As it is for most teenagers, hormones combined with high school stresses and an itch to get out and make their own mark, lead to all kinds of drama in their relationships, not just at school, but at home too. While some parents and teens have been able to work through this stage of life easily, others have found it more challenging and find themselves at a loss for how to resolve those conflicts when they arise. As Damian, freshly out of high school, and his parents tried unsuccessfully to work through their problems, it was becoming clear that the best option was for Damian to move out and spread his wings.
Unfortunately, with no job, his options were pretty limited, so a friend offered him his sofa to crash on for a while until he could pull himself together. Some bad choices put a pretty quick stop to his plans though, and he ended up sitting in jail for 45 days. Those days were valuable though, and while he contemplated the choices that led him to that tiny cold jail cell, he realized that he had no direction. And like most young men his age that are lacking that sense of purpose, he knew that as soon as he got out, he wanted to join the military. So, upon his release, he did just that, and joined the United States Army.
He became an infantryman and served for two and a half years. He began feeling targeted by some of his peers, to a point that made him so uncomfortable, he considered leaving. He wanted to stick it out though and see the journey through. It wasn’t long after that he was given a general discharge under honorable conditions. Feeling frustrated with his current state, and once again homeless and jobless, he couch-surfed with assorted friends and family members for a few months until one day, he found himself with no couch to surf and was on the streets, utterly stranded. He was devastated.
And as God does for us, when that door closed, and it felt like the darkness was completely inescapable, He slid a window open and turned this bad situation into something that could turn Damian’s life completely around. If he hadn’t been out on the streets, that American Legion officer never would’ve found him. And if he hadn’t found him, Damian might not have ever made it to Gospel Rescue Mission.
Now that he’s here, he has a chance to get a brand-new fresh start. A place where he can stay rent free while he begins to create a better life for himself. He also has access to the proper channels that can help him work through some of his mental health issues that he was diagnosed with while in the Army. Although his Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder) diagnosis was completely shocking to him, he is getting a better understanding of how it effects him. Dissociative identity disorder (DID) was formerly called multiple personality disorder, and it is a mental illness that involves disruptions or breakdowns of memory, awareness, identity and/or perception. Now that he’s partnered with us, the VA, and Ki Bois, he can begin counseling to address these issues.
He is also working towards getting his IDs, finding stable employment in the food industry (he loves to cook!), and getting into a place of own. As he works toward stability and independence, he hopes to one day get into acting, modeling, and singing. He has big dreams, and with all the opportunities that we can expose him to here at GRM, we can say that for Damian, Opportunity is Guaranteed!