Broken. Still so beautiful inside.

comments 16
emotional health / human experience / Humor / relationships / Uncategorized

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If you are wondering whether my musical friend, Dave Matthews, has taken me up on my offer to collaborate on some of his well written and inspiring musical pieces, I would say exuberantly that he has! However, what you may not be aware of, is that there are approximately 1,748 men in our United States listed by the name of “David Matthews”.  So, yes, I have made contact with one “David Matthews”, however, I haven’t yet been in correspondence with THE David Matthews.  Except for in my dreams…which I savor still…sorry, I digress.

Stay tuned on that one, friends. Where there is a will…

Loose Association Alert: While at spinning class today I thought about all of the folks that had reached out to me after I had peeled off a layer or two a few weeks ago with my blog featuring my childhood voice. I was met by so many who also decided to shed a layer, or at least steer in that direction, because they were made to actually think about their lives and what might be holding them back from feeling truly alive, after reading my verbal projectile vomit. Each individual shared that at one point she had no control over her life or a time that others stronger in some way, took advantage. I was both horrified and touched that I could bring that out. It’s a dark time to revisit. And with that death comes new life. I do believe that. I am happy for these friends…new and old. There is something missing from all this however. It is a male voice.  Is it only the females who suffer? Doubtful. It’s the males who have no voice for it to be heard, or no one pushing them to let the muck flow. No social supports to say it’s okay for a guy to have “girl” feelings.

Bottom line:

strip us all to the heart, though we’re broken to the bone, we’re humans with feelings and dreams and a beauty all our own. Even you big tough he-men who don’t allow yourselves to feel.  It’s in there. If you have a heart you have been born with the capacity to love and be loved. It’s in there. It’s real.

(Dave: you may use that!  Just let me know! *blowing kisses*)

I wish more people would take a risk to let go and be loved; however, it often isn’t as easy as I’ve made it sound. It has taken me years to get through the sludge to the real deal. We get so much of who we are from the family we grew up in. The good and the bad. Boys tend to follow father’s footsteps more while daughters watch their mothers for cues. Don’t argue with me on that one. Dr. Phil supports that line. I know this because I heard it on one of his shows. Take the learned behavior, mix it with genetics and a person’s environment and you get grown up people making decisions good and bad. Everything leading up to today has either been under your control or someone else’s, on your behalf.

♣Take yours. Own it. Make it amazing.♣

My concern is for the male who doesn’t feel socially that it is appropriate to enter therapy, or feel any kind of emotion that may get people confused with them being anything like a female, God forbid. Women are already fairly “weak” so it’s ok if they share their fear or sadness or shame or guilt (trying to prove a point, female friends, relax). “Real” men see those as weaknesses. He brands even himself a failure somehow if he can’t keep it all together and still provide for his family.  He’s not all ridiculous though, he does relate to strength and mergers and acquisitions and power and financial gain and muscles. OR, being in charge, being the protector, being the motivator, being the guide, being the breadwinner, being the BBQer.  Being the thinker in the relationship. The feeler, of course, is played by the female.

THERE IS NO TIME FOR IMPOTENCE. Of any kind. Go ahead, admit it. I’m not totally off the mark here. (however, if I am, I am woman enough to take it, I assure you!)

I thought we females had it bad! At least we can go to the salon and change it up or put lipstick on it or a new dress maybe. And we’re almost encouraged to cry/weep/emote/be silly/”tinkle”/get nervous/screw up directions/chat with our bff’s/take anxiety meds/stay home with the kids/appear ditzy…blah blah blah…truly pros and cons in both boats, however, when I think of the socio-emotional strain on our men I feel truly saddened. Where is it that says that boys are born sans feelings? Stereotypes of boys/men are alive and well and I dare say, largely in the male head –  the one that he is supposed to be thinking with.

On behalf of the women who love the men NOT only because you are often taller and framed differently and wear hair on your face and look very handsome bald and smell nice after a shower and make us feel special when you want sex (yes, we’ve known for years…), I would like to take this moment to thank you for your service in all departments and tell you that it’s ok. We know you have feelings and we give you permission to talk about them and be honest even if it might hurt our feelings. (I may be going out on my very own limb here…I’m feeling fewer females in attendance as I present this sentiment).

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We can handle your truth. It’s yours. Feelings are neither right nor wrong, they just are. Get in touch with yours the same way you touch yourself in your TV room and let us know what’s going on up there!  I don’t care if your dad talked to your mom or not. Wake up and be here with us today. Now. I guarantee you there will be fewer stress-related untimely deaths if our men let us in. And we let them be human along with us.

Relax girls, we can still hold sex over their heads! Getting them healthy doesn’t have to take away our power. It gives us longer to use it.

*wink* Am I right, ladies?!

ps. See you in my dreams DM! ♥

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The Author

I am a licensed clinical social worker who just happens to adore the written word. I have had a private practice and am now writing a memoir on my life in the company of my father and many of my clients who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I hope to dispel some myths and break down some barriers for those with mental illness. I write out of need and complete joy, which I hope to convey throughout my blogs. The human experience is not exclusive to one group. I hope to appeal to most as I touch on some pretty heady material with some self-deprecating humor and raw emotion thrown in for good measure. I have four amazing children, one HUGE dog and a tolerant husband. I am blessed.

16 Comments

  1. Uh… stand in line for Dave, honey! He only has eyes for me! He’s just unaware of it. I do know that he stared at me throughout the entire July 4th concert in Chicago. I could feel it… through all of those people. 🙂 Serious stuff for me to think about here. My mother was the “void” one in our family. Hmmmm. Explains a bit about my messed-up-ness I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been waiting a hell of a long time for someone to say what you’ve said here, Julie. I want to add some more thoughts but I need to go away for a little bit and process first. I’ll be back.

    For now, thank you. 🙂

    Like

      • I’m not a man. Society has well and truly hammered that point home.

        You see, men don’t wear their hearts on their sleeves.

        Sure, they can get pissed at the pub, rage punch other men to make a point, pound their women porno style in the back of a souped up ute, and even cry when their footy team loses (like someone’s died), but they can’t express anything more nuanced than brutish, pig dog emotion.

        Men are supposed to be simple and straightforward, and have all their touchy feely stuff stowed away out of sight because that’s considered weak and laughable. They’re required to be the provider even though equality of the sexes is supposedly a thing. They must make money. They must be successful at everything they put their hand to. They must dominate. They must be logical. They must have an iron mask.

        Men are superhuman. Anything less is failure, and you’re not worth the room you breathe in.

        I am not any of these things, therefore I am not a man. I don’t have a well paying job. I don’t drive. Hell, I’ve no idea what I want to do with my life beyond the art I create. Nor am I a buff, virile, sex god with a huge… well, you get the idea. In short, I don’t even have charm. I’m not the life of the party. I’m distinctly ordinary. Forgettable. I’m just me. (Whatever that is.)

        I do come out of my shell and show my marshmallowy, sensitive insides, but people do not respect me for it. I often feel like a joke. A hoax even. And, frankly, women are just as much to blame as the men for perpetuating this distorted picture of what men must be in order to be men. And I’m beginning to see that men are being consistently manipulated into living the caricature that society holds up as the shining example of what manhood truly is.

        Just as women are shamed into being weak and submissive objects to be won over, men are shamed into being stoic übergods that must either compete or die at the hands of more deserving, more capable titans. We’re really suffering for it. All of us. Reducing ourselves to subhuman because we can’t step outside of gender roles and expectations that are simply not one size fits all. And for what? To keep up appearances? To make ourselves feel better and more in control? I have no idea.

        I’m not in control. I do show my emotions. I hate beer, footy, and cars. How is this a crime? How is it that this makes me not a man? I reject that paradigm. All they do is damage me.

        Like

      • Oh Tony…wow! Have you thought of writing? So real. So true. Your testimony gives me more desire to continue to open up the closed-in ideas, souls, missions…I’m happy for your honest expression and sad that you’ve been so stifled and made to feel ashamed for being who you are meant to be.
        For what it’s worth…I think you are one hell of a great guy, no matter your size! (trying to add levity…maybe not?)
        I am honored that you take the time to read my blog and hope to hell that you begin to love yourself enough to give anyone the finger that doesn’t see how beautiful a human being you are.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. You’re very kind, Julie. I’ve never considered writing something without pictures. I’m just not convinced that it would be good enough. Having said that, your post inspired me to write this. I felt that I wanted to show my support for what you’re doing on this blog in some small way. Don’t give up the mission.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yo, Tony! Not for nothing, but did you read that post about honesty? I think Jules was being honest rather than kind. And for what it’s worth, I agree with her 500%. Personally, I think you’re all that and a bag of chips, too.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yeah! Take that Tony! 🙂
        Welcome back, msmonsterful! You’ve been missed! Can’t help but notice you’ve been busy doing some catch up reading! You’re funny…oh! and congrats on the employment! So proud of how you’ve handled all of this crap coming your way! You’re a tough cookie!

        Liked by 1 person

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