It’s been 20 years since a young boy named Chris van Dusen went missing in a park in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood.
It’s almost impossible to forget the boy who lived in the same home as his father, a man with a long history of violence.
Chris was just a little boy, but he grew up with the stigma that many kids have to overcome.
His mother was a drug addict and a violent woman who abused drugs.
He was adopted by a woman who gave him drugs and alcohol, he said, but the abuse was all over the house.
He didn’t speak a word of English and the police didn’t know who he was or where he came from.
It wasn’t until he was five years old that he got a glimpse of what the world had become.
“He just looked at me and said, ‘Mom, I want to go back,'” his mother said.
“I told him, ‘You can’t go back.'”‘
We’re living in a time of crisis’: What you need to know about the opioid crisis in OntarioThe family was forced to move from the apartment to a trailer and Chris had to learn how to walk again and to get up.
“When we got there he was standing on the floor, he had no legs, he was in pain,” his mother recalled.
I was so shocked, I thought, ‘What’s going on?'” “
It was just shocking.
I was so shocked, I thought, ‘What’s going on?'”
For three years, Chris spent his days on the street, sleeping on the grass, eating garbage, or stealing from the garbage cans.
It was his first experience with homelessness, and he became determined to get help.
“We were homeless, we were sleeping on street corners, but we just wanted help,” he said.
But his family couldn’t afford a house, so they decided to move in with a relative, who gave them a place to live.
“At that point we were pretty much broke, and we were homeless and our whole lives were being lived on the streets,” Chris said.
After six months, he found himself homeless again.
It took him three more years before he finally found his way into a rehabilitation centre.
But that was the beginning of his dark days.
Chris was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was living with his parents.
“Every day was a struggle.
He’s always had to take medication,” said his mother.
But the stigma and isolation didn’t help Chris.
“People were just looking down on him.
He could barely talk to anyone, he couldn’t even go to school,” he explained.
He had to go to therapy at a local hospital every week to help him cope with the medication and the fact that he had to live in a trailer with his father.
“For the first two years I was just sleeping in the street.
It didn’t get any better, it was just miserable,” he continued.
“The drugs really got to me.
It became a nightmare, and I couldn’t sleep.
I just had a lot of anxiety, a lot,” Chris recalled.
He started using heroin again and ended up in rehab.
But it wasn’t easy.
“You go in there and you’re really not able to interact with anybody,” he told CBC News.
“They just don’t care, they just don’ understand, and that’s just how it was.”‘
We were living in an era’: A look at the opioid epidemic in OntarioIt was around this time that Chris found a friend and his story changed.
The friend was a recovering addict who had started using drugs.
They fell in love and got married, but after a year of living together, the marriage dissolved.
“My husband and I moved to a different city and he was just living on his own,” Chris explained.
“And I didn’t want to be alone.”
He had a new relationship with his mother and was able to find a place for himself.
For the first time, Chris was able for the first one year of his life to start living independently.
“A lot of people were looking down at us,” Chris recounted.
“Even now, when I’m thinking about it, I’m just thinking, ‘Why am I looking down?’
It wasn’t even that I was looking down.”
Chris says his life is better now, but that the stigma still lingers around the family.
“There are so many stories out there, so many people, and it’s really hard to even get a sense of where people come from, where their parents came from, and what they’ve gone through,” he concluded.
“As an artist, you have to be able to say to yourself, ‘I can’t tell people that I’ve been living this