A letter from a man who has completed Phase 1 Term 2 2007...
I was a bit rushed last night filling in the response forms and I feel I probably did not express myself well enough.
Firstly a big thankyou to you and Coby for the whole process, but especially for the role playing, I am hopeful that you can come and get your cameras out of my house: the role playing was a very close to the bone experience.
I would like to say these things about the first half of my experience with heavy metal ;
I feel almost born again; I understand exactly the type of person I was around my partner and family; that is a big pill to swallow; I have been in a position in my life where I could separate myself into different people depending on the environment; and now I feel comfortable being the same person all the time.
My attitude to the things that I once valued; has been reassessed on many levels; and rightly so, because now I put the people who matter most as my first choice in all that I say and do. They no longer feel second, they are no longer to blame, they have all been told that I love and respect them and that for so long I did not.
I am looking forward to the second part of the course; so much more to learn. I have been blown away by how deep the process off abuse runs; the thought stacking, the cycle of abuse that I once assumed was just a cycle of life; the gender and privilege issues that appeared to me like a bolt from nowhere, the fact that others are exactly the same and the fact that my problem was the problem in my family’s life.
I am by no means claiming victory or self gratitude; I understand that I am now more dangerous than ever; because I have shown every one how good things can be and I now have tools that can assist me when things get tough.
You have successfully broken the thoughts and processes that go with being a big angry male footballer who claims a right to existence through violence, aggression and power, all great tools for the heat of battle, but not necessary in the home or the workplace.
My partner and kids will always have you to thank if I keep this process of change going; I am committed to being a better person; and that is a lot happier life than trying to make every one else better, to cover for my own inadequacies.
The words we learnt ring in my head daily; justification, blame, emotional abuse, the pit bull and the cobra all explain the negative side to my behaviour. Words like empathy, respect, acknowledgement, peace, emotions…… all balance the daily struggle to understand how bad things got for people around me and how good they can be.
The very simple things are often the most powerful;
“when I walk in the door; I acknowledge every one; I sit and ask how my wife’s day was; and how things that happened that day made her feel; I talk to my kids and play games and read to my daughter………… very simple stuff, but while I am doing all that, my day, my problems often float away like they never existed”
I am able to talk to my wife about how her life has been for the last 11 years; and offer her my apologies and understanding; she often just laughs at how I have come to all these realisations, when to her it was so obvious and often expressed………… it is actually really weird, I am excited and honest about things and she just looks at me and says “oh my god, you have only just figured that out”
Thanks mate, I would never have thought any of this was possible, and I appreciate your honesty and the delicate way you get the message across; even if it did not change me; I would have still been witness to some amazing changes to the other men in that room, and I would have very definitely understood the impact of domestic violence on woman, I applaud you, Tanya and Jacqui for that powerful evening.
In the battle for better and open communication of my feelings; I have include my wife in on this email………
Phase 1 TERM 2 2007
*Name has been changed to protect client identity
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