Michael Wawn.
Michael Wawn. THe Northern Star

Anger management takes a new direction

MICHAEL WAWN'S fuse used to be so short he would lose his temper over the smallest of things, like the lawnmower that did not start after three pulls of the starter cord.

“I threw it over the fence,” Mr Wawn said.

And when spanners did not work the Lismore man would erupt in anger and throw them at the car.

His temper has been a problem all his life.

“Even as a child I would just lose it if things didn't go right,” Mr Wawn said.

The turning point came when the 47-year-old discovered he had a heart problem.

If he didn't learn to control his anger it might kill him.

He called Lifeline, was told about a Lismore support group called Men Exploring New Directions, and decided to give it a try.

“My wife said she would leave unless I did something about myself,” he said.

It took him two sessions to realise he had a problem.

“I never thought my behaviour was a form of domestic violence. I would rant and rave and stand over her (his wife) and I didn't understand anything was wrong,” Mr Wawn said.

When he first went along to the group he found it hard to talk in front of strangers.

“But once you get into it, you could say to new people 'I know what it's like',” Mr Wawn said.

He learned techniques to help him control his anger, like taking deep breaths and walking away when he was about to lose control.

The Men and Family Centre in South Lismore runs the support group as well as other groups for men and their partners.

For more information contact 6622 2240. Public forum The Northern Star, in conjunction with Lismore City Council, will be holding a public forum on Bullying on Wednesday, February 25, in the Fountain Room at City Hall from 6 to 8pm.



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