Growing up, my father and I and my brother attended Central, started here in the mid-’80s, carried on through until about the late-’90s. But I do remember a lot of stuff that my dad did and that I looked up to as a father figure of the family, even when you could tell that he had a bad day at work or there was something that was just on his conscience or bothering him. My father had had two previously failed marriages and he was a starting on his third divorce when I was in my junior year of high school. We were finding activities that were taking us away from being at church as much as we were when we were younger. Eventually, it just dropped off and we didn’t come at all.
Growing up, me and my wife attended the same schools. My senior year of high school is when I finally had enough courage to approach her. She was my high school sweetheart. She was a good support system for me at that time and she was the person who kept pushing me to do better. She saw the excitement in my eyes when I mentioned law enforcement so she helped push me into looking into it further. I was at the Marion County Sheriff’s office for about a little over a year and a half. About a year into my career there, we got married. I left that location and began to work for another agency in Lake County. And at that point in time, we were expecting my first child. At this other agency, I was at my chief of police saw a drive-in me and wanted me to become their narcotics detective for their department. Unfortunately, that lifestyle requires a lot of you to be available because when things happen, you have to respond. I didn’t say no. I could have said no. I was going for that adrenaline rush. I was obtaining awards for going above and beyond and dismantling large drug operations in that city so that didn’t translate well over into my family life.
My wife and mine’s relationship was almost nonexistent. We didn’t know each other’s likes, wants or needs. There were times where I’d come home, go to bed and not say two words to my wife. I would barely have enough to say anything to my daughter or go and give her a kiss when she’s sleeping. I wasn’t putting the work into my home life and so I wasn’t really getting anything out of it. I felt that the rewards that I was getting from the job were more than the rewards I was getting from a family. I was feeling more fulfilled at my job than I was at home. The costs were tremendous.
A couple more years down the road of that deteriorating state I ended up leaving that police department. It was a realization that my home relationships, there was nothing there. It was gone. I tried to spend time with my daughter. Same thing with my wife. It was a matter of having to now pick up the pieces, remembering our wedding day, remembering our individual I do’s and trying to go back and remember why we made those, what was so important about that day. So it was a going back, you had to pretty much go back in time and really remember what started it all and the good stuff, the positive parts of it. And that’s hard once you’ve gone so far through it that you’ve basically trashed everything. Around the time that we had left the church, my relationship with God was just non-existent. I didn’t focus on him, I didn’t lean on him. It took us a couple of years to get everything on track to the point where the pieces finally fit.
God’s given me responsibility for my children that I feel is to make him the focus of their lives. Since attending Central, I’ve seen my family grow. We all are a tighter unit. It’s like we’re a team. We do things together and each of us helps out and Central has helped redefine and keep that family going. We’re doing our best to make sure that they stay rooted and have a foundation where God is first. We still have our moments as a family as anybody would, but you place him first and your focus changes and it is just immense, you look at your partner through God’s eyes, you look at your family through God’s eyes. You look at yourself through God’s eyes and you see a totally different perspective.
My name is Chad, and this is my story of who I am becoming.