Andrew L. Gardner III (Certified Anger Management and Domestic Violence Prevention Specialist; Associate of Arts in Communication, Theatre and the Arts) is Founder and President of the innovative nonprofit organization Brothers Like Me. Since October 2020, Andrew has presented interdisciplinary workshops where he teaches solutions for men who struggle with self-regulation and de-escalation. Andrew helps reduce intimate partner violence by building up men who learn accountability and empathy in hands-on workshops and courses for various audiences. But all the moments leading to this moment weren’t good ones.
As Andrew came into his own, he picked up the abusive traits of his father. It was behavior he had learned throughout the years. Many of the skills for dealing with anger – constructive and destructive – are learned in childhood. Of course, there are the feelings, as well. Andrew was never able to forgive his father or his mother because he felt like they both abandoned him. Sometimes in life you can become the things you don’t forgive. But this behavior caused Andrew a lot of pain. He destroyed relationships, lost job opportunities, and lost a lot of money throughout the years, until he got tired and stopped blaming other people for his misfortunes.
Besides the Rescuer part of the Triangle, Andrew experienced being a victim and an abuser. He found himself struggling to get help. He remembers how it felt not wanting to get help at certain points in his life, because of the fear of being judged, thinking that nobody would want to help him due to his past. It was hard to find a program for abusers. There were no walk-up rehabilitation programs for abusers. This led to an important question:
Where was the help for self-aware people who wanted help before things went too far?