In 2006 David took the first step in a long and painful journey back from the abyss of addiction and self-destruction. He promised his dying father that he would get clean. And he did. But as he cleaned his body and soul he began to confront the sexual abuse that his addiction had for so long obscured. Abuse perpetrated by a church youth minister that started when David was just 12 years old.
Over three years of abuse destroyed the foundation of love and faith that had been built by his family. For 25 years David kept the abuse secret, and lost himself in a fog of drugs and alcohol. He was by turns destitute, at times incarcerated.
The promise to his dying father was the catalyst. And the bedrock of his mother’s love and devotion was the foundation on which David rebuilt his life. Therapy, 12-step meetings, and soul-deep determination were the bricks and mortar.
Today, David and his wife Linda help fellow survivors through Together We Heal, a non-profit they created that provides cost-free guidance and support.
David travels across the country speaking and teaching at schools, civic groups, churches, children’s advocacy centers or in a house full of families. He helps educate them on how to talk with their kids about sexual abuse and exposes sexual predators’ tactics and methods.
Most recently David joined forces with GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) to be one of their Certification Specialist for its Child Safeguarding Certification Program. It's been David's desire, since he first came forward about being sexually abused, to help the Church from within; to better protect its children and properly respond to those already harmed.
“To the world, you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” – Dr. Seuss
In case anyone’s wants to read a reader’s digest version of my story, here’s the link. Its titled, “Pedophiles Are Like Serial Killers”
Terry Gaspard, MSW, LICSW, is a licensed therapist with over 30 years of clinicalexperience specializing ib divorce, children and families, as well as a nonfinction writer and college instructor.
Terry and her daughter Tracy Clifford, wrote thier first book "Daughters of Divorce: Overcome the legacy of your parents' breakup and enjoy a happy, long-lasting relationship.
Terry and I talk about:
You can find out more information about the book and Terry at: MovingPastDivorce.com
This episode were three guest I had spoken to solo. The show is going in a different direction where Tommy is now doing the show solo.
Jason Pockrandt (http://www.jasonpockrandt.com/532-2/) found himself at the age of 17 getting ready to becoming a man to graduate from high school. Jason was told that his father had passed away and Jason's life changed.
Watch the TEDx video of Jason's story:
His latest book "Father-Daughter Conversations" bring many stories of dad's raising girls.