For the past 48 weeks, Aaron has been a client in the Batterer’s Intervention Program at Family Builders. He will complete the program in January 2019 after being charged with domestic violence with minor children present in September 2017.
Aaron has come a long way. He grew up in the small town of McPherson, Kansas, and he said that he grew up poor with a single mom.
“It was rough, and she worked three jobs. It wasn’t exactly the easiest, but I had a big family that helped support each other, and we are still close,” he said.
Aaron’s supportive family growing up carries on through his life with his wife and kids. Aaron came to Oklahoma seven years ago due to his work in the oil field, but he said the transition was easier because his wife’s family is in Oklahoma. However, even with a strong family support system in place, Aaron struggled to maintain the high demand of his job and his home relationships. Aaron recalls an average day before Family Builders.
“I would go to work at 4:00 a.m., get home at 6:00 p.m., eat supper, and repeat. It was pretty rough, and it wore on my relationships with my wife and kids.”
When Aaron first stepped through the doors at Family Builders, he questioned why he was here because he had done nothing wrong. It wasn’t until about a quarter of the way through the program that Aaron realized he needed to take a look at himself and his actions. Aaron recognized that his cultural beliefs that “the man is the head of the household and his word is final” weren’t working. Once Aaron let go of those beliefs, his life and relationships got better.
“The pressure that I held on myself to be 100% in control is no longer there,” he said.
As Aaron is approaching the end of the program, he says it is actually a new start for him and his family. Aaron loves the new him and so does his family. He and his wife have stopped arguing and his children aren’t acting out anymore. Everyone in the family has a say and is part of the family unit.
The completion of the Batterer’s Intervention Program has given Aaron insight into how he has changed over the course of the program.
“The end of it is awesome because I have worked so hard to change who I am, and my family all notice the changes,” he said. “Control is something that I never knew was wrong before, but now I know differently.”
The future is bright for Aaron. He has a new job in sales where he works from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. five days a week, which allows him more time with his family. When asked what he is most looking forward to, he talked about his family.
“We went to my wife’s mother’s house for Christmas,” he said. “It is a big accomplishment to be welcomed there because I wasn’t allowed there before Family Builders. I have made amends with my family.”
This is a big deal for Aaron to regain the trust from his wife’s family, which is something he wasn’t sure would ever happen after his charges.
He also raves about his youngest boy turning 9 years old in January. He wants an Xbox and the game Fortnite for his birthday. Aaron openly admits that he doesn’t understand Fortnite but guesses it must be pretty cool if his kid wants it.
When asked what he could share with individuals that are just beginning this process, his reply is a reflection of someone who has been through a hard time and made it better.
“No matter what the world throws at you, you always have to keep on the learning path,” he said. “Stop looking back. Without growing, you stand still.”