Millie Elder-Holmes has opened up about her battle with meth addiction, the murder of partner Connor Morris and her new life in Greece.
The 30-year-old blogger moved to Greece following the death of her adoptive father, the late broadcaster Paul Holmes, and the murder of her partner of seven years.
Elder-Holmes‘ birth parents, Hinemoa Elder and Stratis Kabanas, met in Greece while Dr Elder was on holiday from London.
Dr Elder returned to New Zealand with Millie after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Her mother got a job in television, where she met Paul Holmes, who eventually adopted Elder-Holmes.
Elder-Holmes told Newshub during her parents‘ public divorce when she was 10 she began to learn more about her father in Greece, and feel displaced.
“I was constantly worried about the opinions of others and how I was perceived in the public eye, everything was about upholding a good image and it was intense.”
She was often unsupervised, giving her opportunities to “play up”, even dropping out of school without her parents finding out for two months.
Her “privileged and spoilt” upbringing triggered a rebellious streak.
She found a new group of friends, which led to her getting into drugs.
Millie Elder-Holmes in Greece with boyfriend Kostas. Photo / Instagram facebook twitter email linkedin google-plus whatsapp pinterest reddit
She smoked meth for the first time around her 18th birthday, and had been using for about five years when there was a kidnapping attempt on her.
“It was just a super traumatic situation,” she told Newshub.
She and partner Connor Morris decided to get clean.
In the beginning of using drugs she enjoyed the fast-paced life, but once she got hooked, she did things she regretted.
“I did so many hurtful things to my mum and dad, and my dad in Greece could only read about what was happening in the paper. It‘s extremely selfish, you punish not only yourself in the long run but those who love you the most.”
She entered a world where she began to associate with some “f***ing scary crazy people”.
“I saw some f***ed up stuff that even haunts me to this day, shit that no one would want to see, and that‘s damaging,” she told Newshub.
There was always a reason people started using, often to fill a hole, she said.
She faced up to the consequences of her actions after being convicted of drugs charges in March 2008, before facing new charges a year later.
The drugs also took a toll on her body.
“Your hormones your metabolism gets completely messed up, you ruin your body from the inside out. I‘m still, some 10 years on, suffering from hormonal issues.”
She documented her and Morris‘ new life without drugs across social media.
Her father Holmes had a tricky relationship with the gang associates Elder-Holmes had aligned with, before accepting Morris‘ love for his daughter and supporting their relationship.
But her life was turned upside down when Holmes died suddenly, and Morris was murdered.
Morris died instantly when he was hit in the back of the head with a sickle, piercing his skull, during a fight in 2014.
Elder-Holmes told Newshub she didn‘t hold grudges, except to her partner‘s killer Michael Murray.
“I hate him with all my being; I don‘t think we got justice at all.”
Following the tragedies Elder-Holmes felt she needed to get away.
Her biological father offered her a safe haven in Greece, and now she has found love again with her boyfriend Kostas.
After battling with the sudden loss of Connor, Elder-Holmes said others dealing with trauma should find acceptance on their own terms.
“Life is so precious, too precious to throw away.”