubtedly contributed to this development, it was during college years that I truly realized its extent.

However, I continued to associate with friends who weren’t a good influence. We often smoked weed and hung out late after school and in the evenings. This wasn’t good for my behavior. Home life was also challenging. My mother struggled with depression, and her new partner, whom she met in a support group for bipolar disorder, caused a lot of unrest and problems at home.

There was a frightening incident at home that escalated severely. My mother’s new boyfriend, already a source of disturbance, experienced a psychotic episode due to his bipolar disorder. In a confused and threatening state, he brandished a knife and even showed intent to harm my mother. Shocked and unsure of what to do, I instinctively called the police. Thankfully, they arrived quickly and arrested him before he could cause serious harm to himself or us.

At the time, this incident was difficult for me to understand and process. Now, with more knowledge about mental disorders, I can see how his bipolar disorder and psychotic episode contributed to these disturbing events. Although this experience represents a dark period in my life, it also helped me understand the importance of mental health and the complexity of psychological disorders.

After a series of intense home events, I eventually decided to move in with my father in Tilburg, The Netherlands, who had a new partner. This was a significant change for me. In Tilburg, I found a much different atmosphere than at home: it was calm, without the constant tensions, suicide attempts, or fears I was used to. For the first time in a long while, I felt relaxed and safe.

This change also meant adapting to a ‘normal’ life, something I wasn’t familiar with. In my father’s house, there were rules and routines, and a peaceful, stable atmosphere prevailed. It was a positive but strange experience for me. After years of turmoil and uncertainty, I had to learn what it was like to live in a calm and supportive environment.

In my quest for excitement and an escape from my problems, I got involved with the wrong people and occasionally used ecstasy. Along with my stepsister, I went to many festivals, entering a whole new and thrilling world. Drug use was normal in her circle of friends, leading me to experiment with speed, truffles, and designer drugs. In hindsight, I wish I hadn’t gone down these paths, but at the time, these experiences seemed like a way to escape the challenges and problems I faced in life.

My interest in festivals grew, and I explored various music styles, from hardcore to techno and house. These festivals brought a sense of freedom and community, yet also introduced new challenges, especially regarding my drug use. The combination of the music’s excitement and the escapism offered by this alternative scene provided me with the escape I desperately needed from my life’s challenges.

My father’s health deteriorated due to Parkinson’s disease, which deeply affected me. His daily struggle with the disease and the accompanying sleep problems were tough, not just for him but also for his new partner. During this period, I was so caught up in my own issues and challenges that I sometimes overlooked how difficult his situation was. Looking back now, it pains me. I realize how hard his life was and how I could have been more supportive. It’s a source of sorrow and regret that I wasn’t more aware of his struggles at the time.

In the next chapter, I will take you further to my life in Tilburg. I will be candid about the loneliness I experienced, especially when I first moved out on my own. I will share my quest for happiness and fulfillment, and my experiences building a new life in an unfamiliar city. This is a story of new beginnings, the obstacles that come with them, and my efforts to find a path that made me happy—although this happiness was not always constant, it was there at times. So, keep reading, because there’s much more to come. See you next time!

The next story I’ll share again on my Threads account >

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Floris Meulensteen
Floris Meulensteen
Articles: 75

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