The stories of healing from these courageous men will inspire a range of emotions.
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The Bristlecone Project

Portraits and Biographies of Male Survivors

Andy Lausten

As a young boy, Andy excelled at sports. But when he was 14 Andy was groomed by a neighborhood predator and sexually abused for three months. The predator also manipulated Andy into smoking pot, a habit that would become an addiction.

The predator was sent to prison, and Andy believed that the prolonged trauma was in the past. It was not to be. Through his teenage years and early 20’s Andy condemned himself for not, somehow, escaping the clutches of the predator.

Smoking pot and drinking turned from habits into something darker. Athletic aspirations over, Andy could not get through a day without getting high.

Then, at 23, a prosecutor called. The predator was out of prison and being prosecuted again for sexually abusing three boys. They asked Andy to testify. For the first time he saw with pristine clarity that his addiction was rooted in the sexual abuse. “It was at that moment that I knew. I can’t let that guy control and have power over me any longer.” Andy testified at the predator’s criminal trial 10 months later – clean and sober – in a courtroom packed with supporters from 12 step meetings he attended.

Today, 27 years clean, Andy helps others who are struggling along the same path to live drug and alcohol free. He has a beautiful wife and daughter, and he has found his way back to sports. An avid cyclist, he rides throughout the New York City area, and he is an amateur boxer. Andy has transformed himself, from being a victim to a survivor and now a fighter. He is not afraid to enter any ring and fight for what’s right.