Coping with Shame                                                                    May 2016


Dear Friend,

The story this month comes from one of our volunteers, Kacy Zurkus.  I have the great pleasure of co-facilitating one of our prison groups with Kacy.  I’m sure you will enjoy what she has to say.


Randall Block
Executive Director

ONLINE Group # 1                 Tuesday                        12:00 Noon    -     1:00 PM
ONLINE Group # 2                  Wednesday                     9:00 PM       -   10:00 PM Framingham                           Monday                           7:00 PM       -     8:30 PM                        

To join a group, please CALL Ellie at 617.926.5008 x102 or EMAIL at   
Coping with Shame
Every Thursday morning my co-facilitator and I arrive at the prison, check in, receive ID badges, go through the metal detector, wait for a shuttle to drive us to another building, go through a second security check, then sit and wait for our escort.

We go through two massive steel doors before we are actually inside the jail, then walk through several hallways, cross through an outside courtyard, and again wait for another locked door to be opened before we enter the unit where we meet with our group.

I have no idea what these men have done to end up incarcerated, but I know that they are incredible human beings who struggle with a range of emotions from anger to fear and shame. I know this because we talk about it, every week.

Shame is a powerful source of pain for these men, these fathers who are not able to be at home with their children. But in this space of sobriety and clarity, they are willing to delve into their personal and emotional struggles because they want to be better. They want to be better parents, and they want to be better men, better human beings.

There is absolutely no shame in that. Yet, they carry around the weight of what they have done as if it defines them. But it doesn’t.

What I see is a group of men who trust and rely on each other. They open up for the one hour a week that we share with them, but they confide in each other during the time that I’m not there. Sharing their hardships allows them to recognize their feelings of shame so that they can find ways to cope with their guilt.

Even though they remain locked in this space, when I leave, I carry them with me. They matter not only to each other but also to me and my co-facilitator. They matter to their children and their families, and there is no shame in that.

Our mailing address is:
Parents Helping Parents
108 Water Street
Watertown, MA 02472
Phone: 617-926-5008

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Parents Helping Parents · 108 Water Street · Watertown, MA 02472 · USA