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The Bristlecone Project

Portraits and Biographies of Male Survivors

Brian Brozovic

What do you do when profound betrayal robs you of the family trust and love that you are born into? Brian Brozovic’s answer: You build yourself a new family.

Brian was raised in a military family. Frequent moves made it difficult to establish long term friendships, so close family ties were crucial to the structure of his life.

And then he lost it all. At around the age of eleven, Brian was sexually abused by a close family member. The foundation beneath him cracked. “The only thing I could do was pick up the pieces and try to find a way forward.”

But it has not been easy. At fourteen he tried alcohol for the first time. “I had a lot of emotions that I didn’t want to process…It was a heck of a lot easier to keep them drowned in alcohol.”

His alcoholism followed him into adulthood, and Brian realized that the long-buried abuse was the engine driving it. He sought help through Alcoholics Anonymous and counseling and a male survivor group. The men had different problems, but also common ground: “We all had a problem and we kind of kept it in and we finally had to realize that this was no longer healthy for us, or for those around us.”

Brian has committed himself to re-creating a family anchored in love and trust. He and his wife, Jennifer, are raising three children together, and Brian marvels: “I was on a really bad path, and the idea that there’s really something better out there is something that I continue to find every day and I continue to grow on.”