Tonight's special guest is Joe Potosi from Dubuque, Iowa, a child abuse survivor, minister, and author of the book 'When The Dust Settled.' When he was 3 years old Joe's father abandoned the family. Over the next 15 years of his life his mother and step-father used drugs and alcohol, had a turbulent on-again-off-again relationship, and were both physically and emotionally abusive to him. Home was a dangerous place. After high school, Joe joined the Navy which was the first time he realized the resentment and anger he carried inside about the years of abuse. Even knowing this, he did not have coping skills to deal with those emotions and, like many of us survivors, made some poor choices in life. It was becoming a father himself that helped Joe turn a corner to change his behavior, explaining, “They'd rented space in my mind for far too long. Now as a father I made a conscious decision I was going to break that cycle of abuse, violence and neglect toward my children.” In his adult life, Joe did reconcile his relationship with his biological father and eventually decided to forgive his mother and step-father. He attributes his faith in God as what has helped him most with his recovery process. What began as years of journaling to help himself heal developed into his book (watch this Youtube interview). Joe is now using the telling of his story to help other survivors who are struggling with resentment, anger and unforgiveness. “People struggle every day in situations that they cannot control,” he says. “They feel helpless and held hostage by whatever trials hold them down in life. 'When The Dust Settled' is the ultimate story of success. This is a story of inspiration, courage and triumph.”
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