Appreciating how far you've come

Ete and Mele now share their story to inspire others and remind each other how far they've come. Ete has kept on track by learning to communication with Mele and through physical and mental exercise.

Soft piano music plays in background throughout video.

A black screen with white text saying 'Warning. This video contains discussions of violence. Viewer discretion is advised.’

Ete and Mele are in their living room with a brick fireplace surrounded by artwork and ornaments. There are windows that look out into their garden. Ete, is wearing a grey T-shirt. His wife, Mele, is wearing a bright shirt with plant patterns on it, her hair is tied into a bun, she has a Samoan tattoo on her right wrist, and she is wearing a Frangipani Flower Sei.

Ete: “Well, I'll tell you what. The thing that's kept me on track and stopped me going backwards is actually sharing my story. Each time Mele and I share our story it just reminds you of how far you've come.”

Cut to Ete running along Wellington waterfront as the wind ripples through his shirt. Breathless, he reaches the edge of the concrete platform and looks out over the harbour to see the expanse of water, hillsides, and cityscape. Bold words ‘Staying on Track’ appear in the centre of the screen.

Ete: “Staying active is really important, doing yoga. That's been really, really awesome. Just learning to breathe. Sometimes the simplest thing that you do. Naturally, you start running out of breath when you're getting angry sometimes just... And that just gives you that that that space mentally. [deep breath]

Cut back to Ete and Mele in their living room

Ete: “So yeah, the… physical exercise has really helped just clean up the stress and uh the yoga helps um settle the mind. I think one of the things I've, I've gotten a lot better at and Mele's actually taught me this, is… just to check in you know. Just checking are you okay? Is it me is it something I've done?”

Cut to Ete standing outside in the bush surrounded by trees. He is facing away from the camera, wearing a grey hoodie looking up at the light shining through the canopy.

Ete: “You just start imagining things. That you, you start. And if there's something that bothers me now, I would just check in with her or say so. Rather than think oh well she's angry so I'm just not going to say anything.”

Cut to Ete and Mele sitting on a couch next to a glass door. They are sitting looking at a photo album together.

Mele: “The tension would increase because he would bottle things up, he wouldn't tell me what was really going on for him at an early stage and so that that pressure within him would. That anger would build.”

Cut to Ete standing in a T-shirt outside surrounded by trees. He is looking up with a look of grief and of strength on his face. He has a Samoan arm-band tattoo on his left arm and a Samoan wrist-band tattoo on right arm. He rubs the goosebumps on his arms from the cold.

Mele: “One of the things that he's I think developed over many years is better articulating early on what's really going on for him.”

Cut back to Ete and Mele in their living room.

Mele: “And us being able to talk about, talk about it in a much more reasonable, calm, rational way.”

Cut to Ete standing in front of a bookshelf. Holding a photo of his wife and child. His expression is sad and regretful as he stares at it.

Ete:” So yeah I, I thought the therapy was amazing, but I think the, the living it the living it is becoming it and that takes years.”

Cut to Ete and Mele wearing jackets and shorts, walking down wooden steps through a bush track.

Ete: “in in my experience. It's years and years to to get to the point where we are now. Like climbing a mountain.”

Cut to Ete sitting in a window seat with a view of the ocean. He is wearing glasses and reading a book with his legs stretched out long the windowsill content and smiling.

Ete: “It's not until you stop, and you look back, that you realise how far you've come. Because sometimes all you focus on are the routes and the steps and the pain.

Cut to a close-up of Ete smiling as he plays the guitar I the living room.

Ete: “And you're looking into the darkness of the mountain and then suddenly you stop, take a couple of deep breaths.”

Cut to Ete and Mele in the kitchen holding hands. They are looking at a Fridge that is covered in family photos. His voice is wavering, and he is close to tears.

Ete: “And you look back and you think. Wow. The climb's been worth it. You don't know how you got there but the view looks good. And it's been worth every single step.

Cut to Ete and Mele in the bush smiling with their eyes closed and their noses pressed against each other in a hongi.

Ete: “People will follow, your friends will be, be, be behind you.”

Cut to Ete and Mele in their living room. Ete is sitting up straight but tears forming in his eyes, he is swallowing hard so that he can still speak as he cries.

Ete:” You might not see it but because you're in this space and you're looking at this video you have hope. Go for it, no one can stop you but you. You'll be fine.”

Cut to Ete and Mele's a close up on their hands joining as they stand in front of the fridge with photos. Soft piano music plays.

Cut to Ete standing on Wellington waterfront, the wind is rippling through his shirt. He has a huge smile on his face. The shot shifts out of focus as it circles around him.

The screen fades to black, text appears saying: ‘In Your Hands. Change starts here. For you and your whanau. Your Journey Isn’t a Straight Line, But Practice Can Get You Where You Want to Go.’

More to Watch

Staying on Track Playlist

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Ete's story

Ete's Story

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Ete's story
Ete - Thinking About Change
Ete - Taking Steps for Change

Change Journey Playlists

More Stories on Change

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