Mike' Yes, I think men are quite difficult to get support from, It was a lot of my friends, you know, empathised quite a lot, but then you expect your close friends to be able to discuss it on a, more of a personal note, but it’s surprising how many of those really close friends found it too uncomfortable. And even to the point where we… I don’t know how we managed it, but we managed to meet people who’ve had similar experiences in the loss of a child, and even the men we’ve met through here, you would expect, you kind of are, you know, you can chat, but you don’t talk about what happened. It’s kind of an acceptance of, ‘Well you’ve been through it too. Great. Hunky Dory. Let’s be on, let’s get on and do other things really. So it’s never…
Joanna' It’s not actually talked about, whereas like with my friends, I was able to really, like open up, the story of what happened and really go through absolutely everything.
Joanna' And I don’t think you’ve ever really done that, that much.
Mike' No I do remember, absolutely making a friend of mine white once, in a pub, and he asked the first question, “How are you?” I remember just putting my drink down, and saying, “Well absolutely rubbish actually, because this, this, this, this and this.” But I could see the colour draining from him, because it was kind of …
Joanna' He didn’t know what to say.
Mike' … how are you mate? You’re all right you’ve got a drink in your hand, you know, everything will be all right. As opposed to he didn’t really want to know what was going on in my head.
Joanna' It’s not that they don’t want to know. It’s just that they have no idea what to say to you.
Mike' No, but there again you do find the odd person that you’ve never thought would, you know, not a close friend, but somebody who really, really understood you. But yes, no, I don’t think it’s talked about as much from the men’s point of view, I suppose as the women’s.
Would you like to talk about it more?
Mike' Me, personally, probably. Yes. I think I’d just into normal man mode really, I just kind of think just kind of get on with work and being a Dad and other things, like the decorating or whatever comes along really that just keeps you busy. I don’t know whether most men would feel like that. I think probably they get into work, and distraction is probably the natural reaction for most men.
Joanna' See distraction worked for me too, and it’s working even more now, because I’ve been back at work. I actually took a year off and I went back to work, at the beginning of September, and it’s worked an absolute treat. And I sort of think to myself, I should have gone back earlier. Because I actually for the first time in a long time, I feel as though I’m myself again. So actually, I don’t think, like people say, you’ve got to face your feelings and everything, but I don’t think it’s necessarily about being to be distracted by something that you enjoy doing.
Joanna' And if that’s work then that’s fine. It’s if you don’t. If you have an unhealthy kind of inability to talk about it. But we talked at home. It wasn’t like, you know, we didn’t do that at all.