Anger and masculinity

Never back down.

The attitude, that a large percentage of men have to life, can be extremely detrimental to our health and well-being. I am a MAN, I won’t be beaten by anyone, or the world. Maybe it’s, I will win at all costs. I believe this attitude, is also, reinforecd by others around us.

I thought I’d discuss my own approach to this question, how as I’ve previously mentioned it almost destroyed me. We’ve established, my own insecurities and where they arose. Then, the way I felt I needed to deal with life, on a visceral level.

This all beginning early on in my childhood, progressing through my teens and on into adulthood. Which for most, if not all of us, is how it works.

Being relatively young, reacting to something, that at the time in our lives, can be a huge and daunting experience. For me, moving away from a place where I’d loved living, losing friends and my ‘blanket’ of security. Something that was recently suggested to me, most children just get on with, embrace.

Without consciously thinking about it, the world isn’t such a safe place any longer.

Our armour.

We learn to cover up our feelings, our insecurities. Elaborating, telling stories, attempting to fit in to a world we find harsh, where we believe we don’t belong or aren’t comfortable. The mask, or armour, getting progressivly thicker, as we under develop as a person.

Being guarded, becomes more familiar to us, eventually it’s extemely difficult, if not impossible to show people, how we truly feel about life and our experiences. We are unable to show vunerability, or weakness, behaviours that men, simply shouldn’t possess.

Experiences.

Then something else happens, or has been happenning, we have another experience, we don’t enjoy in any way. Not knowing how to deal with this in a healthy manner, we get angry and start to feel differently inside. We think differently, our behaviour changes, and nobody knows why, because we haven’t told them how we feel.

We carry these feelings of anger and hate, along with our insecurities around with us. Maybe, we’ve now found a way of coping with the feelings we have, but don’t share.

Then we move to the next phase of our lives, we leave the familiar surroundings of our schools and move into the working environment. Meeting new people, some, we don’t like very much. Drawing conclusions about them, not long after we’ve met them.

Now we are stuck with these people, or we begin to get ideas of ‘jumping ship’. Changing our place of work, career, relationship, anything, that we deem is ‘making’ us angry, or insecure.

It doesn’t really matter which choice we make. Unless we address the underlying issue, we will experience this whatever we do. We must be aware, in many cases, there are people out there, suffering in their own way and doing their best.

Or there is the possibilty, they are simply not very nice people. Establishing this, can have an influence, on the decison we make.

Who’s behaviour.

If we are going to be fair and accept, that other people in our environment have issues of their own and we know how this feels. It is easier to deal with the situation, our anger and insecurities.

When we believe these people know exactly what they are doing, as we both do, to a certain degree.

Simply to manipulate, doing anything to achieve what they want, plus, they are getting away with it. Without as much as a word from others, it’s completely maddening.

Once again though, we must think about how our own behaviour is affecting them, which admittedly, is difficult when you are experiencing this.

Unforgiveable behaviour.

I was discussing this subject with an ex-girlfriend on one occasion, over the last few years. How I was fuming, at the time, about how one of my business partners had spoken to her.

I couldn’t work out whether he was attempting to belittle her, me, or both of us. Thankfully though, she has the ability, to be direct in her response to people, not showing embarrassment and discomfort.

When she answered him, he didn’t know what to say. He simply shut up, not saying another word. The way he had spoken to her, can only be described as demeaning, why would somebody do that?

At this point i’m struggling to work him out. There was no rational thinking here, the only thoughts entering my mind. Was jumping over my desk and punching him extremely hard, in the face.

This is more than just being about me and whatever he thinks I’m contributing, or not to the business. This is rude, uncalled for and bullying behaviour.

My hate for this man, the anger, by now was escalating so fast, it was difficult to control. However, I had to control it, drove to London and again, drunk heavily all weekend.

Spineless.

By now, I’ve resigned myself to the fact, I had to deal with it, while not upsetting the apple cart. I hated myself for this, to my mind, my behaviour was also spineless, I’m putting up with this guy. I don’t want to be around him and can’t or don’t, want to work with him effectively.

The problem now is, I’m so angry with myself, the situation, this man and his behaviour. I will never allow him, or anyone else involved to beat me. Never give in to bullying, manipulation and conform, because I’m being instructed to do so.

Unable to openly fight, that was unacceptable and now I see, potentially disastrous. Not prepared to leave the business, run away from the fight and lose everything.

Deciding to stay, face it and get on with it, but inevitably running away, in another way. I achieved absolutely nothing, other than becoming seriously ill.

Running to ‘my pub’, whenever possible. Sitting in it, drinking large quantities of alcohol. Talking about ‘killing’ people, or at the very least, hurting, or having them hurt. All the while being, to freightened of the concequences if I did.

Which to be honest, looking back, isn’t such a bad thing.

So it continues.

After the first big walk, over the nearby mountain. I was completely drained, I’d dropped my mates off and retired to, what was still at that time, ‘my’ pub. Sitting on a stool at the bar, drinking squash and eating a roll, I was taken aback, when who should walk through the door…my business partner.

My business partner, walking into my local (pub), one which he was fully aware of, being just that. With mixed up reasons for being there, and discussing work. Ok, as it was pointed out later, when I ‘discussed’ it with my father. It’s a public house, there is no reason why he shouldn’t be there. To which I replied, you tell him! or I will!

I was so angry that he’d done that, and given different reasons for being there. Then, when I left, although he’d suggested he was there to eat, he left almost immediately.

I’d almost died and all I can think, is this guy, is checking up on me, he couldn’t let it go.

Now though, nor could I, when I began training, getting fitter, putting on weight and becoming more vascular. I wasn’t changing out of my training kit after a workout, I would drive over to the office, for no particular reason.

Not again.

What I wanted to see, was him, look at me and put his head down. I wanted to witness him squirm, to be uncomfortable. I was bullying him, without having to say a word.

On one occasion, he did put his head down, looked away, as if he couldn’t look. This might have been for a completely different reason, that didn’t matter to me at the time, I didn’t go back to the office dressed like that again.

Realistically, the other issues I had, was that at this point in time. My intention was to return to work and there was no way, I was now going to put up with this kind of behaviour any longer, clearly everyone needed to be made aware. I was no longer the person that had been working there, previously.

Obviously, I’d also been coping with life consuming alcohol and this was no longer viable or wanted. I’d attempted to return to work at thirty, with unresolved issues, or any realistic plan with which to deal with the environment.

This simply couldn’t happen again, I felt like I was proactively protecting myself. I needed to future proof myself, to be confident, I wouldn’t revert back to my previous behaviour.

New thoughts.

Where that experience made me feel better, thinking about it afterwards, these feelings didn’t last long. I was missing the point about what I was achieving, why I was getting fit and what my long term goals were.

The whole reason for becoming fit and healthy, is to enjoy and love life. I was actively allowing myself, to be dragged back into, resuming the fight.

This added to my development and growth, my new thoughts on a constructive future. Is why I write about, knowing how I would have acted, returning to that environment and subsequently, deciding not to.

In an extremely strange way, being this angry at life and people in it, Fighting, refusing to be told what to do, like, my fathers, little boy. Not backing down, having no intention of allowing anyone to bully me out of a business and losing everything, I believed I would have.

Weakness.

To be seen as weak and unable to cope, with the situation I found myself in. To battle on, in a completely unhealthy and realistically, superficial and unenjoyable manner. Drinking, joking, laughing externally and having a twisted view on life. Living in an altered state, whenever possible, because I didn’t enjoy, being any other way.

Attempting, where possible to solve things on my own, not asking for help. One because it wasn’t immediately forthcoming, two, to be seen as the guy, that can do, who didn’t require help. But also, when I did ask for help, I often found it lacking, I was dissapointed with it, nothing was good enough.

As my levels of stress continued to grow, along with all the other issues I was experiencing, it became more difficult to cope. Being unable to share my feelings, until it had come to a point, where I had no credibility, because of my bahaviour. I then felt let down by more people, and blamed them. This adding to my anger and so the spiral continued.

Reflection.

The level of alcohol I was consuming had diminished, after my first visit to hospital, I hadn’t drunk shorts and the stronger lagers for many years. I was however drinking large quantities of ‘normal’ strength lager, with a body that couldn’t deal with it. Life was getting worse, my anger with it greater and I wasn’t giving in.

I was giving up, but not in, I was turning yellow and wasn’t prepared to do anything about it. I now understand how ridiculous this behaviour was, how my thoughts were leading me to inevitable destruction. Where my fear of losing control and needing other people, would be realised.

With a great deal of reflection, I’d been living with trauma of some kind, for well over two decades. I believe my issues with anger and insecurity, led me to, under perform in life.

These, along with the relationship between, levels of stress and anxiety being experienced. Influencing my ability, not to react to people in the environment and to self regulate, in a healthy manner.

Unsurprisingly, these issues, leading to my depression and insomnia.

I’m quite comfortable with this now, although it did take a little time to fully accept.

My anger and hate almost killed me.

We can learn, even when we haven’t been taught how, in our formative years. Or we have developed ‘skills’ which prevent us from, being seen as vulnerable and weak.

To transcend these notions of weakness and embrace the idea, we show great strength, by expressing our vulnerabilities and weaknesses.

We are human, this outdated idea, that men, must be the dominant one, who, while protecting and providing, should not display ‘flaws’. We all, each and every one of us, have issues that must be dealt with.

It is unhealthy, for us to suppress our feelings, bottling them up, until we break or explode. It’s OK to talk, cry if need be, relieving us of the burden that is, keeping it to ourselves, and ‘dealing’ with it.

My own approach to the multitude of issues, I experienced, without expressing them in a constructive manner and moving forward. Almost killed me. I truly am fortunate and grateful to be alive, I have learned to deal with and express my emotions.

This is what I would like to witness every man succeed in doing, discarding anger and hate, their insecurities. Becoming the person, they can be, calm, confident, happy and successful, performing at their peak in life, not simply talking about it.

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