We’re surrounded by the mirrors of our past.
A few months ago I gazed diligently at the mirror that resembled a time before (hyper) masculinity. As I reluctantly brought my car to a stop allowing an illuminated train of school children to cross, I replaced my feeling of frustration with a mindful gaze. Within seconds I noticed 2 young boys holding hands, engrossed in conversation as they crossed. My brain twitched. It was as if a lost memory had returned to me, and in that precise moment I thought to myself,
“I remember holding my male friend’s hand like that.”
As I continued to be enthralled by their innocence it dawned on me – I was missing pieces of my emotions.
I am a 28 year old man and besides the traditional African beatings I experienced whilst growing up, I can count the number of times I have cried in my life which come down to the following life experiences:
- When I left primary school
- When I lost my first close friend to Leukaemia
- When I opened up to my partner about my masturbation issues
- In my dreams
Now in light of the above, there have been so many situations where I’ve wanted to EXPRESS what I was FEELING, but it was no easy task or better yet, it felt impossible to do so. The image below is the best way I can describe what it felt like:
I hope that example suffices because if not, you’ve probably had your emotional motherboard wiped clean!
I’m a Wellbeing Management Consultant. I work with many people to find their own missing pieces. If there’s something I’ve realised about my journey is that I’m not emotionally unstable but rather emotionally trapped!
Mothers raise boys into gentlemen but society emasculates the gentleman into a man thus, weakening his ability to form healthy and lasting attachments, but strengthening his desire for money, lust and the pursuit of all things in quantity.
Despite the overtly hyper-masculine appearance, no man is exempt from the feeling of loss. Whether that be the loss of a friend, family member or the loss of a well-kept secret.
Why must our tears find us before we find them?
Crying is like art – an epitome of expression. We cry during times of happiness as well as sadness. I believe one of the biggest lies men tell themselves is that they are not emotional while at the same time negatively impressing what they lack upon their female-counterpart.
“You’re too emotional”
When you wait for your tears to find you, it often happens when no one is around to support you or help you understand what you haven’t experienced for so long. Need I remind you of the suicide rate of males (UK)?
The problem isn’t that we are struggling. The problem is that we haven’t been taught to express in a open and healthy way – we’re emotionally trapped.
I vaguely remember a time before my teens whereby I was experiencing an scathing internal pain (which I believe was more emotional than anything) which prevented me from sleeping or thinking straight. I recall desiring to feel something other than this pain, even if it meant taking a kitchen knife from downstairs and attempting to press it against different parts of my arm. Now I didn’t self-harm but my point is, I wanted to escape the pain or better yet, dis-ease, by any means necessary.
Okay, so I recently expressed to my partner that I’ve had multiple dreams where I find myself crying. At times, I am consciously awake when I realise I’m making noises and immediately open my eyes to put an end to it. It’s weird but lately I’ve interpreted it as a desire to express what lies deep within me. My battles. My Secrets. My other half of ‘entirety’.
I’m blessed to be with such a strong-willed and supportive partner to whom I expressed my first secret with – Masturbation – but that’s an entirely different article.
A numb man will never understand an emotional woman. In turn, you’ll never understand the pain you inflict upon her.
This is a journey about reclaiming my emotional self in it’s entirety. I want to find my tears before they find me.