I’ve been in a men’s group since November 2018, meeting with seven (recently it became eight) other guys and the facilitator every other week, and it has literally changed my life because it’s opened me up to a whole other world of possibilities. It set me on a journey to finally, in my mid-to-late 50s, figure out and get in touch with who I am.
I was told about the group by an old friend and it intrigued me, but when I joined I still didn’t really know why or what I wanted from it. I had a vague idea that it was therapy for people with a history of trauma. Now, I would slightly rephrase that and say I thought it was for people suffering from Trauma with a capital T, things like physical or sexual abuse, addiction, heavy shit like that. I hadn’t had anything like that. And yet, there was something wrong, something missing. Something was wanting to be seen and heard.
That’s the weird thing about being cut off from your emotions. You can’t feel them so it’s like they don’t exist most of the time. But every now and then, I’d fly into a rage. Or after enough alcohol, I’d relax, lose my inhibitions and become a much more outgoing and sociable version of myself. A version of myself that I really liked. The work of the last few years has been to convince the parts of me that have been conditioned to believe that that’s not actually the real me.
As I’ve peeled back the layers and got to know myself better, I’ve discovered a passion for this work, for how it can heal and transform lives. That’s why I started Father Lessons. And that’s why, after a delay of a year due to Covid, I completed a course in Men’s Group Facilitation and have recently announced the launch of my own group.
A bunch of us who either run groups or will soon be doing so gathered last weekend to talk about why we’re doing it and where we’re going with it. We recorded some of the conversation and will continue to explore the idea of doing a podcast series.