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A Different Kind of Story - Ted's Testimony

"From Butcher Holler and giving tours at Loretta Lynn's Homeplace with his grandfather to Public Relations Director of Isaiah House, Ted has a powerful story of recovery to tell. About Isaiah House, Inc.: Isaiah House, Inc. is a faith based, holistic, residential, intensive outpatient, and outpatient treatment program . Isaiah House is nationally accredited by CARF and licensed with the state of Kentucky with AODE. Isaiah House is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information, please call 859-375-9200 or visit" from video introduction

“God Showing Up and Showing Off”

by Mark LaPalme, Founder and CEO

A life redeemed from any place is a miracle. This is an attempt to tell the story about my life redeemed.

This was and is my journey. I don’t claim this to be a model for anyone else nor do I want to glory in the trash of my life but give God the Glory for the transformation.

I was born in Wauregan, Connecticut, a town of about 500. Mom and Dad were married for 53 years before my mom passed. My dad worked at the same place for 30+ years, and we lived in the same home for over 40 years. My sister has two masters’ degrees and my brother is a Vietnam War veteran. I was raised Catholic but was a poor Catholic at that.

I started using drugs at 14 as a result of a friend of mine whose life I had saved from drowning a few years before. Prior to abusing drugs, I was a straight A or high B student. I was always a bit of a loner – not extraverted at all. I liked school and I liked baseball and running. That all changed when I was high. I was transformed into a lazy extravert but I loved the attention it got me especially with the girls. I began having sexual encounters with girls at parties. This began to skew my view of what it meant to be in a relationship, and every relationship from 14 until today has been viewed through the lenses of addiction. At 17, my love for sports was nearly gone and my desire for education was snuffed out.

Marijuana and alcohol were my drugs of choice from age 14 until 16. Then, I was introduced to prescription pills, and at 17, I experienced my first overdose. I passed out in my parents’ home and was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. I coded and almost didn’t make it. When I was 18, I joined the Army because I had been arrested a couple times and had zero direction and hoped this would give me the change I needed. And for 6 months I was sober for the first time in 4 years. Once I finished basic and AIT, I found the users very quickly and was turned onto amphetamines, cocaine, opium, hash, LSD or acid, shrooms and barbiturates.

I never was able to use recreationally. It was always to get “wasted”, sort of chasing that first high for the rest of my life. At 18, I was married to my high school sweetheart. It was a dysfunctional relationship from the start. I was controlling and abusive from the day we met. I had my first child Mark at 19 and my second child Heather at 20.

By 23, I would be separated from my first wife and divorced a year later. By then, I had been arrested multiple times for second and third degree assaults to engaging police in pursuit. And by the time I was 27, I had been arrested about 40 times, sentenced to six years in prison and having my second divorce. I met Claire who was separated from her husband at a car lot where I worked. She had two beautiful girls, but Claire was as much a mess as I was. She really needed a good guy for her and her children but she got me which is what she seemed to want. A bad guy, with no respect for himself never mind her or her children. Soon she would lose custody of those children as I would mine. She began working at a strip club as a bar tender and then dancing. Claire came from her own history of abuse, and the poor girl was stuck in a pattern of abuse for years after me. I remember living on the third floor of a house in Webster, Massachusetts and having nothing – a mattress on the floor, no real furniture to mention with Claire and me earning over $2,000 per week. Cocaine was our priority, and I soon lost partial custody of my children as well. We moved all over and caused a wake of destruction from Connecticut to Maine.." from the website

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