June 2018

Most of the people finishing the UGM LIFE Recovery Program this month experienced trauma as young children: Abuse. Neglect. Abandonment. Homelessness.

Those experiences left emotional wounds that were covered up and left to fester. The children became adults and sometimes looked fine for years, but the wounds were still there.

Left alone, that pain grew until it couldn’t be ignored and they’d do anything to make it go away.

That’s why people who have gone through multiple traumas as children are 7-10 times more at risk for alcohol and drug abuse, with all its destructive consequences.

The following stories are hard to hear – even harder for them to tell – but only by listening to the stories can we begin to understand how those wounds can be healed.

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Speak Truth. Speak Life.

I had a teacher in sixth grade who thought she’d motivate me to try harder in school by giving me straight Ds. It didn’t motivate me. Quite the opposite, I began to believe I was stupid. The memory still stings.

I carried that false belief for nearly 14 years. It wasn’t until I was working on my master’s degree and one of my professors told my wife I was a sharp student that I began to believe I had academic potential. It took a university professor, speaking words of truth and encouragement, to remove that label and bring healing.

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A New Family

For people who come from broken or dysfunctional families like those in our cover story, plugging into a local church provides the healthy “family” they need to continue to thrive. Church involvement is one of the most important keys to ongoing recovery after moving out of UGM.

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