You are a bit older than the usual young men?
Yes, I fall somewhere in between. I went through the rites of passage weekend like one of the young men but my mentoring was more of a telephone check-up.
How did you find out about abob?
The roadie from Duran Duran who is a friend, told me that I needed to change my life and this was a way to do it. I went to meeting at Leamington’s abob, Next was the Quest Rites of Passage weekend which I knew absolutely nothing about until I did it.
What place did you find yourself at in your life right then?
I wasn’t in the worst place in my life but neither was I in the best place. I wasn’t that good. I was struggling around mental health issues mainly because I couldn’t get to see my son. That led to rage and trouble with the police. I understand it now but the fight to see my son still goes on. That’s why I’ve moved to Warwick, to be nearer to him.
How has being in abob supported you?
I was expelled from every school that I went to. I finally got diagnosed with ADHD four or five years ago. Abob have helped me look further into myself and understand myself better. I understand my shadow side better now which means I don’t have to repeat the same old patterns.
What did you take away from the Rites of Passage Weekend?
I learnt more about anger and hurt and grief so the weekend was very special. Participants get offered powerful processes where they can express their anger and find out how to do that cleanly. Brotherhood is one of the main things that I got from the weekend. So powerful for me. Abob have offered me a lot of support as a man and I truly appreciate it. People who knew me said my eyes had softened afterwards and that seems like a big thing.
I’m a lot calmer too.
I’ve also learnt how to be discerning around friendships. I don’t hold on to toxic friendships.
Did you have a mentor?
I did but we just did a few telephone check ins. And I got support around the legal issue with my son. And the pain of that. There are other men in abob who have the same issue so that helps too.
What other impacts have abob had?
I’ve been able to talk about my past and that has helped me process it. I really want to start a Coventry group as the work is really needed there.
How do you see your future with abob?
I want to serve other men myself. I have been helped and I’d like to help. I can be calm in difficult situations and I like to support men who have anger but haven’t understood or haven’t located it yet. I struggle to cry so I’d like support other men with empathy too.