Adam’s story

Posted on Apr 02 , 2015 by Ian • 0 Comments

On my blog, each week I will be providing a verbatim transcript of what each of the 24 men wrote during their time at The Men’s Group. The only changes are to any word or statement that can identify them. I have not included usual background labels of the socio-psycho-economic-calendric-historic-geographic-occupational identifiers we search for in our everyday social or professional exchanges.  This is for reasons of both privacy and for allowing the reader to conjure up who each man is based on what he says.  A mantra in the group was: the degree of the truth of a man rested on the degree to which his actions matched his words.  A corollary was:  our true beliefs are not those handed to us, but the beliefs we actually live by…not just the ones that we carry because they sound like good ideas.

And now, I would like to introduce Adam.



Never being good enough. Doesn’t matter how hard I try. There may be some short-term acceptance and positives but the overall thing is criticism.  Not good enough and a withdrawal of love. I have a need to protect myself through anger and being closed.  If I push them away they can’t hurt me. But when I do so I feel such a sense of being alone and lonely and vulnerable and wanting the nurturing and acceptance and love. To me relationships are about the sharing of experiences and the lovely experience of being included in another’s life.  After this dance and a coming back together I am the one who cries and is the child.  Why doesn’t she ever let me be the one she cries with?  Does she cry? Why can’t I fulfill her needs? Why doesn’t she let me in?

Through the pain there has been growth and understanding of both my Self and others. Why does the bad stuff sour the good stuff rather than the good stuff sweeten the bad?  There is so much good stuff. There is a real spiritual and emotional connection.  Why throw it all away?  Nobody ever said it would be easy. I didn’t know it would be this hard.  Not being in relationship simplifies so much.  Being in relationship complicates so much.

Why do I lose everything? (You can put the emphasis on each word in this question to come up with 5 questions). There is the pain of leaving every time I see them. Why give up now? Yes, there are plenty of reasons to separate, but I don’t want to. There are reasons to stay together, as in the song,  ‘Love, Love Will Keep Us Together’.  Above all else there is a sense of belonging together.  I don’t want the pain.  But I seem to get pain either way.

Criticism, Sarcasm, Blame & Accusation

When I receive criticism, blame, sarcasm or accusation from someone that has some sort of power over me (partner, parents, superiors at work) I almost immediately feel like a child.  I feel weak, vulnerable, not good enough, failure.  I get a feeling of powerlessness and impotence and I am unable to do or succeed.  I get a feeling of unworthiness and that I should go away.  I go in search of affirmation to pump myself back up.

If I don’t think it’s my fault I feel badly done by and tend to sulk.  Then, after my initial reaction, or if I receive CBSA from someone who doesn’t have ‘power’ over me, I lash out and attack through anger or sarcasm or justifying my position or belittling them.

Cycles, Seasons and Tides

I am in winter with the storms and tempest.  It is dark thundery nights, lightning slashing the skies, rain beating down, coldness and harshness stinging my face.   It is the winds buffeting me about with an immense power, massive chaos and destruction. Awesome. Beautiful. I always loved looking out the window at electrical storms lashing the trees, having the sense of being in a safe place as the spectator yet feeling the storm and being part of it and it me, seeking refuge from the storm yet being exhilarated by being caught in it: the fresh smell after rain; the cleansing.  Looking forward to the spring.

The tide is washing out taking good and bad with it.  Hoping when it comes back in, some of the good is still there. Trusting that the storm will pass, that the spring will come, then summer. Knowing the tide will come back and, as always, will ebb; the essence of life; and the certainty that all must occur.  Making sure each time that we are better prepared. Making sure we enjoy the now…the positive aspects rather than fear what is certain to come.

Being thankful for what I’ve got. Letting go of what flows from my life. If it comes back in the next cycle good, if not, so be it.

Intimacy & Commitment

I find it hard to be with you because I’m scared of the separation (even though that’s what I’ve got).  I find it hard to enter into intimacy and commitment on an equal level.  There always seems to be a power imbalance, a parent/child relationship, and a critical, punishing scenario.  It happens in all aspects of our relationship: sex, work, money, sharing.  Often I don’t want to be punished so I put myself in the punisher’s position.  When I do this, softness will soften me.  A connection will often snap me out of it.  I so want to be an adult but find it so hard to maintain this state.

The Rationing 0f Love

I ration love by becoming needy so I can receive rather than give.  The consequence of my actions is that I push people I love away if I do not have the reserves, so as not to be drained.  I then feel so unloved and separate from them.

Looking Back

Dear Grandson,

When I am writing this your father is just a little boy (9 months old) with a smile that will light up the world. I’m very much looking forward to watching him grow and mature and become his own person. Your grandmother and I have just separated so I don’t know how much I will have to do with your father or you. I’m scared that I’m going to miss so much of your lives and I want you to have some sort of connection with how things are now.

We are in just the start of the ‘Internet’. The world for me seems to be getting so much smaller but the distance between individuals seems to be getting farther apart.  What we belong to often seems so big we don’t feel we belong to anything. I hope you aren’t experiencing the distance and loneliness this can bring.

I find solace in seeking community and sharing my life with a select number or group of people. There is a group I get together with called ‘The Men’s Group’, probably one of the earlier organizations in the men’s movement at the end of this century. I find the acceptance, forum of discovery and camaraderie a much valued and trusted part of my life. Remember my spirit runs through you, so trust that love and caring follow you and gain strength in the knowledge that you do belong.

Lots of love,

Your Grandfather



I learned that to follow your moral value base meant that you would be comfortable with your decisions but not always with the outcomes. I learned that family and community were important and that we should contribute of ourselves. I learned that we have choices in how we are in a situation. I wish he had taught me that I should focus more on myself, that I was as important as family and community.

That to subjugate my SELF for others all the time would lead to a draining of SELF. I wish he would have spent more time with me just letting me be, instead of always telling how I could or should improve or do better.  I wish he had told me I was OK more often. I wish he had more of himself to give to me when he was around rather than spending himself on other kids or things so that when there was time for me he was tired or angry or critical or punishing me. I wish we could have been light and played, as I grew older, not just when I was a young child. I wish he hadn’t shown how the faults/downfalls of others could disappoint so much. I wish he could have worked less and been lighter.

The Movement of Men

My search for meaning within my own self brought me to this men’s group. It is a forum of discovery of who I am. Why I am the way I am? Why I do what I do? Why is my life the way it is? What is it in me that is controlling the way my life unfolds?

The men’s group is a safe place in which to express what is in my heart, to receive nurturing and acceptance at a heart level from other men. It fills some of the holes in my experience as a male and enables me to grow through experiencing male in others. It is a celebration of being male and everything that goes with being a man. It nurtures the little boy and calms his fears. It revels in the power, joy, and uniqueness of us all. It honors the wisdom within us and helps us come up with some reasons and answers.

My Eulogy

Adam was a man who was open to life.

He shared his love and wisdom unconditionally.

He always tried to make his life and the lives of those around him better.

He took to the task of life with all of the tools given him including his frailties and weaknesses.

He wasn’t afraid to experience all of life’s experiences.

He was gentle and kind.

He had an inner strength and an energy that seemed boundless.

He wasn’t afraid to be seen as weak.

There was no facade.

Adam loved.

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On my blog, each week I will be providing a verbatim transcript of what each of the 24 men wrote during their time at The Men’s Group. The only changes are to any word or statement that can identify them. I have not included usual background labels of the socio-psycho-economic-calendric-historic-geographic-occupational identifiers we search for i..... Read More


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