In Their Words…Charlie
We have come to learn just how much men appreciate reading/listening to the stories of other men who have dealt with depression, anxiety, and the challenges that go along with these conditions. I have reached out to the 140 men who attend our support groups and asked them if they would be willing to share a story that was important to them that relates to the struggles they have had. I have made no edits to the content of what they wrote and the words that follow are those of the man who wrote them. Today I am sharing the story written by Charlie which you find below.
What Face it has meant to me…
One of the first questions that I was asked was “How do you Feel?” I had never really been asked that question. I had never really stopped everything I was doing and just focused on that one answer to a question. “How do you Feel?”
My first answer was a pass off that has worked other places in my life. “I don’t know”. “I am not sure”. “Where is the eject button on this conversation”. Well at Face it this is one of the questions that can help change your life. It is okay to think about that stuff and express the answer without fear of repercussion. Here we dive into the question of “How do you Feel?” “How did that situation make you feel?” For me spending time in my head about my own feelings was novel idea. Why didn’t I think about that! Usually I was what is the other person saying and then how is that my fault that they feel that way. I deserve to be talked to this way because of my actions. It is 100% percent accurate what this other person is saying and how they think. That is who I am. That is my core being.
I am just this horrible person that does these horrible things. It goes back to my original question. “How does that make you feel?” It is never as simple as I am horrible. Here is a complicated not black and white power struggle messed up situation with my ex-wife. Putting our daughter to bed. This is from my perspective. My ex has a totally different perspective. Which one is right or wrong is not easy to decide in my opinion.
However, this is what Face it! helped me with. Understanding that there are these situations that come up. How do you handle yourself? There was a time when I just put her to bed because my ex could not physically do it. Then eventually she would just start yelling at me from laying the bed. Telling me how bad I was doing putting her to bed. I was reading too much. I wasn’t adhering 100% to the 8pm bedtime. It would take me to long. “How does that make you feel”? My daughter had to hear all those words. So, after a while we would make changes to the bedtime routine with my ex doing more of the work. Then it got so she would say some nights she couldn’t do it. or it would get to be late and I would just start the process of bedtime. So, all these things just lead to more conflict.
For my part I must come to terms with how I handled myself in these situations. I see after getting help at face it how what I did contributed this situation. With new insight how, I could have handled the situation better. But also, just as important I can see how my ex should have handled this situation better. It wasn’t just my fault. It was a complex situation that needed both of us to come up with a solution. We needed to share our feelings together constructively with passion but also respect that we are doing are best. So being able to see both sides of the situation and not just taking all the blame.
Please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or thoughts and I will pass them along to Charlie.