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Jesse Quells His Anger Issues With A Focus On God, His Kids

Jul 23, 2018

Jesse grew up in a tough neighborhood in South Sacramento. His father was abusive, and he and his two brothers were often caught in the middle of a very volatile marriage. “There was always fighting, always chaos,” Jesse said. “There was never really a calm moment growing up.”

When Jesse was 7, his father left. For the next 10 years, Jesse and his brothers bounced around to different relatives. “There were always cops around, and as kids, we were always being escorted out,” he said. “Eventually my grandma went to court and fought for us, to keep us out of the foster system. But when my mom seemed stable, we would try to live with her, just try to find our way around the violence. But it always got crazy, and then we were back to grandma’s.”

Jesse, now 40, tried marijuana for the first time when was 11, and smoked heavily until a year ago. He started selling it on the side. But he also worked, starting construction jobs with his uncle when he was 8. After years of hard work, Jesse, an avid body boarder, got his dream job working for surf-company Hurley. He met his wife there four years later. But when Jesse lost the job, he spiraled. “It was everything I had strived for,” he said. “I lost my bearings. I lost my grip on everything. That was my peace, that job, body boarding. I started drinking like crazy. And all this anger came out.

“I wasn’t getting the love from my wife that I thought I deserved—the love I didn’t get as a kid. I thought she’d fix everything, and when that didn’t happen, I just closed off. I was getting in fights for no reason. I became a person others didn’t want to be around. You never knew who was going to come out.”

During this time, Jesse and his wife had a son. “It was a tough time,” he said. “There are pictures of me holding my son—I was there, and I watched him being born—but then me and my buddy took off and pounded some Hennessey. I was selling drugs. I was back working construction, and I was getting high, driving tractors.”

The couple had two more children. Jesse’s wife had also let some of her family members stay with them, which Jesse didn’t appreciate. “Her whole family was all around, and they acted like it was their apartment,” he said. “I’m a strong, prideful guy—I started turning on her family. The cops started coming every night because we were fighting.”

Now, more than halfway through the program, Jesse said he’s recognizing his anger issues. “I’m getting better. I’m just letting God have everything. It might sound cliché, but if I fail this, I’ll die. My kids are my reason to live. I just want to be who God wants me to be—fully. This place is the last stop for me. It’s not just a place to lay my head for a while. I’m all in. The Holy Spirit brought me here.”

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