Excitement is building as we get ready to share the Fathering As A Survivor series with you next month. Men openly talking about challenges of fatherhood is somewhat rare in our culture. To hear from men who have had to overcome traumatic childhoods, in order to become the kind of father they may or may not realize they were meant to be is unheard of.
That is why this particular series is so important to us. We are so encouraged by the fathers who are willing to share their answers to our questions. It is our hope that a connection with their stories will be made, and will offer validation for those who can identify.
Here’s a sneak peak at what’s to come.
Byron Hamel of Trauma Dad was one of the first fathers I thought of to include in the series, because of his raw, honest and empowering voice on the topic. When asked, “Before becoming a father, did you look forward to becoming a parent?”…he answered:
Before becoming a father, I thought long and hard about the decision. Most of what I knew about parenting came from very broken people. I felt that, because of my horror of an upbringing, my children could potentially have an awful childhood too. I loved them too much even before they existed to put them through that. For awhile, I did not want children at all. That’s something I’m going to recommend. If you don’t want to have kids, DON’T HAVE KIDS.
Ray Charles of Shatter Boys UK replied to our question, “What acts of parenting have led you to be triggered? Examples could be disciplining, bathing, showing affection/touching, etc. Have you learned anything from these triggers about your own fears, or the parts of you that still need healing?” with this:
Can’t say I had issues with any of these. I was/am strict which at the time seemed harsh to them and their mother, but they didn’t know what I knew.
“… but they didn’t know what I knew.” I thought that was so powerful. I think even for those who have been able to talk to your partner or loved ones about your experiences leading up to parenthood, it may still feel or be impossible to help them understand. And so we’re judged. And that’s tough.
Lastly, I’ll share a quote from Jeff Glover that struck such a chord with me, for its vulnerability and ability to speak to something so many parenting survivors have in common. I just love his answer to the question: “What has surprised you most about parenthood?”
What surprised me most was that I was good enough. It surprised me that the do over was possible and that because I knew so much of what not to do it helped me to know what to do. It surprised me that even though I would freak at ANY imagined inappropriate touch or anything like it, I could play with them and wrestle and give them the attention I so wanted. It surprised me that there are ways to keep myself sane and still see them grow and be healthy.
If you are interested in participating in the Fathering as a Survivor Series, there is still time. To learn how, read our original call for submissions. We have extended the deadline until June 10th.
Joyelle and I know how craved and important this discussion is to have and to share. We are honored to bring these brave dad’s voices to our readers, and those who are searching for voices that reflect their own.
You can help us pass the mic and give father survivors an opportunity to offer their insight for new and fellow dads by sharing our call for submissions. Here’s a shortened link for easier sharing: http://bit.ly/1M8jjCJ.
We can’t wait to share these highlighted interviews in their entirety, along with the other interviews we have lined up with you through out the month of June.