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Isaiah's father, David, has been sober for 16 years, but it wasn't until recently, when they spoke about the beatings Isaiah and his siblings endured as children, that they began to have a healthy father-son relationship.

David says he also grew up in an abusive household, and his father was an alcoholic. "Alcohol had taken over my life, and I didn't like what I was doing. I didn't like the pit I was in," David says. "But I didn't know how to break that pattern until I got into recovery."

Isaiah says he confronted his father after he had his own kids. One day, David picked Isaiah up from the airport and they spent the hour and a half ride talking. "I said, 'How could you do this to a kid? To five kids?' Like a man, he stood up," Isaiah says. "He said, 'I screwed up my life. I screwed up almost my whole part of my life.' And that's one of the first times he had said that face to face to me and it meant a lot."

Isaiah says he's now forgiven his father and is proud of him. "You always remember your childhood," Isaiah says. "But my dad, he's put so much work into trying to get himself better [and] I know how difficult it was."
FROM: Why They Beat the Odds
Published on March 01, 2007