Compounding the problem was the enormous amount of shame Ethan felt over the whole situation. He thought he could never tell anyone what was going on. What if they didn’t believe him? And what if his father found out he was sharing what went on in their home? This made it hard for Ethan to make friends. He tried to speak as little as possible to his peers, lest the truth come out. And he could certainly never invite anyone over to his house.
As the years of abuse stretched on, Ethan spiraled into a deep depression. He was certain that he must be a bad kid. Why else would his dad always be so angry with him? He considered running away from home, but he was afraid of leaving his mother. Finally, Ethan decided he had enough and knew he had to tell someone what was going on at home.
Ethan decided to confide in his teacher. As the story of all Ethan had endured over his short life came out, his teacher knew that Ethan’s home was not a safe place for him. She immediately contacted Mercy Home. After learning that we could provide him with a safe place to live, Ethan agreed to move in.
The years of abuse had taken a toll on Ethan. When he first arrived at Mercy Home, he was shy, fearful, and exhausted. He didn’t want to open up about his experiences to his therapist or the other boys. For many months, Ethan struggled. We were all extremely worried about him. But then, one day in a group therapy session, another young man began to share his experience of physical abuse. It struck Ethan that he wasn’t the only one who had gone through being abused, and he bravely decided to share his story, too.
Once that happened, everything began to change. Ethan slowly became more open with my coworkers and the other boys about what had happened to him at home. He found that sharing his story was helpful and allowed the healing process to truly begin. After a lot of work, Ethan found the talkative and confident boy that was only waiting to come out.
I am so grateful to our Partners in Prayer who allow us to provide a safe place for kids who are in need like Ethan. You are part of a life-saving mission. Thank you!