Living and Learning With “The Men”

Satraipal Fred Rai
Staff Writer

I’ve made it this far in life somehow!

Either I’ve won the lottery of life, I have a guardian angel, or I simply have found men who care for my well-being.

I was in a very dark place when I came to MDI, and I came to Friday meetings among a brood of men I didn’t relate to, though they make space for me. They did so so I could just be myself and allow me to just unload 40 some odd years of junk.

I hadn’t any clue of what they were doing for me, as their care and support came each step of the way. Even so I challenged them by lashing out in anger and pain. As I released the pent up frustration from within, they stayed quiet and allowed me to just be me!

I thought: who does this sort of thing, for what reasons, and what do they want from me? I was suspicious and non-trusting.

I started to trust a bit in my second year and asked a mentor Steven Marchione, “Why do you care for me?”

He looked at me and said, “You keep coming back man, and we shall all see value in who you truly are.”

What a mind warp this comment was for me at that time in my life.

When my father passed away, my men’s team showed up for his funeral, when even my family did not.

Men led me to places I knew I was capable of stepping into. They showed care and non-judgment and encouraged me (and still do) to be the best I can be.

Today I am living in a new city away from my men, and yet I am with my son who’s in my care.

After years of court battles, my son lives with me … how did this happen?

It happened because I trusted. I listened and followed and allowed my men to care for me … lead me … carry me and, yes, call me on my bullshit.

I am a man grateful to my men for being themselves and for being a part of a greater purpose of caring enough to create successful families, careers and communities.

I’m eternally grateful. 

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