For the Men

Photo by Min An

Why is it okay for women to show their feelings but men are considered weak? I have had men told me that they grew up hearing that crying was a sign of weakness.

My question after hearing this:

  • What are boys going to do when they have no outlet?
  • How are boys supposed to cope when they are shamed for feeling?
  • If you tell a boy no crying, what other option can you give them?

There are so many side effects that can result from denying someone that necessity, as my grandmother used to say “pressure does burst pipe.” Now men are in the space where they believe that the only way they can provide love is through financial means because that’s what they saw growing up. I know men, especially the older generation, who had multiple partners and that was alright with the wife because he contributed. Going from that ideology to incorporating emotions is quite mentally draining; some men would self-sabotage than deal with their feelings. This shouldn’t be an option for anyone; we need to break the cycle and embrace our men who want to vulnerable. This will save their lives.

I spoke to my friend a couple of weeks ago, and she said that three men committed suicide within seven days. I was stunned because the numbers keep growing and the population is just over 100,000 people. My country is not very open about these issues; we are just told to keep going, and that has been the mantra passed on from generation to generation. It’s recently become clear to me that just because you are taught something doesn’t make it acceptable. It’s time to throw away the theory that being vulnerable is not manly.

Every human has emotions, and such should embrace them. Every human has feminine and masculine attributes which should be tapped into for balance. We, as a society, should allow men the freedom to speak about their feelings without ridicule. Our future generations’ success depends on it. Trauma is passed down through the DNA, and we will continue to damage the psyche of the future if nothing is done about it.

To the who are already embracing your feelings, kudos to you! To the others, try to get past the stigma and improve yourself. Write about it, speak to someone you trust, find a quiet place and just cry. There is no one way to deal with pain. Be strong enough to face that part of yourself so you can grow; it’s a new season.

Pax et Felicitatem,
Nomadic Free Spirit

Affirmation Monday 25052020

“Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.” Maya Angelou

I never give myself enough credit for overcoming situations in my life. I would focus more on what I lost than the good times in fear that they would end. I realise dwelling on the sad stuff was robbing me of the happiness which I created for myself and the potential for future happiness.

Why am I conditioned to fixate on that? I need to let go on the things that no longer serve me, and that is on the top of the list. I’m working on admiring the beauty of the garden as opposed to the flower that got crushed. I will always face disappointments, that’s a side effect of being alive, but how I react to it will affect future blessings.

I am such a blessing, and I should start acting this way. No amount of rubble can keep me from getting to the top. Getting comfortable should never be an option as it is the gateway to mediocrity. I know I deserve better in life; the battle is not listening to the voices that tell you otherwise.

I am more than my present circumstance, so I’m working on getting on the journey I want in my life. There will always be something preventing me from where I want to go; I just have to find a way around it to get back on the path.

Pax et Felicitatem,
Nomadic Free Spirit

My First Time

Photo by Eternal Happiness

I remember the details like it happened yesterday even though it happened over ten years ago. It’s crazy how we remember these events in such detail; I didn’t think about it in a while then all of a sudden the memory came centre stage.

I decided to leave about two hours earlier than I usually would for my graduation practice. I had to travel for an hour to get to school, so I thought it was best to beat the rush hour. When I entered the bus, it was empty, but as I got closer to my destination, the bus became full. I started feeling uncomfortable being on a crowded bus. This was a new feeling for me; I’m not sure if it was the addition of the speed, but I took in strides and bared through it.

While distracting myself, I realised that the window wasn’t open. I figured that this feeling came about from the lack of breeze. I always preferred to feel the wind on my face when travelling long distances to relax me. When I tried to open the window, I couldn’t. I tried again, and I fail. I tried one last time, and I just couldn’t budge the window. At this point, I started experiencing so much; dizzy, hot, hyperventilating, discomfort, chills.

I couldn’t control myself as the tears started running down my face while it became hard to breathe. The person next to me tried to calm me down, but my focus was on opening that window. All I could think about was why couldn’t I open the window? Other joined in to help, and the bus stopped to assess the situation thoroughly. The bus conductor told me the window couldn’t open and that calmed me just a bit, but this had open the gate to let whatever this thing out. The driver decided to continue this journey, but to get me to the hospital. When we got closer to the hospital, the driver informed as passing police about my case, and they drove me to the hospital.

I waited in the emergency room for the nurse. I was so cold; tears streamed down my face. I felt I was a visitor to this reality. I couldn’t understand this feeling, and I was genuinely scared. I didn’t know how long I waited but being in a trance calmed me. The nurse asked me the regular questions and all the answers were negative.

Then she asked about the events happening in my life. I told her about my grandmother transitioning, and it was the first time I experienced death so intimately. I told her about my graduation and the pursuit of a job. After I told her the major events, she told me I was overwhelmed and had a panic attack.

I was stunned; I never heard the term, let alone know someone who experienced it. Even if there were people who suffer from anxiety attacks, I can’t say as it wasn’t openly discussed. It would be nice to talk to someone with experience, but going around asking questions wouldn’t get me answers.

Here at 18, the beginning stage of adulthood, I now face this dilemma. I am figuring out how I would deal with this in my life. Now that I know it exists, I have to take the time to figure out my triggers and what I can do to reduce the effects.

Beatus Manifestationes,
Nomadic Free Spirit

The Unseen Intruder

At some point in our lives, we have all felt sad. Sadness is an essential part of our lives because it reminds us of the need to be humble and offers a reference point for happy aspects of our lives. With sadness being an essential part of our lives, when does it become a problem? To me, it becomes a problem when the sadness lingers to the point where you lose interest in daily activities and leaving your bed becomes a physical battle.

I experienced this feeling growing up, but I never felt comfortable talking about it. I didn’t know how to start or who to speak to about the issue. I wanted to talk about it, but I feared being shunned or told to pray vigorously about it. I am a firm believer in prayers, but prayers without action wouldn’t benefit me, and I felt so lost. I also feared speaking out because expressing emotions wasn’t a common practice, so I didn’t want to be classed as an outsider.

I realised later that this trait, of not talking, was due to a coping mechanism brought about by the effects of slavery and colonialism. Before, I just thought it was reasonable to hold on to my feelings and let is damage me. I figured it was best to suppress it. That didn’t work because now as I get older, I saw my character developing from coping mechanisms based on my experiences. I thought about too many “what ifs” and hoped my life had gravitated differently. I’m now working on ensuring that my feelings are dealt with properly to prevent subsequent effects.

When talking to others about my experiences, I realised that others shared similar situations but are also afraid to speak about it. I’m so baffled that an issue so prevalent is not openly discussed. I believe it is crucial to remove the stigma related to sadness and depression. With May designated as Mental Health Awareness month, individuals are working to ensure this is normalised.

Beatus Manifestationes,
Nomadic Free Spirit