The day came recently when I opened my Facebook page to find a couple of comments that I suppose in a way, confirmed that what I am doing will hurt some people.
The vision I am hoping to create is one where men can talk freely about their feelings in a secure environment. On listening to other men in my peer group, I have learned that this is definitely not an easy task. Men just will not do it! I can understand why too. The ridicule, the embarrassment, the jibes, the odd looks given when you wear your heart on your sleeve. I get it. But underneath all this bravado, I do think there is an underlying want for men having the platform to speak.
As a new writer, I will find some comments quite hard to take but I guess this is part of the course as you cannot please everyone. The whole point of this blog is to display a side to me that wouldn’t normally be seen. Nor any other man for that matter. But, the fact that I have chosen to speak about how I feel is not merely to pacify anyone but more so to help me through the rest of my life. If others want to contribute in any way, I am more than happy for this to happen.
Talking about stuff has never come easily to me. Whatever the ‘stuff’ is, I have always sought to keep my thoughts and opinions to myself, especially over sensitive subjects. I have difficulty showing emotion. But, I will not let it stop me from writing or talking about how I feel in certain situations.
For example, I have just had a discussion with AJ and she has likened me to a broken little boy, and an arsehole man. There is no in between which is where she feels I should be – a decent human being. I can come out all guns blazing when all I am trying to do is understand what has been said to me. But this likened to being argumentative, with an arsehole man syndrome! What I need to learn is how to respond differently with a well-reasoned understanding, as opposed to becoming defensive. I find this both exhausting and becoming unsure of myself. Who am I really?
I think that there is a long road ahead before I can realise all of my flaws. Shite knows that I’ve been this way for my whole adult life!
To solidify the argument, I asked the question on Reddit ‘Why don’t men talk?’ The response was overwhelming. Men do not talk because of fear. The fear of what others think. Everyone who responded had some form of phobia of speaking their feelings. This must be widespread across the globe because men are just that…..men!
‘No need to voice your concerns or worries here my boy, keep your feelings to yourself as nobody wants to know – everybody has their own issues!’
The ability to confront our issues is well within us to do, but we find it impossible. Why is this?
So, the comments that were made were in a way, quite complimentary! For someone to consider me on the same level as Charlotte Bronte, is a great shout! Although if I appear to write like a woman then I apologise but I will try to write as I speak more so in the future. The Bronte sisters were a literary revolution so I feel quite in awe now. So thanks very much! (You know who you are!)
The emotional boundaries that we wrap ourselves in is a difficult one to break down. We hurt ourselves on a daily basis without even knowing it, but if the wall can be broken down, surely it’s good? The comments that have been made allowed me the time to think about why men are so restricted. It could be that they think that being able to talk about their problems is a sign of weakness.
I can understand this concept as depression is labelled the ‘curse of the strong’. A book written by Dr Tim Cantopher covers the area of depression. But in my case, the silence I have chosen to take or rather, not had the confidence to deal with, has led in part to my depression and anxiety.
We are all strong in our own right. I think some of us feel it more than others.
Have your say: join my private Facebook group, The Silent Man, today.