Trauma was a constant in Stephen’s childhood. Growing up, Stephen’s dad struggled with alcoholism. And was physically abusive.
Stephen’s mom and dad eventually got divorced. And his mom started using a babysitter to look after him and his sister. That’s when the sexual abuse began.
“I remember my mom dropping us off at the sitter. I’d be screaming. Literally, tearing at her clothes because I didn’t want to go. She never figured out what was happening,” Stephen emotionally shares.
At 13, Stephen had his first drink. He and a friend snuck into the liquor cabinet at his friend’s house.
“After that first drink, it felt like there was no pain. Like all the hurt went away,” he vividly remembers.
From that point on, Stephen drank whenever he could. It was the only way he knew how to escape. As the trauma of his past continued to haunt him.
Stephen went on to get married and start a family. But, because he’d never healed, his addiction began to destroy his life and eat away at his soul . . .
His wife had had enough. Telling him, “You either stop drinking or you have to go.”
He knew he couldn’t stop. So, Stephen left. Ending up on the streets, living out of a tent.
As despair crept in, he began drinking more and more. Everything felt completely hopeless.
“I just wanted to die at that point,” Stephen shares matter-of-factly. “It was miserable. I didn’t care if I just laid outside getting wet and cold.”
He didn’t know what to do. Or who to turn to for help.
Until, one day, someone who was also experiencing homelessness told Stephen about the Tacoma Rescue Mission. That he could get a hot meal there and get cleaned up.
“I had lost everything,” he shares. “So, I came to the Mission to get something to eat, a change of clothes, a shower. Then I started staying here.”
While at the Mission, he heard about our New Life Recovery Program.
He thought it might just be the second chance he desperately needed. And decided to apply.
“I knew I had to do something drastic in my life to change. I wasn’t only affecting myself, I was affecting the rest of my family, my wife and my child,” Stephen explains.
In the program, Stephen finally had the opportunity to face his past trauma. Gain healthy coping skills. AND find a powerful, life-changing faith in Christ.
“This program goes way beyond conventional rehab. It felt different than anything I had experienced,” Stephen shares.
His life was transformed!
Now, he’s celebrating 3 years of sobriety. He’s back home with his family – being the best husband and father he can be. And he’s working at the Mission as a driver.
Stephen is beyond grateful that friends like you gave him the opportunity to step into a better future.
“Thank you for helping me become someone I actually want to be,” he shares gratefully.
Will you give a gift today to help someone else overcome their past and truly heal?
You can help completely change a life.