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

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