“My eight-year-old son watched as the police handcuffed me and put me in the squad car. I’ll never forget the look of loss and disappointment in my son’s eyes.”
Brian’s life started with a rocky childhood. He was sexually abused by several members in his family from the tender age of five. The abuse went on for a decade, which lead Brian to abuse alcohol to numb his fears when he was in his own home. “When I got to high school, I felt shameful and guilty. I didn’t have many friends. I was isolated because of my abuse and alcoholism,” Brian laments.
So, Brian joined the Marine Corp to escape his life. As he hoped, the brotherhood, structure, and purpose brought some healing and sobriety. His life was on a better path.
Upon leaving the Marines, he married his wife and they had a son. But as life’s pressures weighed in, and he no longer had the military lifestyle to lean on, he gave in to the looming darkness of alcoholism. “I couldn’t be bigger than my addictions, even for the sake of my son.” Brian’s life spiraled to his breaking point of being arrested.
Brian knew he needed help; he took the advice of a friend and reached out to Orange County Rescue Mission. He was accepted into Tustin Veterans Outpost after his arrest, and a light began to shine through the darkness for the first time. Brian regained the brotherhood he desperately sought with men who served their country but who now found their freedom in Jesus Christ. He felt the unconditional support of God’s love and acceptance.
“My roommate noticed I hadn’t unpacked the first couple days. He challenged me to commit to unpack. God helped me unpack decades of pain and suffering and heal. God unloaded my burden of shame and guilt. Every day, I grow in my relationship with God. It’s a constant repairing in my life, but now I’m not doing it alone.”
The cycle of abuse is now broken. Brian is currently employed full-time and hopes to pursue an education to become a therapist to help other victims of sexual abuse. And now, Brian can see hope in his son’s eyes.