Mens Information and Support Association Inc.

Real Stories - Isolation

Jayden’s story of endurance and separation: From broken man to leading a fruitful life:

The Counsellor reflected:

it was a pleasure to work with Jayden, he realised his ability to harness his personal and external resources to the point where he reached a satisfying outcome, where he now sees himself as leading a fruitful life.

Jayden (not real name) came to MISA at a time in his life when he was distraught, and literally a broken man. Exhausted and worn out from fighting “battles” on several fronts, in his own words he felt like he had “nothing left to give”. But he did, he had untapped resources, and now he has stabilised his personal situation, and is well on the way to a fruitful, meaningful and active life.

Jayden experienced what most of us will experience at some stage of our lives, a serious and enduring life challenge. Whilst most of all will encounter short term stressors, such as a car accident, where we “write off our car”, and need to get it fixed again.  An enduring challenge lasts for longer, months and possibly years, and sometimes the end doesn’t seem visible.  

In Jayden’s situation, his wife left him for another man, and insisted she have majority care of the children. Suddenly Jason’s life had gone from stable, to unpredictable and in turmoil. At the time he was experiencing:

  • grief and the loss of a partner and his then life dreams
  • Fear of losing access to his children, and left wondering how he could meaningfully contribute to their lives
  • Incredibly busy, as he entered the domain of the legal system to work for fair access to his children.
  • Sleep deprived from sleep deprivation and stress
  • Dislocated after leaving his home
  • Still trying to contribute at work despite arriving there feeling mentally exhausted.
  • Disconnected from his life routine – things were no longer normal
  • Thoughts of ‘ending it all’

Whilst most of us are capable of navigating these in the short term, in Jayden’s case it lasted for 2 years, and wisely Jayden harnessed his resources and “endured” for the long journey.

A MISA Counsellor worked with him on quite a few elements, not the least managing the emotional roller coaster, but on reflection he talks about the practical tips he developed, and the broadening of his mental fortitude and capabilities, in order to get through the lower moments’.

A father’s story of grief and reconnecting to family

Nicholas

It all started with me having a better relationship with myself.

My MISA experience was down to earth, I’d done some rotten stuff but I felt comfortable with the staff, and accepted right from the beginning. 

Grief and regret can be powerful experiences, but they can be faced. Nicholas requested 1:1 and family counselling to work through his grief and failure to do the right thing by his children when they were younger. After attending 1:1 counselling through his own efforts and work with the counsellor he soon established a much better understanding of himself. In his words “I’ve learnt to connect with myself, in a way that I’d never had before” Through hard work and persistence he’d established greater self awareness:

  • a sense of self,
  • his personal hurts,
  • and the way he reacts with emotion and actions to those hurts,
  • and personal resources to manage these hurts

Nicholas was then ready for the next step of talking with his adult children. He then arranged for a few sessions with a qualified MISA family counsellor who facilitated a couple of family sessions. It wasn’t easy for Nicholas:

“harsh words were  spoken, I could see first hand the hurt I caused but I now have much better connections with 3 out 4 of my adult children”.

Ravi’s story: from threating outbursts to

I was referred to MISA as my emotional outbursts and rage had been making the life of my family miserable. The workshop gave me an opportunity to look at myself, to be honest with myself, and practical steps to do the right thing by everyone

He’d been under a lot of stress and he thought things would get easier as he got older, but for Ravi raising a family with 3 teenagers reached a point he felt he was constantly “boiling”. What he was dealing with was a constant feeling of anxiety, and at the time, he didn’t even know it was there. Anxiety, stress, constant worries, are all feelings that may arise at some stage in our lives, and to recognise its impact on men, and their families, is an important first step.

When a concerned neighbour heard him yelling at his wife, fortunately for Ravi, a helpful police officer was called to his house and encouraged him to reach out and use MISA. Besides seeing a counsellor, he attended a personal development workshop for 12 sessions over 12 weeks. Whilst Ravi still has work to do, he found the experience incredibly helpful for understanding how anxiety was causing him to make bad decisions, and is now much better at managing his emotions.