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R. David F.

By David's mom, Jacquelyn

R. David Fenske III

Buffalo, NY

My One & Only Son, King David’s Journey

R. David Fenske III ‘s struggles began at seven years young when his dad left home; he was traumatized, he struggled with feelings of abandonment and not feeling loved. I took him for counseling because he didn’t want to eat, sleep or talk to anyone. The counselors diagnosed him as mildly suicidal, with anxiety and depression. They wanted to medicate him, but in my own ignorance, I did not want my son labeled and medicated. As David became a teenager, his way of coping with his emotions was to excel at sports. To prevent embarrassment, he kept his struggles a secret from everyone. He avoided being exposed by refusing medication, and as a result, had a difficult time with relationships.

David also had a tough time in school; he struggled with reading comprehension due to having a different learning style. Instead of the school working with him, they labeled him as learning disabled, which caused him to feel he was not smart enough and unable to succeed at anything. Coupled with feelings of being unlovable and unworthy and full of anxiety and depression, David began to self-medicate to hide his pain. As a result, he was in and out of many types of rehabs over many years, but he never really spoke about the severity of his anxiety and depression or about the root of his trauma.

In spite of David’s struggles, he was a very loving, kind, generous, God-loving young man and a father figure to many children (because his father wasn’t there for him.)

Years later when David joined the Army, he realized he couldn’t escape the anxiety and depression, so he began to talk with doctors about his feelings and was given meds. When David would start to process his feelings, his darkest fears would arise and he would shut down and stop his meds along with his mental health therapy.

While still in the Army, he severely injured his back and shoulder, and the VA began prescribing him opioids. This is when David began to mask his mental and physical pain by abusing opioids, which eventually led to heroin.

On 2/5/17, my son lost his battle and went to be with King Jesus! As I look back over the years of my son’s struggles and the time since his death, I can say, without our faith in a loving and good Father God, I have no idea how we would have gotten this far. Sadly, churches, schools and the medical profession have failed many by stigmatizing people with mental health issues and addictions. Mental health professionals ignore the significance of faith in the restoration of the mind, body and soul - I believe we need to come together in a holistic approach, as we cannot continue to separate healing & wholeness from Our Creator God. I am an advocate for many kinds of justice because of what I have suffered through. I am victorious over many types of injustices, and I make myself available in any and all capacities opened to me to share my journey to victory.


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