Stories of Healing and Hope: Jared’s Transformation

Posted by on Nov 5, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Today, I have two beautiful daughters and a wonderful partner. I have the healthy family I always wanted. Because of DAP, I learned to practice being a loving and compassionate person every day by being in control of my actions. I want to be an example to my daughters of how they should be treated.

Today, I have two beautiful daughters and a wonderful partner. I have the healthy family I always wanted. Because of DAP, I learned to practice being a loving and compassionate person every day by being in control of my actions. I want to be an example to my daughters of how they should be treated.

Seven years ago, I was arrested for hitting my girlfriend. Before that, I had used abuse in other ways – I’d yell at her and scare
her. When I got arrested I was released from jail under the condition that I successfully complete the men’s program at Domestic Abuse Project.
When I started going to DAP I was still angry at the world. I thought life was treating me badly, and that it wasn’t fair.
So my view of DAP at first wasn’t a good one. I just wanted to finish the program and get it over with. I honestly thought I didn’t need any help.
After going to a few classes we watched this one video – it really stuck with me. It was about how your upbringing and life experiences help make you the person you are today. The video talked about how men who use abuse were often victims as a kid. It didn’t say this made abuse okay, it just helped explain how someone might learn that being hurtful to your girlfriend is normal, even when it isn’t.
Watching that video – I had a moment of clarity. I said to myself, “You’ve got to give this an honest shot.”
I was the youngest in my group at the time and seeing the example of the other men, and how they needed help too, and were taking responsibility – it was eye opening. It really helped motivate me to change too.
At one point I remember going home crying because I knew I needed to make a drastic change. And I knew this change had to start with me, and it had to start in my home.
I no longer wanted to go to jail or be feared. Having street cred didn’t matter. I didn’t want to think I was above anyone else. I didn’t want to have a girlfriend leave me anymore because she said she’s scared of me and what I could do to her.
Instead, I wanted to start a family and stay on a new, clear path.
So, during the men’s program I learned so much! I felt like a new man with new tools to help break the cycle of violence that had become such a big part of my life.
Now I know how to take a time-out when I’m starting to feel angry and out of control. I learned to express my feelings and that it is okay to cry and show vulnerability. I learned to really love and show compassion. I was horrible at this at first. It’s all so much easier said than done, especially with the stigma that men always have to be tough. But DAP taught me how to keep trying and to really change.
Today, I’m open with myself and my loved ones. I stopped drinking. I no longer raise a fist or throw things. I take the time to clear my head if I’m angry or hurt. I talk about my feelings.
In the end, I’m one of the stories that shine. I now have two beautiful daughters and a loving partner by my side every step of the way. I’m grateful to all those who support DAP. Because of them I’m able to stop the hate and the violence. My whole life is better!

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