The Bristlecone Project is an awareness campaign of 1in6.org. Photographs and text by David Lisak, Ph.D.
Sitting down for his Bristlecone interview, Glen recounts a conversation he had with a Holocaust survivor many years ago. He learned a lot from the elderly gentleman about the human desire to survive even in the face of pure evil. It is a fitting beginning for Glen’s interview. Glen’s childhood was a personal Holocaust. Glen and his twin sister were born three months early. Only Glen survived. Home from the hospital, he was sadistically tortured by his mother from birth throughout his childhood years. He was locked in closets and in cellar-dungeons and ultimately he was thrown outside to live in the elements. After years of abuse, he was deliberately fed to a neighborhood pedophile who repeatedly raped him. When the state removed him from his mother’s custody he was sent to an orphanage and sexually abused by his caretakers.
The mystery of Glen is how a human being can survive such relentless horrors as a child and still look out on the world with an intense love for life. The mystery is partly explained by Glen’s openness to the suffering of others around him. As a child runaway he was befriended by hobos who fed and protected him. A blind couple let him do chores, sheltered and fed him.
When Glen left the orphanage he was quickly headed down a path of self destruction. Thankfully, the draft diverted him into the Army. There, he was mentored into a leader. The mentoring shaped Glen into a productive soldier and truly started his healing process. Glen served 30 years in the Army, retiring in 2002 with the rank of Command Sergeant Major.
Today, Glen’s true passion in life is his writing, motivational speaking and helping his fellow survivors of child abuse. He sponsors several survivors’ groups where he mentors, assists and shares his story.
“I survived what should have killed me!!!”
Originally posted on 1in6.org