Idaho Man Rejoicing

Breaking Chains: Navigating Addiction and Autism on the Path to Redemption


“I once was lost, but now I’m found.” That is a line from one of the most well-known songs sung in church today called Amazing Grace. The line really represents where I have been, and where I am now. I often say that i have been through things that I wouldn’t even wish would happen on my own worst enemy or I’ve been more stuff in my 24 years of existence that most people go through in a lifetime, or frankly most people my age have been through.

My story is one of heartache and heartbreak, of great sorrow at times and great joy at times. One of resilience and learning how to get back up on your feet after something bad happens to you. One with lots of adversity. One in believing that the creator of the universe, the king of kings, will deliver me from any and all circumstances that I am going through. This is my story, and I hope it inspires you as well as it did for me who lived through it.


I was born in California in a city outside of LA. 8 weeks premature. My biological mother, while pregnant with me, was in a car accident where her pregnant belly hit the steering wheel of the car she was driving. I don’t have any memories from California during my childhood. Pretty much all of my memories start when my family moved to Spokane, Washington.

When my Dad met my Mom, she converted him to the LDS church. I was raised LDS. Currently not LDS now, more on that in a moment. My family also adopted 3 brothers from my Mom’s cousin. We were basically your typical LDS family. Went to church almost every Sunday, didn’t watch any vulgar movies, had to fast once a month, went to church activities, etc. Did all the typical things the LDS church does.

My Dad, is a self-employed contractor. He’s been a contractor and owned his own business since 1997. Sometimes you live in one town for so long, the work drops off. My family and I decide to sell our house and move to New Mexico. This is where the tapestry of my story truly unfolds, revealing the threads of faith, family, and the unexpected twists that would shape my identity.

New Mexico, Enduring heartache and much more

October 2010. My family and I move down to New Mexico to start a new chapter. I was kinda excited and nervous at the same time. I had never been to New Mexico. It felt like we were wiping the slate clean and starting over. Once I got to New Mexico and started school, everything changed. I was bullied constantly and with great frequency. Always kinda felt like I was the target.

Meanwhile, my family and I were still attending church and going about our daily lives. I was involved in boy scouts and camping trips. Kinda took my mind off of things for a little while. The bullying continued. Felt like it was non-stop. I was almost afraid to go to school some days. Little did I know, there was more still to come.

Parents’ Divorce and bouncing around from place to place

August 2011. I remember it like it happened yesterday. Sitting in World History class, the teacher getting a note from the office asking me and my sister to prepare to leave to go home. We go to our lockers. My aunt walks in. My sister and I follow her outside to the car. As I get in, I see my mother in the passenger seat, on the phone, crying. Won’t go into many specifics, but later that month my parents officially separated.

As any kid who sees one of their parents crying, you immediately want to find out what the matter is. I wouldn’t know the reason why my mom was crying until later that month and the specific reasons why that had happened until a couple years later. As a young kid, I struggled with why this had happened. I would get mad with myself, and the bullying at school didn’t help. It got so bad, that I got into 1 or 2 fights because of it. My mother sent me to live with my Aunt and Uncle. Then I would go back to my Mom’s house, then back to my Aunt and Uncle’s house. Then I lived with a friend and his family from church. I liked it. But I’d had enough of bouncing around, and it was time for a change.

Idaho and remarriage

June 5, 2013. I’m flying to Boise, Idaho. I get off the plane and strolling towards baggage check. I officially reunite with my dad and my uncle. Another fresh start. I’d be living with my grandparents, but they were my grandparents. I was just glad to be in Idaho. I’d occasionally go stay the night with my dad and his brother. Had some fun times.

Eventually my dad rented a house in Homedale, Idaho and we moved in together. A few months later, my dad started dating again. I thought, here we go again. My dad and I moved to Nampa and rented a house there. My eventual stepmom moved in, and along with it came, everything. And when I say everything, I mean E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Completely rearranged the whole house. Felt like a estrogen bomb had been dropped on where I was living. I’ll be honest, her and I didn’t see eye to eye at all. She wanted things a certain way. It was like putting together a puzzle 24/7, every single day. We would get into arguments for minutes on end. Calling each other names and yelling at each other back and forth.

Autism diagnosis, challenges, and new habits

In August 2014, I was officially diagnosed with ASD (autism spectrum disorder), or Aspergers. My assumption is that I’ve had it all my life pretty much, but this was the first time that I was diagnosed with it. With this, came a whole new set of challenges. Outbursts of anger. Learning how to do certain things. Social anxiety. And more. Then July 2017 came along. The first time I looked at something that every male struggles with and I would struggle with for almost 6 years.

Baptism, Addiction and trying to change

Meanwhile, I started going to the church in Nampa that my dad and stepmom attended. Had an encounter with God. Got baptized on Easter Sunday of 2017. One of the greatest feelings ever. But then a few short months later, my addiction started. Every male in the world, whether they want to admit it or not, struggles with sexual sin. For me, the first encounter with Lust and Pornography came in July 2017. After that first encounter, I was hooked. Every single day, I would crave that feeling. Trying to change was hard. I thought that the feelings would go away after a few times. The human brain doesn’t work that way. I tried everything to change. I would always find a way around it over and over again. Did I want to change? Absolutely. Was I getting anywhere in that process? NO. Maybe I needed another fresh start? The new fresh start came as a shocker.

Homeless, finding a home, and still struggling

March 2018 came as a shock. The day I was kicked out of my parents’ house. I was still in high school, about 2 months away from graduating. Went to my counselor, was engulfed in tears. I had nowhere else to go, other than a homeless shelter.

First night there, cried myself to sleep. The next night, feeling super depressed, started having thoughts about taking my own life. I told someone I was having thoughts about taking my own life. The people at the homeless shelter had no choice but to call the police. I was placed in the back of a police car and taken to the ER at a local hospital. Spent the night there. Taken the next day to a local mental hospital.

While in there, the support staff tried everything to get into a short-term place. The process was going to take some time. Spent 4 weeks in there. Found out I’d have to go back to the homeless shelter. I hated having to go back there because of the certain rules that the shelter had in place.

Like every teenager or young adult, I liked my independence. Spent a year and a half there. All the while, I was trying to apply for Social Security Income. My parents applied for social security for me three times. The application got denied all three times. I finally had to get a lawyer and go before an administrative law judge, who asked all sorts of questions about my mental state and background, among other things.

A few months later, a decision came down. I was expecting the worst, but hoping for the best. The letter arrived and I opened it up. My prayer was answered! I was going to get a large amount of backpay from Social Security, meaning I could go live in my new place in Boise. I was grateful to God for answering my prayer. Things went along smoothly. Then 2020 came along. I’m sorry, the world is going through what?

New place to live, unexpected heartache, and another new place

Then not only me, but the world went through a pandemic, something I never expected I, or frankly the world, would go through in my lifetime. Then November 2020 came along. America was choosing to pick a president. Then, the owner of the house I was living in at the time, unexpectedly passes away. Again, I remember like it happened yesterday. The owner’s ex-husband was calling her name next to the bed she was laying on.

I felt her body. It was cold. I broke down in tears.  Still to the day that I’m writing this, I still have never found out what happened that caused her to pass away. Now this meant that I wasn’t going to stay there after all. Lucky, for me, the owners daughter knew someone who had a room. Another move. Yay. Out to Nampa I went. Little did I know that some turbulent times were ahead.

Encountering abuse, another move

A new start. Again. Does that mean there is all going to be sunshine and rainbows? Certainly not. But the year and half I spent in Nampa, were very troubling. I will not go into all the details, but I encountered some verbal abuse by the owner of the home and her ex-husband. There were some parts of me during this time where I wanted to take my life or just run away and never come back. Trust me, if you’ve been through something like this, you know what this situation feels like. If you are feeling this way as you are reading this, I’m praying for you and would urge you to get help.

Now enough of the advice for now. Getting back to my story. With all the abuse that i had endured and was continuing to endure, I knew at some point I had to get out of there. I had an idea about where to look. I knew I wanted to be in Boise. A few months before I made the move, I went to a festival for the fourth of July. There was this worship band that was performing there from a church in Boise. The lead singer of the band and I got to talking. I was telling him about my story, and he said if I am ever in the downtown Boise area, I should come check out this church called Hill city Church. A few months later, I moved to the east end of Boise.

Boise, another move (again)

Hear me out: Never judge a book, or a potential roommate, by its cover. I wanted to be in Boise. I love Boise. I moved into another room by downtown Boise. Perfect!

Did one roommate present a challenge? Yeah. I had no idea the guy was bipolar.  It got to the point where he almost assaulted me. He would say mean things to his wife and yell and scream things at me and her. He would smoke cigarettes and weed in the house. Again, I knew I had to find another place to live.  And I still wanted to remain in Boise. I had found a church that I liked.  I found somewhere to live by myself. A little studio with a kitchenette and a bathroom. It was by myself, with no neighbors or roommates or anyone to distract me or get mad at me but myself. And plus it was a 20 minute walk from the place where i went to church at.

But rent for these places is really expensive. It was hard to pay my rent to keep living there and i had so many things that I wanted to do and needed to do. The reason why it was hard was I was on social security income due to me having autism. Plus, I was working. And when I make a certain amount, my social security goes down. And I had to work even harder to pay my rent.

I switched representative payees. A representative payee is someone with an agency or an individual person who manages your social security money so that it doesn’t go missing or it doesn’t get spent. And if you know anything about the federal government and how it operates, they move as slow as a sloth. My landlord was getting really impatient and frustrated with social security. I had keep telling him that it wasn’t my fault that they were moving so slow. All was well until January 3rd. When lightning would strike twice.

Homeless: Round 2

Last time, I was homeless for 13 months. That was the longest 13 months of my life. This time, only 6 days. Took a lot of courage for me to ask for help. My friends came through in a big-time way! I started a fundraiser for me to help me pay a deposit for a new place to live.  I’ve finally found a short-term place to live and looking forward to what’s next! I’ve gotten on the Boise City housing waiting list and hoping to get into the lottery and get a good number and get a place where I’ll be able to pay less of my income that I have every month. Prayers for that would be greatly appreciated and also for the success of this book, and that the gospel would spread to wherever this book takes you and wherever this book takes me next in my life.


One of my favorite verses from the bible is Romans 8:28. The ESV verse says:

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

As far as the addiction goes, this past December was a year freed from that addiction! I know that God has a plan for me. Going to church and submitting my life to Christ was the best decision I could have ever made. I’ve made countless friends and made countless relationships and have gotten advice from people that I will take with me for the rest of my life. I know my story is far from finished. I don’t know where my story will take me or how many days I have left on this earth, but I’m looking forward to what’s ahead and what’s next.

Hopefully someone sees this, and it inspires them and helps them on their own personal journeys and paths to break their own personal chains. If you are struggling with something, just know that God loves you and he has got a plan for you. From going through a parental divorce, to parental abandonment, to struggling with a five-year addiction, to being homeless twice, multiple trips to a mental hospital for threatening to take my own life, and all in between, God’s got a plan. You can throw everything but the kitchen sink at me, or just throw the kitchen sink if you must.

In all this, I’ve gotten back up and moved forward. There’s a quote from J.K Rowling I really like. She says,

“You will never truly know yourself or the strength of your relationships until both have been tested by adversity.”

That is truly the story of my life. I’ve gone through major adversity, and will no doubt go through more adversity. I’ll close with the last line of my prologue. As you no doubt have read,  My story is one of heartache and heartbreak, of great sorrow at times and great joy at times. One of resilience and learning how to get back up on your feet after something bad happens to you. One with lots of adversity. One in believing that the creator of the universe, the king of kings, will deliver me from any and all circumstances that I am going through.

This is my story, and I hope it inspires you as well as it did for me who lived through it. I hope that with whatever you are struggling with, you trust in the one who will make all things new again someday. My youth pastor tells me,

“God is going to use your story and use you to inspire people.”

I hope that this story inspires you to overcome your own personal struggles and make you come out of your personal chains even stronger than you were before.


One Response

  1. Richard Robbins 7/17/2024

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