It’s a funny thing about guys.
We don’t talk about our “feelings” too much. Most guys, straight, bi, or gay never really get to express all the stuff that rolls around in their heads. And by ‘heads’ I mean the one north of the navel. We’re always allowed to talk about the one down south unless you’re in the workplace, and even then it’s alright as long as you’re with folks who aren’t uptight about that sort of thing. It’s like we aren’t allowed to express emotion unless it is of an aggressive nature. We are taught that it isn’t manly to express our thoughts or hurts or vulnerabilities. We aren’t allowed to cry. Crying is for girls and sissies. And you don’t want to be a sissy, do you?
We aren’t allowed to talk about romantic notions or get “in touch” with our softer sides. Make this mistake and you are suddenly labeled as a pansy, nancy boy, or at best just weak. Women have it better in this respect, I think. They can verbalize what’s eating at them and its okay. Healthy, in fact. But not us guys. What male hasn’t ever heard that “big boys don’t cry” or “be a man” or “suck it up you goddamned little faggot and quit your crying, little shit headed worthless piece of shit mama’s boy!” Okay, maybe that last one was just my father, but you get the idea. Hell, even my mother would scold me for being too girlish and effeminate. It was difficult at age seven to articulate to her that I preferred roosters to kittens. Think about that a while. You’ll get it.
No, guys just aren’t allowed to have feelings let alone talk about them in “group”. Unless, of course, you are an alcoholic and then it’s okay because it’s the booze talking and that doesn’t count. In fact, I tend to believe that there are probably more male alcoholics than female. Now, I don’t have any statistics on that, it’s just my opinion so please don’t berate me for that. I think guys are more prone to self medication to at least dull the pain because they can’t exorcize it in order to get rid of it.
So lately I’ve had a few of those “issues” that crop up in life from time to time. I, of course, think I have more than my fair share but that’s probably an exaggeration. I’m sure lots of guys go into a dark place in their lives and suddenly find that they just went deeper – but I wouldn’t know that for sure because we can’t talk about it! But my issues seem to be getting the better of me at the moment. That’s not a cry for help, by the way, it’s just a statement so please don’t make the offer to go out for coffee and a chat.
Recently, however, I did tell a buddy that I was in an uncomfortable place. In a round about way, I did sort of hint that I could really appreciate unloading some of that tension to a listening ear. Not asking for advice nor asking him to solve the problems – just to listen. Completely prepared to return the favor if ever needed. It was pretty clear that he was entirely uncomfortable with that. Figures. Again, our conditioning tells us that that is taboo. I apologized, as I frequently tend to do, and dropped it.
It’s a shame, really, that we can’t seem to get to a place where everybody feels free enough to just be human and recognize and express their fears and frustrations. Either that or he just couldn’t be bothered with another nancy boy crying over spilled milk