by Thomas Matlack

Before even speaking. took the company public and. the men in Sing Sing. Friday. Though not a victim of abuse. Out of nowhere. Then came the capper. because my wife threw me out of the house for being a cheat and a drunk. I suddenly couldn’t remember what I had done in that moment of truth fourteen years ago. and covering Iraq war stories we had captured. I closed my eyes. a job which she held for most of her adult life. My parents sat immediately behind us. 90 days later. D. There were 150 deans of students. Decades before. that’s what makes them so dangerous. as he paced back and forth. and school counselors in the audience.” After lunch. but what Thompson was describing was the way boys. for very different reasons. who said that dictators and other men who are a danger to others deny that they were every dependent and needy. a worldfamous lecturer. I found myself in a church parking lot with no place to go. They despise their own neediness. developed their model of intimacy from their moms. I was there to tell real stories about real men and how those stories could inspire boys to do the right thing. and a variety of vocal affirmations that expressed her heightened state of engagement without the benefit of language. I paused. I explained how I was made Chief Financial Officer of The Providence Journal Company at 29. Half an hour in. I tried to focus on a returning Iraq veteran medic I recently heard talk about losing 11 men on the battlefield before coming home to blackouts and profound personality changes that caused him to seek out help. On this I agree with the English pediatricianturned-psychologist. she makes up for my social deficiencies. I hadn’t seen him in thirty years. I drove to Exeter Academy to speak at the Independent School Health Association conference. but who will follow the tracks of intimacy set down by mom. My sister was discussing her sample and how much of the trauma had occurred when the victims were preverbal. I was livid. negotiated its $2 billion sale. I was dissociating all the same. “In that church parking lot you know what I did? I called . Repression deals with processed experience but dissociation is about unprocessed experience often associated with trauma. she too had presented a dissertation en route to becoming a psychologist. I held my second wife Elena’s hand tightly. and in fact men. I then went back to the beginning of how and why the whole topic of manhood had become my personal passion.” Complete psychobabble as far as I was concerned. author of Raising Cain. “yes”. I was introduced by the school psychologist at Deerfield Academy. I snapped out of my momentary blackout with a jolt. my mother giving a virtual play-by-play of “right”. “I require that men acknowledge their dependence on their moms. Even though I had told the story perhaps hundreds of times. “Dissociation is like trying to get a rock from the depths to the surface. I described my athletic and then business prowess. I smiled knowingly. I tried not to block out the impact of having a shrink for a mother and the parallel now of having a sister who. film. my skin crawling. Just days after announcing our deal. Michael Thompson. having left behind a three-month-old son and two-year-old daughter who my soon-to-be ex-wife had assured me I would never see again.” he asserted. “It’s a double reversal. a specialist on boys and the internet. was to speak first. a man who was in the same training program as my mom and who used to hang out at our house when I was a troubled teenager. as she explained her doctoral dissertation. I had been asked to present The Good Men Project—a foundation aimed at sparking national dialogue about manhood and helping boys in the process—and then finish the day on a panel which included Thompson. interested but also fearful. Winnicott. had followed in her footsteps.” my sister Laura said last Thursday.” I sat in the front row within arm’s length of my sister and her committee as she masterfully articulated the impact of multiple childhood traumas on personality and its relationship to dissociation. A woman of enormous grace and warmth. Dr. “Boys seek out girls who are the opposite of their mother. nurses. I had expected stories about boys. I sat in the back listening to Thompson.“Repression is like holding a ball under water. I heard the sound of a baby crying hysterically (I later discovered that there had been a class on babies in the next room). Mom grunted approval. I launched into a description of our book.W.” I stopped to look at the crowd. “But the fact that I appeared on the front page of the Wall Street Journal as a wunderkind didn’t matter. website.

had been impacted by alcoholism and his relationship with his mom had never been easy.facebook. MATlACk HAS AN ExTENSIvE SOCIAl MEDIA PlATFORM I N C l u D I N G : · http://www. And it took Dr. Matlack led a non-conventional book tour that started inside the Sing Sing Correctional Facility and ended in Hollywood with a screening of THE GOOD MEN PROJECT documentary. He has appeared on national and local television and radio as well as in print across the country. and man. followed by a panel discussion including Matt Weiner and Shepard · http://www.” It turns out that as men. Boston Globe Magazine. I thought to myself afterwards. “My mother was both depressed and an alcoholic. and PenSpark. In 2008. Tango. like mine. “I tried to explain to her how I had gone from Superman to homeless in a matter of .com/thegoodmenproject · http://twitter. which reached $5 billion in market capitalization in 2001. His work has appeared in Fogged · http://www. Rowing News. and he is a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post. Pop Matters. Penthouse. The Philadelphia · http://www. In the fall of 2009. Thompson to remind me what it meant to be a good son. T H O M A S M AT l A C k was Chief Financial Officer of The Providence Journal until 1997.” It was on that call that I realized that I had absolutely no idea what it meant to be a good father.” The crowd laughed in recognition of the earlier reference to men calling for their mothers as they lay dying on the battlefield. Boston Common. Wesleyan. She told me to make sure to remember to eat. Boston Magazine. All proceeds from the Project go to helping at-risk boys. I told the · http://www. we are more alike than we know. He founded and ran his own venture firm from 1998 to 2010 before turning to writing. Saturday morning I awoke to an email from Thompson telling me that his life. He was the lead investor in the Art Technology · · http://www.scribd. Matlack founded THE GOOD MEN PROJECT with his venture capital partner James Houghton.goodmenproject. Trying to save her--probably one reason I became a psychologist--was the main work of my childhood.