Imagine a soldier volunteering to fight the enemy alone - without any support or a local 7th grade football team having the NCAA champions, the Clemson Tigers, on their schedule. Words like ill-advised, crazy, absurd and impossible would be a few of the words used to describe their endeavor. The chance for victory for either party is zero/zilch to name a few words.
While these situations are never going to happen, they sum up how Brett felt with his life. The whereabouts of his father was unknown. His mother had severe mental health problems, often leaving Brett and his siblings to fend for themselves. Brett was eventually removed from his mother’s care and lived in numerous foster homes. He seldom saw his siblings. The only constant in Brett’s life was his Department of Human Services worker.
Brett’s world continued to be a challenge when he entered and then graduated from college. He felt alone and overwhelmed in the adult world. His mother’s voice of him always being a failure boomed loud in his mind. A long simmering depression engulfed Brett to the point he was seriously considering suicide. Friends offered little support as they, like Brett, had limited life experiences and struggles of their own.
It was in this depressive mindset Brett reached out to the adult supports he met and trusted during his younger years - foster parents, teachers and counselors. At times Brett called them late at night. The calls could be a few minutes or an hour. Sometimes Brett relayed good news - passing a class or telling them of a girl he was interested in. Other calls were to seek advice about a career he was considering, marriage and later parenting.
Unlike fairy tales, life does not always end with “and they lived happily ever after.” Brett’s marriage he was so hopeful about ended in divorce. He can no longer see his children everyday due to them living with their mother.
Yet, in spite of things not being the way he envisioned, Brett remains thankful for the encouragement offered by each of his supports he was brave enough to begin to reach out to in his early adulthood. Brett knows he will not be judged or condemned, regardless of how many times he makes a mistake. With encouragement and advice from his supports, Brett is determined not to give up but to keep going in his pursuit to be the best person he can be. Brett has found his hope within himself and for his future.
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