This is an article Coralie and I co-wrote. It was published in a local magazine and is on our Fresh Beginnings Blog. As I have been going through the discussions here it feels like a good fit for the Goddess Group. I am equally as committed as Coralie in having men come to terms with their changing roles and self-perceptions within society and global change. There is nothing 'effeminate" about men being able to express the full range of their emotions including the ones that people often associate with females. Men do hurt as much as women but we are told from the time we are little "not to act or BE a girl" when we cried as little boys. In my view that sends a very derogatory message to men that "being like a girl" is "bad" and to be shunned at all cost. That is, in my view why many boys start acting "macho" to defend their masculinity and not EVER do anything that either gender would interpret as "girly."
I am in the process of writing a fuller article about this and will post it when I am done. For now the following piece calls attention the seriousness within the lack of resources for men. In striving for wholeness and healing for both genders we need to address the situation and provide more support for men so they can go through the kind of transformational process that many women have. They began taking their power back during the Feminist Movement.
It is time for both genders to be sensitive to men and their right to cry, feel their fears, feelings of abandonment, isolation and stress without anyone telling them they are weak and less manly because of them. That is why men resort to anger and violence...those are accepted emotions for "manly men" but crying, feeling depressed over...no matter what they do is never enough.
As a man who has gone through my own struggles in all of the above I am committed to creating more dialog about this situation and encourage both men and women to do so as well. We do not object to anyone copying and sharing our material as long as our copyright is protected by proper cite references.
MEN ON THE EDGE OF BROKENNESS
By Coralie Darsey-Malloy and David Malloy
If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.
--Michel De Montaigne
Medical and non-medical mental health resources report that men on the ‘edge of brokenness’ do not access support systems for a variety of reasons. A document released in September of 2004 (Patterns of Regional Mental Health Illness Disorder Diagnoses and service Use in Manitoba: A Population Based Study) revealed men commit suicide more than three times as often (two per 10,000) to females (0.6 per 10,000).The ratio is approximately 102 men to every 22 women.
The study does not reveal why more men commit suicide only that they do. According to Constance Eagle from the Anxiety Disorder Association of Manitoba women may attempt suicide but men carry it through…and in more violent ways. Although the reasons behind higher suicides rates in men are unclear, professionals theorize it is their unwillingness or inability to access mental health services that puts them at higher risk. Barriers such as peer pressure and gender socialization can make it difficult for men to open up to their wives, partners, family members and even their churches. The harsh and often shocking reality of their situation only hits when men run away from home or take their own lives. Men’s tendency to internalize feelings may lead to addictions, financial problems, violence, spousal and family abuse. When this occurs, fear of being forced into the justice system may prevent them from accessing mental health resources and see suicide as the only way out.
While researching this topic a media contact added her experiences. She published an article on depression. Afterwards, numerous men from her readership called and admitted to living in quiet desperation with nowhere to turn. RCMP records for Manitoba confirm that growing numbers of men are struggling in similar despair. There are 105 missing Manitobans and 95 of them are male and known to have health and psychological problems. On a larger scale, FBI databases in the United States contain the names of approximately 8,000 missing adults within the last year. Statistically most of them are men who are known to be struggling with a variety of personal problems.
While interviewing mental health professionals they raised concern that Canada is one of the few countries that does not have a standardized mental health policy. In Manitoba there is up to a six month waiting period for those seeking psychiatric help unless patients are a considered a danger to themselves or others. Coupled with the stigma associated with mental health issues it is not surprising tmen are reluctant to access existing services. One individual who left home in the midst of his crisis summarized the broader male perspective in this way,”When faced with challenging situations men don’t think to look in the yellow pages. It is hard for us to disclose what we think and feel at the best of times. Men rarely ask peers what they did (or do) because most of them don’t know where to turn either.
He added, “In conversations with other males I found there is a general view that it would be easier to seek help if Manitoba had a centralized intake process with a 24 hour crises line strictly geared to men and their personal challenges. Comfort levels would increase if it was understood that on-line counselors would respect confidentiality and had sensitivity to men’s issues and it was more widely advertised. Women inform women about what is out there whereas men do not. Because we don’t know and are afraid to admit things to ourselves or our peer. Things often remain the same until they become intolerable…then we act and often in ways that are not in our best interest.” Men caught up in domestic violence are often the victims of abuse themselves but they do not want to come forward, seek help or even tell anyone because of the same they feel about being hit or abused by women. The same is true if they have been or are being sexually abused at any age. Men have been indoctrinated into believing they have to be strong even when they feel vulnerable.
He and other interviewees felt that Manitoba needs a toll-free crisis line run ‘for men by men.’ From the feedback I received men are apprehensive about their health and well-being but resist going to doctors, healers or therapists because of their up-bringing or conditioning. Some of their health related concerns include; high blood pressure, heart disease, impotence, memory loss and prostate cancer. They admitted that self-esteem can be affected by their work, marriage, divorce, weight, appearance, retirement and financial security.
When these affairs become more than they can handle some men leave home as a coping mechanism. Sometimes they are forced to return to untenable situations before they are equipped to do so…because there is no other place for them to go. Men who have gone through this process say they did not have a sense of equality within our social system. One man put it this way, “When men do cave, leave home and contact family housing and services…some workers don’t know what to do with him. For example, a friend of mine ended out on the street for two days before making it to the Salvation Army.
He said one worker told him to ‘get his act together and go back to his family where he belonged.’ So he did. His circumstances didn’t change and he ended up killing himself two months later. Comparatively, when women are in crisis/danger existing safety nets kick and provide housing, direction and a sense of support. Men understand that women’s socialization is geared towards ‘sharing and caring’ within a co-operative network and that is the accepted norm. However, men who commented on this topic said they are completely lost when it comes to taking a proactive approach to resolving their problems. They view themselves and each other as pragmatic, problem solvers and have a low comfort level when life’s circumstances overwhelm them and alter their ability to cope in a ‘manly’ way…whatever that is.”
Another man I interviewed summarized it for the rest. “I believe men do not want to contact whatever resources are out there because of a genuine concern about being put when feeling weak or vulnerable.” He continued with a face washed in emotion, “Most women I’ve talked to keep towing the party line and say men need to take anger management classes and maybe we do. However, what they do not understand is that our anger is outer expression of other deeper feelings that we don’t know how to handle. Anger is the one emotion men are familiar with. Males display that in the sports arena and the crowds cheer. But how many men, women or children are equipped to handle a sobbing male who is overwhelmed with life? From childhood men are told to suck it up…and be men...so we soldier on and often make bad choices.
Unfortunately most men I know have never been shown another way to do it…so we stay in our comfort zones of familiarity and when that doesn’t work…we end it. Men thrive if they have a project to manage, re-build or construct...that we can do. But ask us to organize a system that would support our physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being and we’re lost. That is why many modern men are floundering or leaving the life they had in whatever form they do it. “
When we read this while putting the content for this article together it was a full circle moment. Our initial media contact was on to something. This is definitely a social situation that needs more attention.
Excerpt from What Your Mother Couldn't Tell You & Your Father Didn't Know by John Gray
P. 56, 1994, Harper Collins 427 pages,
Silently Sitting on a Rock
It's crucial to remember that one of the most significant differences between men and women is that while women cope with stress through sharing in nurturing relationships, men cope through solving problems. Traditionally, men have dealt with their problems by silently and patiently thinking up solutions. Ancient hunters would sit on a rock and silently search the horizon, looking and listening for their prey, or looking across the plains at their target, studying its movements and planning the attack.
This process of sitting, waiting, scheming, and planning allowed him to relax and conserve energy for the inevitable chase. Focusing kept his mind off the fear of being attacked or of missing his target, and when he achieved his goal he returned home a happy, stress-free man.
Why Men Watch TV
When a modern man comes home, quite commonly he sits in his favourite chair and either reads the newspaper or watches TV. Like the ancient hunter who needed to recover from the stress of his day, he instinctively finds his rock to sit on and begins gazing off into the horizon. Through reading or listening to the news he is, in effect, looking out over the world or scanning the horizon. As he picks up the remote control and begins searching through the stations, or turns the pages of his paper, he is once more in control: he silently and swiftly continues his hunt.
As he assumes this ancient posture, deep and reassuring feelings of security begin to emerge. Feeling in control, he is able to most effectively cope with the stress of not having immediate solutions to the problems of his life.
Through this instinctive ritual, he is able to temporarily forget his problems at work and is eventually ready for the relationship.
In our counseling work it is clear that society needs to create more resources for men and change the stereotype about what it actually means "to be a man" at this stage of human development. Just as women and their roles in society have changed the same is true for men. There needs to be a collaborative effort to support both genders through this difficult and challenging times.
You are welcome. With the work we do with men who have been mandated by the courts to attend our workshops we hear their voices in ways many others do not.
A lot of men are more comfortable in sharing their problems and concerns with women because they know they won't be demeaned or belittled for being a wuz by some of their manly friends who do not know how to access vulnerable feelings.
Thanx for your feedback Colleen and being there for the men who need the support you provide.
David, thank you so much for sharing this article........I have been processing alot of change in my life as is everyone.......I am 51 years old and just released my little Angel "daughter" free to explore her own life, she is now 18. I raised her as a single Mom since she was 5 years old and choose to NOT have any type of relationship with men during the 13 years since my divorce. I gave her 100% of me and it was the best thing I ever did as the results are in now and she is quite an enlightened young women. That being said, over the past year I have put alot of my energy into dating (mostly on-line) and getting to know men again......and I hear and feel their pain as much as my own (alot of them don't realize it but I've been taking alot of mental notes) lol. I have always felt that I would become a speaker.....speaking my truth as it unfolds......this topic is something I would like to study and take to the world stage for healing....I believe this information will benefit both men and women and particularly the way women raise their boys in this society...not sure where to begin but I wanted to thank you for bringing it forth..........<3
Thank you Colleen............I will keep you posted on the "better luck" ....it really helps getting some feedback on these issues especially focused around relationship between men and women..............thanks for your comments...I will be chatting more with the group.......made my day :)
Good to meet you here Suzanne and thanx for your feedback about this article that my wife and I co-wrote. We are public speakers, group leaders, free lance writers and write, produce and present a wide variety of material and have been in the field together since we met in 1990. We have a personal development company called Fresh Beginnings and if you want to get into the field marketing yourself is key.
You can begin to "speak your truth' as it unfolds by creating a blog. It will give people a feel for where you are coming from and what you have to offer. We use Blogspot and between us Coralie and I have 5 different ones with a different focus. If we can assist you let us know.
In regard to your new direction...just like the name of our company says...you are creating YOUR Fresh Beginnings. Wishing you well with that.
Thank you David.........fresh Beginnings....hhhmmm.........creating a blog.......I know that this is what I want to do.........I started on FB with my positive ONLY posting..in reality I know the posting is for me and keeps me on track. Lots of FEAR surrounding not being the "writer" type...more of the speaking type however I know that the time is NOW as I posted somewhere else that I KNOW that my Heart Space is now in the LEAD...(AMEN) it is about time.......so once again Thank you for your guidance and I'm sure you and Coralie will be hearing from me more often. Hugs.......Suzanne
You can talk to Coralie about what all new writers feel like. She started writing professionally in the mid-eighties and did not have anyone to mentor her in the field. Since that time she has assisted a lot of fledgling writers with suggestions about how to break in and the do's and don'ts where editors and publishers are concerned. She has written a book about her healing journey and we are working together to self-publish it in May.
I started writing after Coralie and I came together in 1990 and had some trepidation because she was a published professional but with her input and suggestions I am much more comfortable in expressing my ideas.
She started contacting local papers and offering to do free lance writing for them free of charge so they could get a feel for her style and abilities. That creates what are called "tear sheets' that you can then show to prospective editors. Coralie always says writing is the easy part and I agree with her now. The big challenge is to find someone who will pay you to write for them on a professional level.
So believe in yourself and your message and we are happy to help in any way we can.
Very Good point you are making Colleen.
Those guys must have a lot to unload when they confide in you.
Here is what I think, may also be going on with us men, as far as letting things out is concerned.
Imagine a hunter gatherer and hunting for wild game about 100,000 years ago.
During his hunt he falls into a hole and breaks his leg.
Now there he is all alone in a hole with a broken leg.
He knows that if he does not get back to his cave where 10 or 20 people are waiting for him, some of those people may starve to death.
So what does he do, he takes a branch from a tree and ties it to his broken leg so that he can limp better.
He then gets another branch and makes a crutch out of it.
He realizes that he has a 135 pound deer that he must carry back with him.
So what does he do, he makes a wheeless carrier out of more branches and starts his way back home.
On his way he encounters a few mountain lions and maybe a hungry bear or 2.
He disides that there is no way that he is going to part with that deer without a fight, so he starts to think of ways to defend against having the deer taken from him and also getting killed in the process.
2 days later, he see's his cave and his tribes people come out to help him into the cave so that they can eat the deer and fix his wounds up so that this poor guy can be ready to go out and do the exact same thing again for them in another 2 weeks.
Now I am not trying to make excuses for us men, but can you knid of see why we men keep thingsinside of ourselves.
That poor guy is going to have to face the exact same challenges and as he sits there letting his wounds heal, I am sure that he is thinking " Who do I tell that I don't want to go out and hunt anymore ?"
"If I told my people that I don't want to hunt anymore, they will probably throw me out of the clan completely"
Do you see the irony in my story ?
For thousands of years we men have either been self designated bread winners.
Do you really think anybody wants to hear waht we have to say about the laws of self imposed survival ?
SO what do we usually do ?
Grab a beer and put our heads in our hands as we ponder what to do next.
I turly believe that some male behaviors are deeply entrenched into our genetic coding so to speak.
This modern day living thing is only a changed hunting ground for all of us men.
Now we are defined as alpha males according to our ability to hunt and bring home the best paychecks or diamonds from De'beer's collections or Fine farmed minks, or worse yet, a brand new Lexus for our women folk because it is Christmas and we still after all of this time want to bring something really nice to that wonderful woman that likes and wants all of these wonderful things because we are trying to show you how much we love you.
It appears that although the wild game has changed to diamonds and fine furs, we men still go out and try to get our women the very best that money can buy.
As you can see, not much has changed in the last 100,000 years.
All I see that has changed is quite frankly, is the size and quality of the fur's.
Men have been so perfectly program in so many different ways that sometimes it astounds even me.
Show me a woman who does not want all of the new hunter gatherings of the new hunters sack, and I will show you a woman who other women will call crazy.
Now I know I opened up a can of worms and when you read this, I am going to get blasted into the next galaxy by some women who do not think I am being fair, but it is what it is ladies and gentlemen.
I am the same Regg.
No different then before.
Please respond gently to my thoughts.
Because I know some of you are going to beat me over the head with one of your older Goochi bags until I sing a new song of apology for bringing the truth so close to some of your ideals.
As for me, I am at work now hunting for the next expensive thing that my excellent hunting abilitys can yield for one of you.
I have many broken legs that have healed.
I love you all and respect your responses no matter what they are.
I love hearing your perspective Reggie (is it ok to call you that) and would agree on everything you said based on your experience in this life when it comes to women.....on another note I want you to know that based on this comment
"Show me a woman who does not want all of the new hunter gatherings of the new hunters sack, and I will show you a woman who other women will call crazy"
I am NOT one of these women and other women have called me crazy my whole life lol, didn't care then and still don't care now. Maybe you just have not met women like myself who really genuinely care about the heart and soul of both men and women. This is the game changer of this society now since the old paradigms are breaking down......you know the material STUFF....just saying I see your point of view and would like to know if you believe
that this way of the past 100,000 years can change..........I hope that I was gentle enough <3 Suzanne
Your male friends are learning how to utilize your ability to be a good sound board for them to help vent.
Men in general, are normally built that way.
it is going to be hard to be able to bring all of the thousands of years of conditioning that has been learned behavior 101 to men.
Also remember how slow we are to grab simple concepts like no more warring and easing off of the gas pedal as they give the finger to some nice lady who got in their way in a traffic jam.
And goodness knows what other aggressive behaviors that we men need to loose.
If men can unlearn dangerous behavior, and stop putting their hands thru walls while arguing, then I will say men have a chance at grasping all of this new ascending behavior.
If men are to make it in this new world, we have a whole lot of changing that needs to be done before we men finally get it.
It would not surprise me if all women just went ahead and ascended way before most men because men just dont get it in the long view of things.
Men are far to primitive and backwards to relearn and probably adjust to what is happening to our world now.
It is going to take some Mega Miracles to undue what thousands of years of evolution seems to have so perfectly of a end affect that men dont seem to want to let go of.
As I see it, the dye has already been cast and all of shapes and forms of the old cast of what a man is has already been done.
Hopefully, one day, we men can resist the instinct to blow each other up because we think that the other man on the other side is some kind of threat to us.
I believe in MEGA MIRACLES big or small all the same "MIRACLES".........also maybe we should change the dialogue from MEN vs WOMEN into the Masculine and Feminine when discussing because it is my understanding that every Human being has both the Male and Female energies and need both to be in balance. As far as the programming I believe the Veil has already been lifted (so to speak) and it is the Feminine Energy (within both men and women) that will nurture and comfort those out of balance as we evolve...Suzanne
We are on the same wave length Suzanne and that is why I am glad my wife created this group. It create a place where both genders can share their ideas about the importance of having our feminine and masculine energies in balance so we can become whole within that dynamic.