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Why Life is Worth Living – My Compassion for the Bullied and Depressed (VERY long and VERY personal post)

I debated over whether or not to write this post, but I figured it’s better to risk a part of myself if I stand a chance of helping even one kid (or adult) who is undergoing a traumatic experience in his/her life.  It’s one of the longest I’ve ever composed, and I made myself cry at least three times while writing it.  Hope it helps someone. 

My childhood up to the fifth or sixth grade was pretty uneventful, other than the fact that my parents divorced when I was a toddler, and my mom remarried a few years later. I played soccer, had a few close buddies, and sometimes laughed until milk came out of my nose.

When I was about 11 years old, my relationship with my stepfather changed, for a couple of reasons. Namely, I was pretty emotionally needy, which meant that my mom had to spend more time with me, especially getting me to sleep each night. I was filled with various anxieties, so she had to stay in my room until I was asleep, which often took way longer than she would have cared to spend, I’m sure. As a result (and I understand this now, as a father of four), this cut into any “alone time” that they would have had at night. I also wet the bed until I was 12 or 13, which kind of made sleepovers less likely to happen.

My stepfather was a prime example of something which is known as the “Peter Pan” syndrome, meaning that he didn’t really ever grow up, and he had his own baggage from his childhood. As a result, he treated me more like a little brother than his son, even though he legally became my father when I was five and he adopted me.

Here are some of the things that we endured:

  • I will never forget the time that he told me (when I was 11 or 12 and changing clothes to go out somewhere), “You take off your pants like a faggot.” I could think of a lot of comebacks to that statement now, but his remarkably hurtful comment stuck with me ever since.
  • After my mom and he divorced a couple of years later, I remember that almost every door frame in the house was cracked from repeated slamming. Their bedroom door also had a hole in it from me punching it in anger.
  • Once, after he said something to jar me, I threw a dictionary at his head, which made his glasses cut into his face and he bled quite a bit. He held me down and screamed in my face and scared the crap out of me.
  • On another occasion, he chased me into my room and grabbed me, and I smashed a jambox over his back.
  • He would rarely put on clothes when my friends came over, preferring to wear his underwear, or perhaps just a towel draped over himself while he was on the couch watching TV. Yeah – pretty gross, huh? Pretty embarrassing, too.
  • He didn’t seem to have any issue exposing me to inappropriate movies, such as the time when I was barely nine and he took me to see “Guns, Sin and Bathtub Gin”, which had garnered a solid R rating.
  • The cussing that I learned and heard for the time I lived under the same roof with him has yet to be exceeded in my adult life.  He was an especially creative curser, it seemed.
  • I once saw him get arrested (and so did all of our neighbors) for running a stop sign and trying to “outrun” the police and get home.  He spent a night in jail for that one.  Idiot.

Around the same time that this stuff was happening at home, I changed schools, graduating from elementary school. Since I was private school-educated, my friends from grade school ended up in a bunch of different places, so I didn’t really know anyone when I started at the new place.  As a new student in a new environment, I was pretty bookish and sensitive, neither of which are considered high on the list of qualities that the average 12 and 13-year-old wants in a friend. So, I was harassed at school by the “popular” kids – nothing overly abusive, although I had one memorable and brief fist fight with my locker partner.  Namecalling, general harassment, not as much physical bullying, since I was tall, thankfully.  I remember feeling physically ill at the thought of school many days.  Mainly, I felt excluded, possibly because I was more introspective than outgoing and assertive. Making straight A’s is not a quick way to popularity, as it turns out. The teachers loved me, but the kids – not so much.

As you may have already pieced together, things had become bad for me at school AND at home at the same time. I was angry at the kids at school and angry at my stepdad, although I didn’t have much chance to express this outwardly. As a result, I became depressed instead. This wasn’t just a passing thing for me. It led to several years of therapy and anti-depressants.

One night in March 1985, when I was 14 years old, I stayed up much of the night and told my mom that I didn’t want to live anymore (and meant it). She did the only thing left to do, by hospitalizing me at Baylor Psychiatric in Dallas. As it turned out, this was one of the best things to have ever happened to me, because I learned how to talk about my feelings, and to recognize and express my anger and sadness, rather than stuffing it deeper and deeper inside. I was there for three full months, and I witnessed some rather serious mental illness, restraints on several patients, electro-convulsive therapy, and one lady who used to urinate on most of the chairs.  In a nutshell, it was unlike anything I had experienced, but I wouldn’t trade it now.

If I could talk now to the 14-year old Jason, I would tell him (me) that things will get better. I would tell him that his life at age 40 is just about as close to perfect as it gets. I would share photos of his wife and children, and tell him of his career. Most of all, I would tell him not to give up, because the jerks you encounter and the everyday problems aren’t worth giving up your life.

Here’s some other stuff I would tell him about why his future life is worth living:

  • You haven’t had sex yet. It’s worth sticking around for this, I promise.
  • Your beautiful wife is cool and smart and a great mom.
  • Your kids will make you laugh out loud almost daily.
  • It would kill your mom and grandparents if they had to identify or find your body.
  • You are deeply loved, more than you could possibly know, by your family and by God Himself.
  • You’re a good dad.
  • Your marriage will last.
  • You like what you do for a living, even when times are harder.
  • Many of your friends consider you to be their best friend.
  • You will save the lives of at least two friends (subject of another post).

At any rate, you get the picture. I’m happy to have endured that time in my life. I don’t use it as a crutch now, and I rarely even talk about it, but it helped form the person I am today.

I’ve been married for almost 18 years now, and my wife and I have four awesome children (11, 9, 4, and 18 months). I’ve talked to my older kids about my past at some length, because I want them to understand that if things get bad for them, I am always available to talk, and that I will love them unconditionally. Yes, I mean it. My son has tried to test me on this a few times, “What if I ______? Will you still love me then?” The answer, then and now, is yes.  I’m happy that they won’t have to work uphill against a father whose love can never be earned.

If you happen to stumble across this post, and you’re enduring something that seems so traumatic or earth shattering that you want to die, please keep in mind that things will get better over time. I remember when I was in the hospital at age 14, they told me that nothing truly traumatic ever lasts more than about 6 weeks.  I recommend that you find someone to talk to that you trust.

If you want, you can email or call me. Yes, I really mean it. This goes for adults and teens, too. My email address is jason@austintexashomes.com and my cell phone number is 512-796-7653. I’ve been at some very dark spots in my past, and I’ve come through on the other side.  Looking back over the past 25+ years, it’s hard to imagine how hard it seemed back then, and it’s hard to think that I didn’t even want to keep going.  I’m glad I did.

 

If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at www.austintexashomes.com.  Thanks!

Comment balloon 150 commentsJason Crouch • October 15 2010 01:08AM

Comments

Jason, A helluva lot of guts to bring this out to the public. My hat's off to you, and your offer to help others through the dark times. Congratulations to using the past to fuel your future and to become the person you are today.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 8 years ago

What a heartfelt post. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal experience. You've overcome so much, and I'm sure it's made you into the warm and caring person you are today. Congratulations to you and to your wife and children for having you in their lives.

Posted by Margo Currie (Exit 1 Stop Realty) over 8 years ago

Jason,  Timing made me the first of many, many comments on this very courageous post.  Thank you for laying your soul bare and sharing your experiences... I know it was painful.  You are a 'big' man for writing this... and I know it will find it's target.  Proud of you.  Kathy

Posted by Kathy Schowe, La Quinta, California 760-333-8886 (California Lifestyle Realty) over 8 years ago

Jason, This is powerful and is a must read for everyone! I think this is the kind of article that could and should touch many...maybe saving some children at the same time. Your mom was brilliant knowing what you needed! Thank you so much for sharing. Your generosity is overwhelming.

Margaret

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) over 8 years ago

Jason...

Wow, you laid it all out on the line. I read every word. You and I have chatted on occasion and I feel compelled to say that you are one cool and together dude now, a great family man, and an all around good guy!

I'm glad that your mom took urgent action when it was called for. The world needs more men like you!

Featured in the Group "Whacked!!!"

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 8 years ago

Jason, that is an incredible story of your past. God had been gracious to you & has brought you this far for many purposes!

Thank you for sharing, being so open and transparent. Life is good, I can tell you are an awesome dad & a great husband! Keep up the excellent work, my friend!

 

Posted by Don Wixom, "Looking out for your next move..."tm (RE/MAX Advantage Nampa, ID) over 8 years ago

Jason, Good for you for sharing such a personal side of your life!   Sadly there have been too, too many teenage suicides of late and over such unkindness.  I talk with my kids all the time with the same repeated message - We all have a story!  We all have endured something!   And there is NOTHING that we cannot get through together.  And there is NOTHING that will not look different in a day, a week, a year.  I stay connected with my kids and when I see thier moods kinda funky, I definitely make them stick around me.  I do it by saying I need some help or I need something, and before I know it they get involved with what we're doing and then they have a different view and start to open up.  Sometimes, as adults with our 'big' problems we forget that their problems of the moment are huge and horrible to them and often times they are very bad, we need to take it seriously because these kids are. 

Last night a friend  told me about her sister's future step son who just came out and his mother is not treating him well and he tried to kill himself. Thank God he did not succeed.  It is just too sad.  Say a prayer for him. 

 

Posted by Christine Pappas - REALTOR®, eXp Realty - Because Experience Matters (eXp Realty) over 8 years ago

Jason, my friend, I suggested this although your posts are always featured anyway.  But, what a great way to save someone.  

And, it could be me. 

Posted by Suzanne McLaughlin, Sabinske & Associates, Realtor (Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael)) over 8 years ago

Jason - very moving ..... hopefully someone who is also walking in the shoes you used to wear will find it, read it and come through the other end better for having read it.

Posted by Kathy Clulow, Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results (RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage) over 8 years ago

Jason, What a BEAUTIFUL open post!  Isn't the grace of God wonderful that he would bring you through this to the place you are today. I was blessed with an Ozzie and Harriet upbringing.  My parents at 93 and 85 are still alive and doing GREAT.  I am constantly thanking them for my upbringing.  I recently just wrote a post MY DAD, MY HERO.  That is what your children will someday be writing to you!

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) over 8 years ago

Jason- I don't know where to begin.  First of all thank you for allowing us to know this side of you.  It could not have been easy.  Your story gives hope to those out there who may feel like they have none, no future... no one to talk to.  Thankfully your mother had the strength to take you for help.. something I'm sure was just as hard for her to do.  I'm glad you stuck around!!

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 8 years ago

Jason, you just absolutely ROCK!  It is so hard for kids and teens (& sometimes even adults) to believe that what seems overwhelming in that moment of time will indeed change and can get SO much better for them.  I have had 2 friends whose children committed suicide and I'mpretty sure those kids would absolutely not believe the impact their lives had on a whole lot of people - they are so, so missed.  And I wish they could have read this post of yours...

Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA over 8 years ago

Hi Jason... what an incredible story to share.  It's only by being brave enough to stand up and share these stories that we can hope to help out youth who are struggling like you were.  I'm proud of you, my friend.

Posted by Steve Shatsky over 8 years ago

Very powerful story Jason,  glad you made it through such horrible times to triumph.  I once heard that you get two chances for the parent/child relationship, your children are blessed to have you with the knowledge you gained of who not to be.  Bravo!   I have re-blogged in the hopes that sharing your story will help someone out there struggling with their past, or maybe even see themselves in the description of your step-father and change their ways...Blessings to you and yours!

Bridget

Posted by Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee, Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068 (SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061) over 8 years ago

Jason, you have thousands of friends here. 14-year old Jason couldn't have imagined that either.

 

Posted by Dave Halpern, Louisville Short Sale Expert (Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827) over 8 years ago

Jason,

We all have our crosses to bear!

But, I've never seen any one I want to trade places with.

Every thing adds to who we are, we've met you're in a great place!

Be thankful for where you got yourself to.

Bill

Posted by William J. Archambault, Jr. (The Real Estate Investment Institute ) over 8 years ago

Oh, dear, I'm sorry you had to go through all that. So many of us move through whatever life we've created and after many years of pushing the bad events out of the way, wake up one morning with an epiphany."What", we think, "would it cost me to keep at least one other child -- or any less powerful person -- from enduring what I endured"?.

And so some of us add up those "costs": public humiliation, maybe, or perhaps a crack in the veneer of success...and decide that sharing the experience might have some value. In these moments of "do I hide or do I share" people wrestle with the questions: what about "the example"? What will other people think?

Well, if you were to hesitate to share, consider that many people endure truly unspeakable events: rape, incest, humiliation, degradation, suicide attempts, making bad decisions on a daily basis and somehow come out of it with the ability defend their own humanity.

And to help one more person-- especially a child -- defend their worth, their humanity, despite the humiliation -- that is worth everything it costs you in the sharing. Thank you, and I will pray for you to have strength for your work and your journey.

Posted by Leslie Ebersole, I help brokers build businesses they love. (Swanepoel T3 Group) over 8 years ago

A rough start for you Jason with a lot of hits you took but look at all the lessons you have to present both to us and your children. Great post.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 8 years ago

Jason: Glad you made it through what must have been a seemingly endless ordeal. A stable family life for a young person's development just can't be underated. When you're young it's hard to have perspective. Hopefully your post will show youths in turmoil that things will change and they will have amazing experiences that are beyond imagination. Best,

Posted by Matt Grohe, Serving the metro since 2003 (RE/MAX Concepts) over 8 years ago

Jason..it is obvious that you have the good life now ..How kind of you to offer yourself out there to help others ...

HelpfulHannah

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) over 8 years ago

Jason, thank you so much for sharing this.  You are the DUDE!  Look at you now!  I do feel this will help someone who is in pain.  You made me smile, weep, and even get goose bumps.  Your story is moving and so very important especially in light of what has happened recently.

Posted by Kristen Wheatley, Supporting Success - Best Job in the World! (Better Homes & Gardens | The Masiello Group) over 8 years ago

Jason... thanks for sharing this... I didn't read any of the comments... and as hard as it was to probably write this, you do hope that this would help someone. I think many of us endured some negative things while we were growing up. And it's great that you can grow and learn from your past, trying to make your kids lives so full filling and such. And sorry that you had to go through so much while so young.. Again, thanks for sharing..

jeff belonger

Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 8 years ago

You are a brave man to share your life's story and a good hearted soul for trying to help. God Bless

Posted by Rama Mehra, TOP 1% REALTOR IN THE TRI-VALLEY (Keller Williams Danville) over 8 years ago

..."learned how to talk about my feelings, and to recognize and express my anger and sadness, rather than stuffing it deeper and deeper inside."   Even now I'm not allow to express anger or sadness....everyone gets mad at me....Great post, thanks for sharing this part of your life.

Posted by A Mobile Notary (562) 916-3237 over 8 years ago

Most of all, I would tell him not to give up

Hi Jason,

I agree!  One of my favorite quotes of all time is from Winston Churchill. 

"Never, never, never give up".

This is an awesome post, one that could touch many lives.

Posted by Bruce Brockmeier, Coached By Crouch (Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS®) over 8 years ago

Jason,

Touching story. Thank you for sharing and for making yourself available.

God bless.

Posted by Jose Dias, Sell Your Home in Scottsdale-Phoenix-Peoria-Glendale-Goodyear (Home Sellers Help in Scottsdale-Phoenix-Peoria-Glendale) over 8 years ago

Jason -- This post is so timely  and so deeply inspiring to me.  My brother and nephews are struggling with these questions, and I am so scared for them.  I am going to have them read your post.  I think you are amazing to share this with others.  Too many don't know where to turn for help and you have reached out to touch anyone who is facing a difficult challenge!  You are blessed to have such a wonderful wife and family... may you have peace and happiness in your lives.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 8 years ago

Jason,

By the way... I didn't know there was a Christianity & Real Estate group. I saw it at the bottom of your post and signed up for it.

Thanks.

Posted by Jose Dias, Sell Your Home in Scottsdale-Phoenix-Peoria-Glendale-Goodyear (Home Sellers Help in Scottsdale-Phoenix-Peoria-Glendale) over 8 years ago

Jason, oh my gosh how incredible that you have come so far in your own right, to put such a personal post out there to share with others. A very brave thing to do, and I'm sure you will inspire, help or encourage people you'll never even know about.  I heard from an old friend today who is experiencing the type of pain you're describing here.  I'll talk to her again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next until she turns a corner.  You are right, we do find a way out of our darkness and I'm sure that you will be that saving grace for someone.  Bless you.

Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 8 years ago

All I can say is "wow!".

We've all been through one or more things we can identify as "the worst" in our lives.  However, I always remember two things to put it all into perspective:

1)  Losing everything or having nothing offers the chance to reset and appreciate what is most important in life; the people who care about us.

2)  What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  I know, it's a cliche, but it's true.  Life's challenges prepare you for more challenges except that each time you learn a little more and worry a little less.

Posted by Bryan Robertson over 8 years ago

Jason, when something bad happened in our childhood can scar us for life.  I didn't have an ordinary childhood either, not quite the same as yours.  I still have flash back every now and then, but that had helped me to grow and became the person I am today.  I also shared my story on AR, I also think if it can help someone else, it is worth to take my chance to share it with over 190K "strangers".  I am glad you got a chance to get over it and started over again, and have your own family now and be the best dad you can be.  Your kids are very lucky to have you to grow up with them.  You are great!

Posted by Rita Fong, Realtor - Marion Arkansas Homes for Sale (RE/MAX REAL ESTATE TODAY, Executive Broker 901-488-9590 ) over 8 years ago

If you can open up with your personal issues you will have a hugh impact on helping others.

Posted by Michael C. Price, Ann Arbor-Real Estate Strategist (Keller Williams) over 8 years ago

If you can open up with your personal issues you will have a hugh impact on helping others.

Posted by Michael C. Price, Ann Arbor-Real Estate Strategist (Keller Williams) over 8 years ago

Well Jason, I think you were put on this earth to help others. I could almost feel your pain with your words, but also recognized your honest joy in the life you have now.

Posted by Wendy Montoya, REALTOR® Broker Associate, 254-315-4906 (Towne Adams REALTORS) over 8 years ago

Jason ~ it took a lot of courage to write this post, and you are wonderful to share your story with us.  I hung on every word and can tell that you're an extremely sensitive and caring man, and that you also know just who you are.  Growing up in your circumstances helped you become the loving father and husband that you are today....so I guess someone could say that it was a hard road, but one with a good destination.  Thanks for letting us know that you're there for whoever needs to talk to you.  You no doubt have really touched many people with this post....thanks for that.

Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging that Sells Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) over 8 years ago

Jason -

A very moving story indeed.  Sometimes, as we deal with the many problems of adult life, we forget just how hard being a kid really is.

It is helpful to remember that when dealing with our own kids...or those of some other.

Posted by Jim Hale, Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website (ACTIONAGENTS.NET) over 8 years ago

Jason, thank you so much for having the courage to share such personal information with everyone. I admire your strength and applaud your mother for recognizing she needed to do something to help you overcome your feelings. I would love to share this post on my Facebook page if you would not mind, as I have one person I am very concerned with and have been trying to help for months now. She says nothing is wrong, but continues to cry out for help. This person is my stepdaughter and I have tried to be the best step mom I can be, but as I am sure you know, divorce is the worst on the children and even though I was not the cause for the divorce, she needed someone to blame. I have accepted this role for her but have never wavered in being as supportive and loving as I know how to be. She is 19 now and lives with her mother. I could go on and on about their bad situation....I would love to share this in hope that she will read it and realize no matter what, things do get better.  

Posted by Stephanie Reynolds, East County San Diego Homes 619-838-4408 (Integrity First Financial Group, Inc. ) over 8 years ago

Jason, I would guess that one of the reasons you are a success is because you are an authentic guy with guts. I appreciate your courage and willingness to share such difficult experiences. Many people would use these events to not succeed. You turned it around. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) over 8 years ago

Jason, I applaud you for such a sweet and heartfelt post. Something like this may help more folks than you realize. As a 12 yr old, I moved to a rural town. Unrelenting bullying by the classmates went on for a year. I eventually found my way but had to endure alot of drama before it subsided. Noone seemed to notice so I feel for every kid that goes through that. And to have troubles at home too makes for no escape for one too young to cope. I have raised my daughter with unconditional love, and have gotten what if questions as well. Still and always the answer is yes. If there were more people like you to express caring for others, we'd all be better off.   

Posted by Ellen Dittman, #1 Stop for NE FLA-JAX/OP 904.535.1199 (TEXT OK) r (Watson Realty Corp.) over 8 years ago

Hugs for you (((( Jason )))) and God bless you for sharing your story and giving of yourself to help others. You are an inspiration.

~ Lin

Posted by Lin Wetzel, People Prefer OUTSTANDING Properties! tm (Outstanding Staging) over 8 years ago

Dear Jason, you made me cry too. I've only always known the beautiful Jason as you are. Never knew your past until now. I'm glad things are different for you now. You are an awesome dad to your children and a wonderful husband to your wife.

Hugs, hugs.

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) over 8 years ago

Jason,

Truly inspiring, and made so because it isn't some made up opinion. You lived it and were willing to share it with others.

Best post I'll read today, bar none.

Rich

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 8 years ago

Jason, 

 

Thanks for sharing.  I know how you feel.  I've been there--and you're right, things do get better.  

Posted by Chris Spade (Keller Williams San Diego Metro) over 8 years ago

Kids need to know there is a reason to have hope for a future.  It's hard when things are so ugly.  Praying that you reaching out will help many others to find that Hope!  God Bless you Jason!

Posted by Doreen McPherson, Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~ (Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe) over 8 years ago

Good morning Jason,

What a warm and inspirational post Jason. It is amazing how much you endured and now you are now a loving man, father, husband, dad and friend. God works in mysterious way. You are who you are because of what you have gone through in life. Thanks for sharing and for being there for others.

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) over 8 years ago

Hi, Jason.  This is a fantastic post.  And, what I love about it is that there is no shame.  So many adults carry around shame for what happened to them as kids when they had NO control over what was happening in their lives.

 

There IS NO shame, and you have risen above it all to prove that.

 

Thanks for posting it.

Posted by Lori Fishkind, Realtor (Reliant Realty) over 8 years ago

I congratulate you on this post!

It takes GUTS to write what you did and what is amazing how many MEN and women think that they are alone.

I would like to have you on my Radio Show - please call me 972-679-9029

You Rock!

Posted by Robert J. Russell, IRES, ICREA, GMA, LAS, LUTCF, Sales Trainer (Robert J Russell Companies) over 8 years ago

Jason, everyone has a calling and it takes guts and determination to listen and act. . .it is a noble crusade that hits home for me. . my best friend's 12 year old daughter committed suicide in a closet

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 8 years ago

Jason:

I can only imagine the isolation that you felt, facing the obstacles that you did as a young person. Where was your real father ---when all this was happening to you?

Thanks for sharing. 

 

Posted by Lorraine or Loretta Kratz, Certified Negotiation Consultants (Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions.) over 8 years ago

Very touching and very brave Jason. We are hearing all these recent stories of kids buckling under peer pressure or bullying and it's important that they hear that no matter what, they will come out on the other end OK. You are a great example! Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Caroline Gosselin (Prominent Properties Sotheby's International Realty) over 8 years ago

Jason,

What hope it gives me to think of your happy children. Too often we emulate those bad influences from our past and the negative cycle continues. You and your mom are brave, strong and caring. Thanks for helping the rest of us by sharing your story!

Posted by Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ (Weichert) over 8 years ago

just another incredible insight into the history that created the man we know today.  thank you for that glimpse.

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Coldwell Banker Residential) over 8 years ago

Jason -- I spplaud you for writing such a heartfelt post. Putting it all out there in the hope that it might help at least one person is truly commendable.  You are showing others that bad situations really will turn around and improve as only those who have survived tragedy and hard living conditions know.    You are living proof.   I truly hope this post finds it way to many who are suffering and helps them to turn things around and move forward.  When you're down, you have no place to go but UP!

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Jason you are obviously a great dad and husband.  You have not only survived you childhood but risen so far above it.  You have everything to be proud of.  I myself was bulled in school while I did not have the turbulent home life you did though.  My father actually asked me at one point if I wanted to go to a private school to get me out of the situation I was in.  I had become a favorite target for many simply put because I fought back.  I guess time has a way of evening things out though.  I went from being a 5' 10" 120 lbs high school freshman to a 6' 1" 200 lbs college grad.  So needless to say the bullies are not about to take on something that simply put can "take them".  I did learn to turn the other cheek though and be able to walk away but, obviously do not need to anymore. 

Posted by Larry Story, Total Care Realty, LLC, Greensboro, NC Real Estate (Total Care Realty) over 8 years ago

I am so sorry you had to endure such a traumatic childhood and hideous step father.  With that said, I read alot of your blogs (*I also live in Austin) so I am familiar with your reputation. With all you had to tolerate, you came out on top!!  You are a Big Man - thanks for the heartfelt post.

Posted by Suzanne Gantner, GRI, E-Pro, SRES, SRS, ABR (Sky Realty, Central Texas Real Estate ) over 8 years ago

Jason, I'll keep this one brief since we did the whole email back and forth thing last night. But suffice it to say, you're a good man and I sincerely hope that anyone who reads this seeks the help thy need to avoid the kind of distress you encountered.

Posted by Craig Rutman, Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor (Helping people in transition) over 8 years ago

Kudos to you for being brave enough to post this.  You are so right though, things do get better and there is a lot to live for and look forward to!

Posted by Anonymous over 8 years ago

Thank you for sharing your story today with us .  I do believe it all in how a child w/ anxiety issues is handled.  It can only aggravate the issue if handled poorly by someone who doesn't understand how to help.

Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) over 8 years ago

I don't know you but yet there is one thing for sure. It was worth sticking around, your life did a complete u turn. Divorce is not in our family so I am fortunate. My parents were there for us through thick and thin and hubby and I also for 26 years now, but at 21 and 19 our kids still need us, we are proud to be there. I know your 4 kids are also benefiting even though they may not know it for a good few years yet.

Pat on the back for coming out with this, we are proud of you for doing so and for enduring the awful times to be able to enjoy the wonderful times.

Locally we have had far too many teenagers jump in front of trains in the last couple of years. it's so so sad.

Posted by Corinne Guest, Barrington Lifestyles (Barrington Realty Company) over 8 years ago

As I wipe the tears of my face, I thank you for sharing.  I have my own story of bullying, but even after all these years, I am not ready to put it out there.  Life does get better and surviving those so difficult teenage years made me stronger.

Thanks for sharing, and I am sure that this post will impact someone at the right time.

Posted by Tere Rottink (CoastalVa Realty Inc) over 8 years ago

"This too shall pass"....if there is a way to drum this into those poor souls that are struggling! I hope anyone struggling comes across your post and reaches out. Very heartfelt and beautiful! You have truly overcome....and are enjoying the rewards of a wonderful family, I'm so happy for you.

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 8 years ago

Jason, I always find it truly amazing that all the things we have to endure - especially as children; that some will pick the high roads and strive to be the best we can be and some will get lost along the way.  Your post is great and a huge help for those that are struggling and staring at the paths in-front of them.  Thanks for sharing your story.

Posted by Kimberly Thurm, Broker / Relocation Consultant ABR, CRS, GRI, SFR (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff, Naperville, IL) over 8 years ago

Wow. That is amazing stuff Jason. I look back and never would want to repeat middle or high school either. My life now is pretty great. And the bad stuff -- money worries, which never seem to go away -- pale to the wonderful family I have now.

Posted by Erica Ramus, MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate (Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA ) over 8 years ago

Jason at a time like this when so many people are going thorugh with different situations. You have hit the nail on the head. This really shows us what a true person you really are....

I would like to share with you this video on Rascal Flatt..... He talks about God BLESS those broken realtionship.. you see if we don't have difficulties in our life then we would have never experience the pleasure of TODAY. so if you didn't go though that... you would have never been able to share this with us.... Thank sooooo much...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkWGwY5nq7A&p=DBD7F959A9B2729F&playnext=1&index=6

 

You see this song let me look back at my DIVORCE ( although I'm passed it)to let me know that if I never had that broken realationship I would never had this bright FUTURE. Thanks again....

 Sorry the link doesn't look like it's working....

 

Posted by Donna Paul, Long Island Home Specialist,All About Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty Gold Coast) over 8 years ago

Jason - Your selfless act of compassion in the telling of your story is only exceeded by your willingness to be a resource and lifeline.  Thank you for both - 

Posted by Jack Mossman - The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Stockton, The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Stockton (The Nines Team At Keller Williams) over 8 years ago

Jason, I hope your story helps someone also. I also hope that you benefited from telling your story!

God Bless!

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 8 years ago

Thank you for your brave and thoughtful post.  It takes guts to expose your personal history and deal with the vulnerability that it can create.  Thanks for having the guts.  You are helping people.  Probably more people than you will ever know.

Posted by Noelle Blazevich (John L. Scott) over 8 years ago

Jason I love your courage!  You are an awesome person for sharing your post. I am so proud of who you have become and what you have overcome.  A local Realtors son killed himself a few months ago and the message you send out is so important..............tomorrow is really coming and it will be better!

Jason I love your STYLE!

Posted by Elizabeth Arduain, Lubbock Texas Real Estate (The Diamond Group @ Keller Williams) over 8 years ago

Jason......Your story is moved me to respond....... Bringing it out in the open is a part of life that we are trained to be ashamed of and not do.....BUT in reality.....concealing and holding it in is not normal. So, be of good cheer that you are doing the right thing.  Why would we excuse away the reality of a bitter journey....? It happened and has to be dealt with. As a child, we don't know how. But, as an adult, we may go back and clean it all up with the help of forgiveness and mourning. Everyone I meet who I end up getting into meaningful dialog with has something to say personally about injustice, cruelty, fear, anxiety, mom, dad, rape, molestation, drugs, alcohol, being bullied, abandoned, beaten, thrown out, and a combination of the above. What I find incredible is how brilliant our survival skills are that allow us to cope and go on. These things kick in on their own. Resentment is what keeps trauma alive liked it happened minutes ago. Realize that and you are on your way to un-pealing the ugly onion that surrounds the inner child that just wants to be free and innocent again....Thank you for your honesty and courage and be assured that while your experience is personal...it is quite common more than you think.  I know that others will now follow your example and choose the road to healing instead of hiding their feelings. Take heart and journey deep.....may peace and rest from within comfort you all the days of your life........I journey with you...........we are brothers.....

Deep regards......

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 8 years ago

Everything that has happened to you has made you the man you are today . . . even if you could, would you trade it?

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) over 8 years ago

You are a wonderful man Jason.  I have always thought so.....and now I think even more so of you.  What an amazing and brave thing you have done....I have no doubt someone will read this who really needs to.  And I applaud you for it!

Posted by Lori Churchill Cofer, Realtor - 509-330-0086 - Pullman, WA (Beasley Realty) over 8 years ago

Jason, I remember a few years ago reading an article about a guy who had lost his home, and his quote was, "I just want to die in my car." He meant it. What an integrous gesture on your part, to afford (via your own horrific experiences) the fact that remains: life CAN be turned around, and in so doing, a much stronger person emerges.

I think about that guy now and then- I hope he's soaking up sun somewhere, wondering how on earth that thought could ever have occurred to him. What a significant post you've offered.

Posted by Laurie Mindnich over 8 years ago

Jason, I like many have gotten to "know" you through your posts.  Your writing has always made it clear to most of us that you are a great father, husband and human being.  This post made me want to hug the child that you once were and tell you what you have already learned, that things will get better and that life is worth all the pain and adversity we go through.  You are an inspiration and I know that someone out there reading this will be saved by it.  What a gift you have given all of us...   ~ Susan

Posted by Susan Laxson CRS, Local Knowledge & Global Network (HomeSmart Professionals) over 8 years ago

It is amazing how God uses the terrible things in our lives to bring comfort to others. Someone will not "happen across" this. God will bring them to this. Thanks for being obedient and being there for them.

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) over 8 years ago

Good and courageous post.

Posted by Anonymous over 8 years ago

Jason You can be proud you took the time and had the courage to share your experiences in life with all of us. I hope the people that need help read this and contact you or get the help they need. Anyone should be honored to have you as a friend.

Posted by Surprise Arizona Realtor Jim Braun Sun City Grand Active Adult Communities, Surprise AZ real estate Phoenix West Valley (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Jim Braun Sun City Grand Az ) over 8 years ago

No matter how bad things are, there are always reasons to stay alive.   Life can turn around so quickly, especially with a positive attitude and perseverance.  I think most of the population has had a rough time at some age.  I applaud your courageous efforts. 

Jen Wing

Posted by Jen Wing, Field Inspections Since 2007 (JPW Field Inspections) over 8 years ago

Jason, that was a very courageous post.  You are a very brave man for laying this out there in the hopes of being able to help someone else.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) over 8 years ago

Jason:

Thanks for this timely post.  The community in which my family lives has been dealing with a tragedy that made national news.  It was the suicide of 13 yr old Asher Brown who was a student at Hamilton Middle School (a school, I might add, with amazing academic credentials ranked high nationally . . . families move to communities feeding into this school).  Asher's death has been attributed to bullying at Hamilton Middle School.  In January of this year, we transferred our daughter from this very school at the advice of her therapist.  She said that if our daughter remained at Hamilton MS, her physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing would be at risk.  It took almost a full six months to effectuate the change due to the school's reputation of "deliberate indifference" which is more appropriately blogged elsewhere. 

There are a couple of reasons I bring the Asher Brown story up. 

First; it bears noting that frontal lobe brain development is not complete until a person is in their early to mid 20s.  This is significant for children who are experiencing traumatic experiences in their lives . . . especially when the problems persist such as what you experienced and what victims of constant bullying experience.  The underdeveloped brain does not, without appropriate intervention, recognize that these difficult experiences are temporary.  This creates feelings of hopelessness and can, sadly, result in suicide.  Asher's parents asked the school to intervene; unfortunately, it did very little (if anything at all).  Our requests for school intervention on behalf of our daughter were also ignored but we had terrific support which helped us successfully transfer her to another school.  I don't want to imagine what may have happened to our daughter had she not been able to transfer.

Secondly, the situation at Hamilton Middle School presents a problem with respect to selling real estate in the area.  Is it my duty as a real estate agent who is aware of significant problems at Hamilton Middle School (or any school for that matter) to inform potential homebuyers who specifically ask to see houses feeding into this school of the problems?  Or is it the buyers' responsibility to check out potential issues with schools.  School reports in Texas do not include mention of "problems".  This situation certainly can impact sales in the area, especially if real estate agents have a duty to inform.

btw:  My daughter is thriving at her new school. 

 

Posted by Kris Hoch, ABR, e-PRO, CNHS, CSSN (RE/MAX Compass) over 8 years ago

Dear Jason: You made me cry ..G-d bless you for sharing... It made me thinkof all of those wonderful young people who are bullied emotionally and physially - be it at school or home... and if only they had been able to open up to 'someone.' I think your story is book worthy and you should consider the even longer version...as it would surely help many a teen.... and it could be targeted to t hat audience and perhaps even required reading.. Phhew! Just my two cents. Best, Gay

 

Posted by Gay E. Rosen, As Real as Real Estate Gets! (Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty) over 8 years ago

Stephanie Reynolds - I was reading through all of the comments here, but I wanted to make sure to stop and tell you to PLEASE share this with anyone that you think could benefit, especially your stepdaughter.  Feel free to print it out, or put it on your Facebook page, or re-use it in any manner you see fit.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 8 years ago

Wow-very moving. Thank you for sharing. We all have dark sides in our past-reading yours makes you feel like your own  was not so bad. Thanks!

Posted by Pam Dunn, Relocation Specialist (RE/MAX Premier Choice) over 8 years ago

Robert Russell - I will be in touch.

Lorraine or Loretta - My real father was an alcoholic, and my mom made him leave the house when I was still a toddler.  Although she loved him, he was completely out of control with his drinking at the time.  When this particular stuff was happening, he was in and out of my life - I probably saw him once every year or two.  I remember him calling me to wish me a happy birthday when I was about 15, and he was VERY drunk.  I pleaded with him in a long letter I wrote to stop drinking and stop smoking.  He eventually stopped both, but he had done too much damage to his body.  He passed away almost exactly five years ago, at age 62, from emphysema.  The crowing achievement of his life was his work in AA as a sponsor.  He was sober for the last 11 years of his life.  Thankfully, we became close once I was grown, and I dearly loved him.  I do wish I could have had him around when I was growing up, but I can't change that. 

TO ALL: I am still working my way through the comments, but please know that I am reading every single one of them, and I'm touched by the outpouring of kindness I see here.  Thank you for that.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 8 years ago

Donna - I used cut and paste for the link.  I love that song - it's one of my favorites.  Thanks for sharing it here.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 8 years ago

Kris - You raise an excellent question, and Asher's story (among others in the news lately) is one of the reasons I wrote this post in the first place.  I could relate to some of the stuff that he endured at school.  I don't have a good answer to your question from a legal perspective, but I can tell you what I would do if I were faced with your scenario: I would feel compelled to tell home buyers about what happened, because they're going to find out sooner or later anyway.  Thanks for your comments here!  I'm sorry that you have to deal with this situation in your community.

Gay - Someone else mentioned that to me on Facebook.  Maybe there's merit to that idea - I would definitely consider that, as this post really just scratched the surface of what I could share.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 8 years ago

Jason: I do not know how you are going to have time to read all of the comments. What a moving post, and you are so brave. Just yesterday I heard "Cat's in the Cradle" on the radio and I thought about how quickly time has passed, and how much time I have spent in much the same way as the father in that song. Life is complex. As parents, we have a continuing struggle to make time and spend time with our kids while also having to spend time 'bringing home the bacon.' I am 1000% certain that you are a wonderful father--primarily because of what you went through as a child. While I do not envy what you have been through, I envy you for being able to live life to the fullest as a result. 

Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) over 8 years ago

Jason,  I have been toying with the idea of writing a similar post, but confess I probably do not possess the courage that you have shown here.  I do believe you have performed an incredible act of human kindness and compassion AND public service in this post.  Thank you for your strength to share what I am quite sure many, many people cannot.  Blessings to you!

Posted by Deborah "Dee Dee" Garvin, C2 Financial (C2 Financial) over 8 years ago

Being a father of three kids of my own I always impress upon them that no matter how bad things seem or feel that it will get better. Life is a struggle and having a support system is so very crucial for those times when there just not seem to be a way out. 

I appreciate your honesty, and hopefully your message will get to that one person out there who needs to hear it today.

Posted by Troy Pappas, Virginia Beach Home Inspector (Safe House Property Inspections) over 8 years ago

Jason, you are a very strong individual. Now and more so at 14 when you sought the help you so desperately needed. Not everyone has the will or the strength you had, and when looking back even now with the knowledge you've gained, you must feel some remorse at not having said something sooner. Bless you and your mom for being there for each other when it was most needed.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 8 years ago

Jason, thank you so much for sharing your story. With you, I hope it reaches some people who need to have more hope for their own futures. This is a difficult world we live in, and we are not always kind to one another, especially when we are young and less informed about life itself. Living through our teenage years is an absolute miracle for at least half of us. Thankfully, most people learn to survive and find a totally different life after high school. I did. You did. And once we've done that, we've got to bring our experiences to a place of compassion for those who truly need it. So again, thank you for doing just that by sharing your story. I'm sure it will be very important to more than a few people. Blessings!

Posted by Lisa Orme, Broker/Realtor, ABR, CRS,GRI, PSCS, SFR, Notary Pu (The Master's Key Realty LLC -Windsor, CT - HARTFORD COUNTY) over 8 years ago

Jason - you shared something publicly most folks who endured abuse would not share and I commend you highly for that.  I hope your blog reaches more children than just one child and abused adults.  God truly looked out for you, thanks for sharing. God Bless!

Posted by Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale (Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.) over 8 years ago

Jason: Thank you. I commend you for your willingness to post such a cathartic article. We all have stuff in our lives, some of it much worse than others. Again, thank you. I appreciate your transparency my friend. It is a beautiful thing!

 

 

Posted by Paul McFadden, Pest Control, Seattle, WA. (Paratex) over 8 years ago

Bless you for being willing to help others. I used to teach school, and saw so many miserable kids. Growing up is so tough, even if the adults in your household are reasonable people.

Posted by Leslie Prest, Owner, Assoc. Broker, Prest Realty, Payson, (Leslie Prest, Prest Realty, Sales and Rentals in Payson, AZ) over 8 years ago

Just goes to show - If a together and cool dude like the one and only JASON CROUCH had a shitty  crappy home life and wierd upbringing and could things around like you did,  there's hope for everybody!  I suffer from chronic depression and as you know, it is an absolutely horrid burden that stains everything.  But what it has given me is compassion, empathy and a definite sensitivity.  People feel safe with me - just as I know so many feel safe with you Jason.  You are an awesome human being.  No secrets, no shame. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Alyce Martin, Albuquerque - THE Place To Be! (The Realty Group, LLC) over 8 years ago

Jason, thank you so much for sharing your story. With you, I hope it reaches some people who need to have more hope for their own futures. This is a difficult world we live in, and we are not always kind to one another, especially when we are young and less informed about life itself. Living through our teenage years is an absolute miracle for at least half of us. Thankfully, most people learn to survive and find a totally different life after high school. I did. You did. And once we've done that, we've got to bring our experiences to a place of compassion for those who truly need it. So again, thank you for doing just that by sharing your story. I'm sure it will be very important to more than a few people. Blessings!

Posted by Lisa Orme, Broker/Realtor, ABR, CRS,GRI, PSCS, SFR, Notary Pu (The Master's Key Realty LLC -Windsor, CT - HARTFORD COUNTY) over 8 years ago

My husband was a little guy in school and was always bullied.  Since we homeschooled our kids, my son was never picked on for being small and bright.  That's not the reason we decided to homeschool but looking back we sure are glad we did.  So happy that you gave life a chance.  What an awesome testamonial.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 8 years ago

Jason:

Thank you for sharing your experience. From someone that had a lot of dark moments in her life I know how courageous it was for you to share.  No matter how horrible things get as long as you stick around you have a chance to experience a better tomorrow.

Our experiences really do make us stronger...as long as we are willing to stay around. 

Posted by Evelyn Santiago, Managing Broker Heart Realty Group, Inc., Passionate About Real Estate & Our Clients! (Heart Realty Group, Inc..) over 8 years ago

Jason:

Your post should be mandatory reading for middle-schoolers! You have an inspiring perspective on your past (that it truly is past), such gratitude for your present, and optimism for your future---I am so thankful that you shared your story.  It has sent me a powerful message.

Thanks again!

Posted by Noreen Fennell, Professional Service, Serious Results (Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty) over 8 years ago

Jason I applaud you for writing this courageous post.  I too had been considering writing a post along these lines.  With the death of these 4 young people in the past month directly attributed to bullying it just broke my heart.  There needs to be so much more awareness of these young people and adults who feel there is just no one out there who understands or who can help.  I greatly admire you for having the courage and the strength to put this out there.  Thank you for sharing this and making the effort to help someone else who may feel such darkness.

Posted by Debbie Walsh, Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036 (Shahar Management) over 8 years ago

Jason, you're a brave man with a big heart. You and your mom sure did something right :) 

Posted by Tanya Nouwens, Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager (RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca) over 8 years ago

Jason, this was such an incredible heartfelt blog, I am sure there cannot be a dry eye out there!    You have turned your life around to be such a giving/caring husband, father and Realtor, and it shows thru each and every word you write very eloquently.      I read every word, and every post, and will share with a friend that has a child going thru this right now.    YOU ROCK!

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) over 8 years ago

Jason,

You probably will never know how many lives you've touched by baring your soul with such courage.  Your children are blessed to have a father like you...

Posted by Kate Wheeler, CCIM - Murphy NC Real Estate for Sale (Country Homes and Land Murphy NC Realtor ) over 8 years ago

I have goosebumps reading this.  I dropped my son off at daycare today and his daycare teacher had puffy eyes.  I asked her if everything was ok and she broke down and told me that her 12 year old son told her last night that he no longer wanted to live.  He is bullied at school by his peers, his football coaches are always on him, etc.  I am going to print your story out and give it to her this afternoon.  Wow.  I don't think this was a coincidence.

 

Posted by Leah Crews over 8 years ago

Jason,  Thank you for writing such a personal blog.  I know it is hard to share such personal things but it is sure to help many.  You and your family are awesome and I'm glad  to be your friend! :)

Posted by Ricki Eichler McCallum, Broker,GRI,ABR, - Your Coastal Bend Home Source (CastNet Realty) over 8 years ago

Wow Jason.... intersting post. Very vivid I might add. I think we can all relate in one form or another.

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) over 8 years ago

Jason what an amazing story for someone to share open their hearts to others.  My "BFF " son just committed suicide did not believe life would get better.  Of course Coppell, city where I own property Mayor committed suicide and murdered her daughter.  We made international news about this shocking story.. I LOVE IT... 6 weeks it will pass. xoxoxoox to you for a strong person ! Dallas Houses for rent, Dallas Apartment finder, Lynn911, Dallas Luxury Apartments For Rent Dallas Homes for Rent

Posted by Lynn911.com ~ Dallas Real Estate Agent Top Team (Dallas Houses for Rent Dallas Apartment Rentals Lynn911.com ) over 8 years ago

Thanks for sharing your story. Perhaps it will prompt someone to talk with their child and tell them that things will be alright.

Posted by Brian Bean, Homeowner Advocate, Dream Big Team, S.Calif (The Dream Big Team at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Champions) over 8 years ago

Jason, you join (not surprisingly) a large group of folks posting blogs and videos to help our young people know IT GETS BETTER! I am touched by your story and the story of each one of the amazing adults who has shared deep, deep hurts for no other end but to help someone and, very probably, SAVE A LIFE. I bow to your courage!

Posted by SarahGray Lamm, Realtor - 100K Hours of NC Real Estate Experience (Allen Tate Realtors Chapel Hill, NC 919-819-8199 ) over 8 years ago

Tempering the many thoughts of helplessness within our children's minds is a righteous thing.  I'd be surprised if this has not touched many already easing their perceived loneliness.  So many doors seem to be closed to them but with yours now added and open you've achieved hope for some, even if only one.  Baring your new found strength, it's awesome to say the least Jason. 

Posted by Kevin J. May, Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida (Florida Supreme Realty) over 8 years ago

Jason, thank you for bravely sharing your history and feelings in an amazing post. The people at risk of depression who read it can take comfort from it.

Cheers,

Robin

Posted by Robin Rogers, CRS, TRC, MRP - Real Estate Investment Adviser (Robin Rogers, Silverbridge Realty, San Antonio, Texas) over 8 years ago

If it were not for "shares" like this, then fewer people would know there is help. It's why I don't care whether I use my last name in an AA meeting, you just never know when you might be able to help someone. As far as I can tell, there isn't one person I've ever met who isn't healing from something - they might not recognize it, be able to express it, acknowledge it, or even WANT to heal it, but my own journey suggests that is working to put the pieces together - most often done by helping others, is what makes us whole.  

Posted by Janice Roosevelt, OICP ABR, ePRO,Ecobroker ( Keller Williams Brandywine Valley ) over 8 years ago

Jason ~  I only cried twice.  Debra Walsh re-bloged this and posted in Cosmic Cow Pie.  I might have missed it and your message is so important.  I am working on a project to help parents and children communicate better so would love to have your input if you are interested.  Thank you for sharing so unconditionally!

Posted by Carra & Shae Riley, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) over 8 years ago

Jason, you have had so many comments. I just want to say I'm sorry for what you had to endure and know that God's plan for you kept you with us and you are a blessing to so many. Thanks for sharing your story.

Posted by Debra Davis, Realtor - Atlanta, Decatur, Snellville, Loganville (Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners) over 8 years ago

Jason, I know who I'm going to share your post with - thank you for allowing me to show another that there is hope. Looking back I'm sure you had no idea where your path would lead and how what you experienced in life has made you the wonderful person you are today; it was all part of God's plan as with this post if you've reached just one person, you've done enough yet I'm sure that there will be many more who are blessed by your words. Thanks for sharing

Posted by Lynn Pineda, Real Estate Promises delivered in SE Florida (eXp Realty) over 8 years ago

Jason, what an unbelievably moving post.  I couldn't help but cry for the young boy you were and all that you had to endure, and rejoice in what you have become.  How special of you to share your story with us and to offer to share your time and your strenght with any out there that would benefit from it. 

Posted by Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528, Real Estate Salesperson (Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956) over 8 years ago

WOW - I am still frankly a bit overwhelmed by the kindness expressed in this stream of comments.  THANK YOU for that.

Carra - Yes, I am definitely interested in helping with that project.  :)

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 8 years ago

Wow, what a super personal post. It's so touching. What has happened lately in the news has made me very sad, but this is such a wonderful "before and after."  Amazing what time and perspective can give you.  You're right - things will get better.  But, I suppose sometimes it's just so hard for people in that low moment.  I'm sure this post has helped so many people - esp the ones that haven't commented.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 8 years ago

Jason,

I stumbled across this post, can't remember how at this point, but it was like reading a boy turning into a man!

I can relate to much of your story but from the perspective of a mother of two sons. And your story has struck a chord!

You are very lucky and I think you know it. Hopefully this post will help others like yourself and make it clear that there is "life after abuse"

Also, I can't help but notice the common thread of forgiveness in this post! And that alone will serve you well for the rest of your life.

Thankyou for writing this:) I am sure it took a great deal of soul searching!

Posted by Karen Hurst, Rhode Island Waterfront! (RICOASTALLIVING.COM) over 8 years ago

I don't have anything to say except "thank you."

Posted by Peggy Wester, Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County (Realty Executives Integrity) over 8 years ago

The Austin Dude ROCKS! 

Posted by Carra & Shae Riley, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) over 8 years ago

Jason~~You were already very well liked in this community, but this post has turned you into a hero.  If we don't take care of each other and love each other, what else is there?

I read your post with a lump in my throat the entire time and it was equally difficult to make it through all of the comments.  So many people with similar experiences.  If truth be known, there simply cannot be anyone out there whose life has not been touched by addiction and or emotional stress and trauma.

We are one world.  Thanks to you Jason for sharing your experience and spreading the love.

Posted by Pat Haddad, ABR, CRS, ePRO, GRI, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield IN Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Indianapolis Metro NE) over 8 years ago

Jason ~ I missed this.  Thanks to Debra Walsh's re-blog, I was able to read it.  I had to come to your post to comment on your courage, both in your youth and now.

Posted by Dawn A Fabiszak, The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience! (Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado) over 8 years ago

Jason that was very sweet of you to share and demonstrates what a big heart you have. I'm also very glad that, as a boy you fought back against your step father. I'm sure your willingness to go public with your childhood struggles will impact so many people.

Posted by Cecilia Nault (Professional One Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Jason, I'm here via Debra Walsh's re-blog of this post...I told Debra that this was probably difficult for you to write, but it probably was a no brainer for you having the chance or opportunity to help someone else.  I think only a strong confident person could have done the great job you did.

Posted by Nick T Pappas, Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource (Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Huntsville AL) over 8 years ago

Nice work Jason.

The strenght of the human spirit is amazing, though it very much sucks for the kid going through the depths of hell which call upon that spirit.

Congratulations on getting through it, and having the abiity to share it now.

Your kids should be proud of a father like you.

Posted by Claude Labbe, Realty for Your Busy Life (Real Living | At Home) over 8 years ago

Jason - It takes a lot of guts to make a post about your past experiences when its not all 'roses'. Only someone that has turned into a great father, husband, and friend could get away with it. Having a chance to get to know you pretty well over the past few months, I can say with confidence that you have turned into that man. Congratulations on pulling through such a childhood. Unfortunately, many children would have given up, or ran away. It also took some guts for your mom to place you in this hospital to get better. I can imagine it was not an easy decision for her at the time but was obviously the right choice.

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com) over 8 years ago

Jason,

An incredible story.  It's nice to know that you have sacrificed your privacy to share this news with others that might need to hear a story like this to get them through their darkest moments.  Thanks for sharing on behalf of those that needed to read this.

 

Posted by James Jeter, James Jeter (Cardinal Financial Company, Limited Partnership) over 8 years ago

Jason,

GIVERS ARE GAINERS

Thanks for giving of yourself..........

Posted by Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty, Homes for Sale Mount Dora Realtor (Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty) over 8 years ago

Everyone else has already said it, but I just wanted to also say how much I respect you for writing this and putting it out there.  You will save lives, Jason, with your story...I tear up just thinking about some poor kid in that situation finding your post and making the choice to live because of it.  Your story reminds me of "It's a Wonderful LIfe" - to think how sad if you hadn't lived to save your friends lives and to have those beautiful children.  Thank God you found the help you needed.

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) over 8 years ago

Jason, Wow. I'm glad you made it through the sludge to become the person you were intended to be all along.  And to share something this personal just makes you even more special.  God Bless You and Yours.

Posted by Susan Brown (Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too)) over 8 years ago

Sharing this will help many others, not to mention make all of us admire you even more than we already do. 

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) over 8 years ago

Sharon - Thanks for saying that.  You may have just helped me figure out why "It's a Wonderful Life" is my all-time favorite movie.  Here's a post I wrote about that awhile back:

It's a Wonderful Life - Inspired by Movie Songs

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 8 years ago

Jason - What a model of humanity! What an inspiration!  It might have been hard for you to write, but how many people did you help?  Thank you for being YOU!

Posted by Wendy Rulnick, "It's Wendy... It's Sold!" (Rulnick Realty, Inc.) over 8 years ago

Jason, you were writing your post with the hopes of helping just one, it was worth what you had to endur to bring it all up.  As of this comment I am the 138th person you have touched.  All of us more than likely will be on the outlook for that child that needs some kindness in their lives right now.  We will all be an extension of you! How about them odds?

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Jason,

That was a heart felt and very moving account of your life and all you endured. I too, had some traumatic events happen in my life but God is good if given the chance to turn things around. I am so very glad you had the courage to share your story, if it can save one life it was worth it.  Life can be so very hard but it can get so much better with determination. 

Posted by Debbie Aldrich, Salt Lake City Realtor - Salt Lake County, Cottonwood Heights (The Watts Group Real Estate ) over 8 years ago

Jason,

It it the trials and tribulations that make us the men we are.  You are a great man.

Posted by Keith Lutz (Keller Williams Metropolitan) over 8 years ago

What a great post and what a great parent you must be.  Yes we don't always turn out like parents or in house role models.  You can add, "Your future can be what ever you make it out to be"

Posted by Stanley Stepak, Realtor - Avon Lake, Avon, Bay Village, Westlake, (Howard Hanna - Avon Lake, OH) over 8 years ago

Jason, A very brave post, indeed.  You are strong and sensitive as a result of not only your life experiences, but how you've handled it all.  Kudos to you for telling your story in the hopes that it may help someone and for puttting yourself out there to help someone in need directly.  That's an extraordinary act of caring.

Posted by Gail Robinson, CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT (William Raveis Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Jason, what a touching story.  I think 14 year old Jason would have loved to have you to talk to.  BTW... you look great! The diet agrees with you.

Posted by Leslie Stewart, Realtor, ABR, CRS, Oregon Licensed Broker (Oregon Licensed Broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Real Estate Professionals) over 8 years ago

Wow Jason - that was truly from your heart and I appreciate you sharing with us.  I am appalled at the stories of bullying we have been hearing lately & want you to know I like you even more than I did before for sharing your story & heping others. 

Posted by Kristin Moran, San Antonio,TX - Real Estate - 210-313-7397 (Owner - RE/MAX Access - KristinMoran@Remax.net) over 8 years ago

Jason, What a heartfelt and sincere post. I hope someone on need reads it and it gives them strength to know that things can get better-much better.

Posted by Rich Cederberg, eXp Realty Agent Albuquerque (eXp Realty) over 8 years ago

Jason, I would have never thought! I read your story and felt where you came from and was proud of who you have become. I am so glad that you bared your soul and shared. I know it will help someone, probably many someones!!

Posted by Marie Westerman, New Homes Sales Specialist Evans GA REALTOR (Blanchard and Calhoun Real Estate/ Wilson Parker Homes) over 8 years ago

Wow, what an amazing post!!  One of my favorite quotes is, "God wouldn't bring you to it, if he wasn't going to bring you thru it".  Think of all the lives you are gonna save by sharing your story and they will all know they are not alone.   There is some stuff that has happened in my life that I have wished hadn't happen.  But, I wouldn't be the person I am today if it hadn't happen.  I wouldn't have compassion for certain things, etc.  Thank you for sharing! 

 

Brooke

Posted by Brooke Shepherd, Speak With Honesty~Act with Integrity (Keller Williams Partners) over 8 years ago

Jason~I'm not even going to read the other comments, because I want to come straight at you from my own heart. I taught high school journalism for 20 years and then worked with high schoolers for a number of years after that. I would use your post every single semester if I were still teaching. Perspective is difficult and nearly impossible for a teen-ager to come by, but your kind and loving willingness to share is helpful and meaningful. I personally dealt with several suicidal students who grew up to be healthy adults and one whose anexoria went on to kill her in her late twenties. The last time I saw her was in a psych ward, and she swore to me that she had learned her lesson and she wanted to live.

Each time I had a suicidal student, I felt like I was in a vice grip daily. I know that your perspective will help some adult who is dealing with a troubled teen right now.

Posted by Liz Lockhart, GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate (Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO) about 8 years ago

Hi Jason,

Sorry for being late to the party.  I just read this because Jody Keating just wrote a blog about it.  I too was "bookish and sensitive" in middle school.  I had a rough go for all sorts of reasons up until then (I recently wrote a MeMe post and explained why the 70's sucked).  Anyway, God must reward those who can endure because life is wonderful and totally worth living.  I am so glad for your happy ending.  You must be a wonderful father and husband.  People like you make the world a better place to live.

Lisa

Posted by The Scott Loper Team Bux-Mont Premier Properties (Keller Williams Real Estate - Montgomeryville) about 8 years ago

Jason - Your childhood experience is very emotional. However, you are not alone. Most of my life, close relatives of mine bullied me, pushed me around, lied about me, always prevented me to succeed in life. It appears that, each person has a unique life experience. Thank you for sharing you life experience.

Posted by John Pusa, Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest) about 8 years ago

God would not have allowed you to go through this if He wasn't going to bring good out of it. This formed the man we know and love, it allowed you to be the loving husband and father to your own family AND have a compassion for others hurting. All things work together for good, we just don't always see the tapestry God is weaving. 

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) almost 4 years ago

I do believe in opening your heart and speaking up. Yes, it is difficult for anyone especially for a man, but keeping pain inside is even more difficult. 

Posted by Inna Ivchenko, Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA (Barcode Properties) over 1 year ago

Telling your story can inspire someone who is now or was in a similar situation. Sharing is caring. Glad your story has a happy end. 

Posted by Inna Ivchenko, Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA (Barcode Properties) over 1 year ago

So grateful you took the time to share your journey! You are blessing all who read this and giving us the courage to reach out and help others. Thank you for showing us the way!

Posted by Carra & Shae Riley, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) over 1 year ago

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