Mercy Home Helps Henry Escape Abuse
Henry’s father never raised a hand at him. But that didn’t mean he didn’t hurt Henry. And it didn’t mean that Henry was left without scars from the abuse he received from his father.
Henry’s father was an alcoholic. His drinking came before everything else: his job, his family, and his relationship with Henry. And he was a mean drunk. He may have never laid a hand on Henry or his mother, but the words that spewed from his mouth when he was drinking wounded all the same.
The insults Henry heard growing up severely impacted his self-esteem. When all you hear from your father, the man who is supposed to love and protect you, is how worthless you are, it’s hard to feel very good about yourself.
Henry kept to himself at school, too. It was hard to trust people. And, if his father was to be believed, it’s not like the other kids would like him anyway. He wished he could lean more on his mother, but she was often too caught up in her own trauma. After all, she had been dealing with Henry’s father even longer than Henry had. Henry only saw himself through his father’s words: that he was useless, stupid, and most of all, unlovable.
And he may have gone on feeling that way had he not been assigned the teacher he had in sixth grade. She wasn’t like other teachers he had in the past—she seemed really interested in the lives of her students. She was maternal, in a way that perhaps his own mother would have been if not for the years with Henry’s father. It didn’t take long for her to catch on that something wasn’t quite right at Henry’s home.
Initially, Henry had no intention of opening up to her. He didn’t trust adults. He didn’t trust anyone.
But his teacher patiently built a relationship with Henry until he finally felt comfortable sharing, little by little, what was going on at his home. He expected his teacher to blame him for his family’s unhappiness. Instead, she gave him a brochure. It was for Mercy Home.
It was hard to trust people. And, if his father was to be believed, it’s not like the other kids would like him anyway.
Henry looked through the pictures. He would be lying if he said he wasn’t intrigued. When he was in the computer lab later that day, he looked up Mercy Home on the internet. The more he read, the more he felt that our Home would be a way for him to escape his father.
After moving in, Henry realized he hadn’t thought about much beyond just escaping his home. He didn’t want to open up to his peers or our coworkers. It would take a long time for him to trust any of them.
But our coworkers were patient. They let Henry share things at his pace. And he never heard words like those from his father, even when he messed up. Instead, he was always met with love and support. That’s what meant the most to him. He could start believing that maybe his father was wrong about him all along. Over the past year, Henry has begun to gain confidence in himself. The support he received at Mercy Home helped him see that he was capable of so much more than he ever realized. He is doing well in school and has made friends there and at our Home. Where everything seemed dark before, now he only sees hope and brighter days ahead.
Our Partners in Prayer change the lives of so many children like Henry. Thank you for your prayerful and loving support!