He walked to a neighbor’s house and asked if there was any yard work he could do. Smelling the alcohol on his breath, the neighbor hesitated and decided to let him inside the back yard.
As she walked him to the back yard, she told him, “The tree needs some trimming. The branches are growing into the electrical power lines. I can only give you $20.”
He smiled and fetched his equipment. This is one of the few odd jobs he could secure around town to pay his bills. Over 50, he was divorced, recently homeless, and struggling to find steady work that would accommodate his drinking schedule.
People judge him, pity him, and look down on him for not being able to stop drinking alcohol. He went to local treatment programs for alcohol dependency, remained sober for a couple of years, and relapsed. Again and again, until the program managers gave up on him.
He drinks to dull the pain of self-worthlessness. He drinks to dull the pain of a deep scar in his heart. He was groomed and sexually abused when he was 4 years old by a male family member he loved, trusted, and respected. He grew up confused about his sexuality, confused about love and sex, and angry after realizing in his teens that he was actually abused. Drinking since his teenage years is how he coped with the trauma.
What would his life be like if he had not suffered abuse? What would his life be like if he had learned positive ways of overcoming the trauma? What would he be like if he were healed?
We want to safeguard children from harm. We want to find alternative ways of healing to help those who suffered childhood traumas. Please join us in mending broken minds and broken hearts.
Update: In mid-February 2021, the man in the above story passed away of a heart attack while helping friends move to a new house. He will remain an inspiration for voicing the impact of sexual abuse on children.