Despite all the appearances of being highly successful, the family I grew up in was ultimately shattered by my Mom’s suicide and the mental illness and addictions of some of my siblings. I was 20 when my Mom died, and was suddenly thrust in the role of family leader due to my Dad’s and siblings’ collapse.
This crisis has shaped my life. I grew up in a hurry into the role of a caretaker and becoming a psychologist who treats couples and families in acute crisis was a natural development. I was also blessed by meeting and marrying Kate while we were still in college. In essence, we brought each other up. We just celebrated our 42nd anniversary
I have been fortunate to have had a successful career as a psychotherapist, author of several books, and a teacher in my field which I love (for details about my professional work, please visit www.drdavidtreadway.com). But becoming a dad myself has been the most important part of my life. And to paraphrase Dickens, it’s been both the best of times and the worst of times. I profoundly wanted my children to grow up in a healthy and loving home. And yet my anxiety about being a good enough parent sometimes actually undermined my efforts. However, I am delighted by my two sons, Michael and Sam who grew up into being good kind caring men.
Both Kate and I lost parents when we were quite young and when it looked like i would die from my very advanced cancer, I was terrified that my kids would have to work through their loss of a parent like I did. I desperately wanted to help Kate and my boys through this potential grief while I still could. Little did I realize how much they would carry me through out my journey with cancer.
In addition to being a husband, therapist and dad, the other great passion of my life has been sailing. I have had the opportunity to sail across the Atlantic three times as well as cruise from the Northern tip of Newfoundland to Cape Horn in South America. As someone who has loved the sea my whole life, I helped found an ocean conservation organization to help sailors become ocean stewards. of our seriously threatened ocean environment. (see http://www.sailorsforthesea.org/.)
I have had the gift of a good life. I seem to be well. (knock on wood) I look forward to devoting a good chunk of the rest of my life working with couples and families dealing with life threatening crises like cancer. I also hope to be a good granddad.