Rob Sirstinswas born in Phoenix, Arizona to a young teenage mother. Because of her addictions his mother couldn’t care for him or his 4-year-old sister and a few months later a family in Utah adopted them. His adopted family was loving, caring, and changed my life forever, but as I grew I started to realize I was different.
Due to the color of his skin kids bullied and beat me in elementary school driving me to find an outlet. He did find that escape in the form of sports. He excelled physically when it came to competition, but it was only a temporary fix to a much larger problem. He always had an immense amount of pain and anger, but couldn’t place where it stemmed from. Eventually he realized he was born into rejection and then placed in an environment of rejection that left me lost.
He thought his pain and anger would subside when he signed with a Division 1 university to play football, but he soon found out that could be taken from me as well. Just two years into my career he was in a career-ending car accident.
He eventually married a wonderful young woman, but he brought unresolved rage, anger, and unhealed traumas into my marriage with me, and it ultimately contributed to the decline and eventual end of the marriage after just four years. While the marriage failed the relationship was a success considering he had my beautiful daughter because of it. His ex-wife and him continue to have a positive relationship and I have the great pleasure of seeing my daughter nearly every day.
The pinnacle of his darkness and depression hit three years after his divorce. Within a month he lost a close friend to suicide, lost his job, the home he was about to purchase for him and my daughter, had to put down my dog of 13 years, and even had his heart broken by the first person he trusted to give it to since his divorce. He had lost nearly everything and none of it had to do with bad life choices or because of addictions, but rather because it was time for me to grow. The notion that he didn’t belong was once again compounded and crystallized in his mind. He had to try to pick myself back up and he started taking jobs below his experience and education level and felt as though he lost, yet again, stuck in limbo with no way out.
A few more years passed and he seemed to be stuck in the same place: direction-less with an ever growing darkness and anger inside. His second business was on the verge of collapse and he was struggling to hold onto relationships. Pain, despair, and hopelessness had hit a breaking point and brought Him to a crossroads: He could either continue to sink deeper into this pain and darkness to the point of destruction or he could make a decision to heal.
He decided it was time to heal and let go of His past once and for all. As he moved away from my traumas and failures he was able to see pain from a new perspective and realized these devastations were actually vital life lessons. Thanks to this difficult path through life he gained the power to empathize with others and help them get through life’s greatest struggles. He came to realize that the greatest obstacle standing in the path of our happiness is quite often one’s self. It’s up to each of us to change the narrative we’ve created in our own heads to start us on our path to realize our potential, but only if we’re each willing to put in the work.