As a child, Abbad grew up with a very abusive father. His mother, the only supportive and dominant figure in his life, died of cancer when he was only 16. “I lost the only person who loved me in the whole world,” says Abbad. “The only person who had ever held me in her arms out of love and comforted me was now gone.” Soon after her death, Abbad’s father remarried, and Abbad was forced to leave what remained of his family after his stepmother showed intolerance towards him. It was at this young age that Abbad started abusing drugs and engaging in the illegal trade of narcotics and firearms.
At the age of 18, Abbad was sentenced to imprisonment for the first time, along with his older brother, for a period of 32 months. They were charged with armed assault and drug possession. His second sentence occurred in 2012, this time for 10 years, after being caught with illegal drugs, firearms, and also facing charges of assault.
His time in prison was not easy. In addition to his drug addiction, he was unable to stay out of trouble. After six years in prison, Abbad requested to join a rehabilitation program, but he experienced a catastrophic failure. He was then transferred to a different prison where he successfully continued the rehabilitation process.
It wasn’t until late 2020 that Abbad arrived at House of Grace after completing his drug rehabilitation program. However, he still struggled with behavioural issues and required special attention and anger management counseling. Abbad lacked basic social skills and defaulted to violence and outbursts of anger whenever he faced challenges or stressful situations.
“As a child, I had an abusive father, and later on, as a teenager, I had a spiteful stepmother. I never knew what it was like to have a family or be part of a family and receive support,” Abbad says. “House of Grace, the staff, and the people here were all very supportive. I felt accepted and well-received.”
Over the past 9 months, Abbad has learned to manage his anger, deal with frustration and challenges, acquire important social and personal skills, and most importantly, regain his self-dignity.
Currently, he is still facing many challenges. Although his relationship with his father has improved, his stepmother remains a difficult challenge for him. Nevertheless, Abbad is highly committed to his rehabilitation. He acknowledges his issues with anger and violence and continues to work on self-improvement.
When asked about the process he went through, Abbad sums it up by saying, “I now realize how my anger used to control me, but the family here helped me cope with myself, my anger, and feel loved for the first time since my mother passed away. I hope that one day I will be able to start my own family and give my children and wife what I never had in my previous family but have found here. House of Grace will continue to support Abbad, and we are proud of his efforts to achieve his dream of having a home. Abbad is currently building a new house in his hometown and hopes to one day start his own family.