Two months later on a Saturday morning at the coffee shop.

KEVIN: (shaking Kobus’s hand) Thank you for not judging me in my moments of weakness, and for holding me accountable for my own role in the mess I find myself in.

KOBUS: Listen, I wouldn’t have been able to help you if you were not willing to reach out and ask for help. I’m proud of you. (tightens the handshake and pulls Kevin in for a shoulder hug)

KEVIN: I don’t know what would’ve happened that night if you hadn’t shown up. You know, most of my life I’ve been everyone’s dumping ground, and when I got married I was determined to put a stop to that. I also wanted my son to grow up to be tougher than me, like that day in the park, but I’ve been going about it the wrong way. That day at the park was my wake-up call.

KOBUS: I was only a mirror to remind you of what you already know; you want to be a better father to your son and not repeat the same mistakes your pa made with you.

KEVIN: True, but I’ve been meaning to ask you, how did my wife get your number in the first place? (looks suspicious)     

KOBUS: (laughs) Relax! Remember that card I gave you in the park the day we met?

KEVIN: Ja? (looks confused)

KOBUS: Let’s just say women always remember to check our pockets before doing yet another load of washing. (smiles)

(They both laugh.)

KOBUS: You know, when my marriage fell apart six years ago, I was hell-bent on hurting my ex-wife the same way she hurt me. I didn’t even realise that I was using my own daughter as a pawn by telling her that her mother didn’t love her and that’s why she was trying separate us. Brother’s Keeper opened my eyes to the seeds of division I was sowing between myself and Sofia, my daughter.

(Kevin listens intently.)            

KOBUS: It’s like I said to you before, if we are not mindful of our own toxic behaviour, we run the risk of traumatising a whole new generation. I had to learn to identify the triggers and counter them in a meaningful healthy way. Each of us has the opportunity to learn how to break this vicious cycle.

KEVIN: True dat! So what was the turning point for you?

KOBUS: Ja nee, I guess it was when I started to internalise what the Family Advocate’s Office once said to us during a mediation: what is in the best interests of Sofia? And also, how will my actions, decisions, impact our relationship in future?

KEVIN: Hmm! (slowly nods)

KOBUS: Kom, we better go in before they start.

Tell us:  How do you process your thoughts and feelings? Do you like to talk about them, think about them, write about them, or do something completely different?