Alden's Story - the first Hope In Healing Scholarship recipient

 

Alden saw a poster for Shepherd's community outreach event, Turn the Light On, and made his way to the park where people had gathered.

He felt uncomfortable with his backpack and disheveled clothes, and the topic, so he stood toward the back of the crowd. When speakers took the stage and shared their stories about being sexually abused as children and their journey to find help and healing, Alden's world began to spin.

It had been over 70 years since his childhood, but he remembered his own abuse clearly. He had told no one and believed he would take his secret feelings of shame to his grave.

When Alden noticed the word "affordable" next to Shepherd's phone number, he decided to call and he learned that he qualified for our Hope in Healing scholarship.

Each week he took the bus to Shepherd's, lugging his big backpack holding most of his worldly goods up the stairs to meet his therapist. Months passed before Alden felt enough trust and safety to reveal the long held story of his abuse by his parish priest and his parents' unwillingness to believe or protect him.

"I believed that the abuse was my fault all these years. I don't think I have many years left to live." With tears streaming down, Alden told his therapist, "You can't possibly know what it's like to finally be free from this burden at this time in my life."

Please help us to continue to provide therapy to people like Alden: make a gift today. Thank you!