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The lasting damage of childhood

Tonight I am feeling a powerful and almost overwhelming sense of despair and sadness. I feel like I need to cry. To sob deeply and express those feelings in that primal way.

But I can't seem to manage to do so. I cried rather easily as a child and it led to mockery and embarrassment. From peers, from adults, from family. So I did what many young boys do. I started hiding it and forcing it back. I limited my own access to a coping mechanism because society said that boys don't do that. As much as I want to, I can't summon it unless it is grief over death.

And I know it isn't just me. This is something we've been doing to men for generations and as I think it about it, it just makes me frustrated that we dehumanize ourselves by propagating these mind sets.

I'll be okay myself, but figured I'd vent that frustration out there so maybe it won't keep building on top of everything else.
almondflour · 46-50, F
I am a female, but I kind of understand. For me it was a cultural or perhaps my mother's upbringing. I was the sensitive type. I think I was the most sensitive child my mother had. She hated it. Whenever I cried, she would tell me to stop crying. She would critize me and even ridiculed me. She was harsh with me. At times I thank her inside my head for making me tough the hard way, but I resent her for taking that innocent part away from me. In fact, I am not emotionally close to my mother. I see her often, but I am the only one out of my siblings who cannot open up to her. I have had trust issues, low self-esteem, panic attacks, and anxiety in my life thanks to the way I was raised. I always needed to be there for everyone, but nobody could be there for me. I needed "to be tough because women need to be tough in this world" ( my mom would often say that).
@almondflour That’s so in my culture as well. Women don’t get a pass for crying, either. It’s seen as weakness.
QueenOfZaun · 26-30, F
I understand this. Right now I feel like crying and screaming from something that happened to me when I was young. What a cruel world we live in
A sad piece of music or a song usually tips me over to bawl my eyes out.

Its horrible when that deep sadness just sits below the surface and numbs all the joy out of life.
Human1000 · M
@OogieBoogie So true! I have a couple of songs I can’t ever play because they just level me.
@Human1000 same.
I hate that the only emotion men and boys seem allowed to express without criticism is [b]anger[/b]. I thought about this, watching my brother during our mother’s funeral. He was experiencing the same sorrow as the rest of us, and our father was wiping his eyes, but my brother’s face was like stone. We hugged him, and he accepted our hugs, but with no change of expression. I hope he was able to mourn in the way that he needed to. 🥺
Jeephikelove · 46-50, F
You’re so right!
You can cry if you're alone

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