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#514689 - 08/16/17 01:00 PM I don't like being a man
Blue22 Offline

Registered: 09/02/16
Posts: 29
Loc: CA
Long time, no post. Hope this is the right place. I have no issue with attraction or things of that sort, though I am deeply dissatisfied with this part of my life (or lack thereof) as well.

I've long had feelings where on top of everything else I don't like that I'm a man. I feel as I am most certainly male, just that I have certainly failed to pass the bar of being a man. I wish I was born differently, but there's no ambiguity concerning my present state. I've been given all the tools to be a man, I suppose, I just haven't been able to live up to it. I hate seeing myself, what reminds me that I'm male, since I'm a waste at playing the part.

My life just isn't manhood at all, I'm too sensitive and weak and emotional and what have you. Obviously, there's the whole being taken advantage of by a female issue (I'm still struggling to call it "abuse"), which doesn't help matters. In theory, I fully appreciate the trope of the sensitive male, but I see all the wrong signs in society - especially with recent global events - that it's just unacceptable to be anything less than the stoic man portrayed throughout history and in the popular culture. I understand the egalitarian "there are no gender roles" concept, but this abstract thought doesn't exist in my real world.

People like me are laughed at, don't succeed, and this is something that has happened personally in the workplace, school, in peer groups, etc. I'm not strong enough to survive and it's been hell coming to terms with being on the low end of the natural selection totem pole. I don't belong and I don't think I ever will.

I don't know what to do anymore.

#514691 - 08/16/17 01:47 PM Re: I don't like being a man [Re: Blue22]
Ceremony Offline

Registered: 09/14/16
Posts: 2984
Loc: Minnesota
Welcome back Blue22. We've not really engaged, and I felt a missed opportunity. I too have a similar background, and ongoing life. It's been mixed with various versions of me, sometimes I marginally escape me, and others I am swamped by my desire to be all sensitive. I both like and remain tentative about my sensitivity.

Like you state, we're not condoned among male society, and where fitting may be best suited, it has appeared same sex attraction is ideal. I've softened to that, but have remained mostly set in hetero turn on. I know my low testosterone throughout life has played a role. It probably peaked around my early 20's, to whatever peak my body was capable. I've learned there is a spectrum or "mosaic" of Klinefelter Syndrome that I have only read and not sought diagnosis. That takes money and a support system, which I isolate from building. Whatever the spectrum of KS, nearly all the symptoms fit me.

The mosaic is where part of those symptoms missed me. Whether I have it or not, I deal with most of those symptoms and have since age 12. It's been a cause of intense bullying and fear, isolation and despair. I've dealt with it nearly all alone, until I decided to talk about it here on MS. Do or don't refer to KS? Because of those symptoms, it's easier for me to use KS to describe my troubles than to keep repeating symptoms.

I hope this introduction isn't off putting, So few men can understand sensitivity with the description you've written, that when I read it, the resonance is poignant. I need support to carry on, as anyone, and knowing there are others like me, doing this difficult work, with all the added baggage of the physical symptoms of KS, makes a difference for me. I hope for you. But, I'm not labeling you, I'm showing how we men are out here, with hidden limitations.

These limitations are terrifying to expose, to discuss. Men and women... well, the fear of what bullying did to me from age 12 and for some years, has infected my life with re-victimizations from others and myself. I've fixated on "what if" and that's not helping me, I've wallowed in self pity without end, isolating that my presence is abhorrent to others, and it's made keeping a good paying job a near impossibility.

Fear plays a huge role to my sensitive male. I want to embrace my kindness, my sense of enjoying the delicate beauty of some nature and art, things, humanness... I want to advocate for the marginalized, not least, male survivors. But, I do fixate on my limitations, and I do re-victimize myself to a degree, and it does stifle me. Any derision, any negativity deals a harsh blow to me, and I have a serious circumstance at present that deals with negativity every day. Add my wife to this mix and I'm in a world of hurt.

So, gosh, welcome back, can you smile at being overwhelmed by my outpouring of who I am?

#514695 - 08/16/17 02:36 PM Re: I don't like being a man [Re: Blue22]
CelloL Offline

Registered: 07/20/17
Posts: 197
Loc: Missouri
Bluee22, wow, I can relate to what you are saying. For me, I had to redefine manhood. Being married has changed the dynamic because of encouraging things my wife says from time to time. Before I was married I questioned whether I even had a place in this world. I just didn't feel like I belonged. I still feel that way sometimes, though.

The world would be a better place if there were more sensitive men. That I'm certain.

#514698 - 08/16/17 05:24 PM Re: I don't like being a man [Re: Blue22]
Tom E. Offline

Registered: 01/08/17
Posts: 642
Loc: FL
I wish I was more of a "man" -- at least more self confident, less fearful.

#514701 - 08/16/17 06:26 PM Re: I don't like being a man [Re: Blue22]
Chris4TheMill Offline

Registered: 05/16/17
Posts: 692
Loc: NY / NJ Area
Yes, I have thought many of these same things.
We are definitely in a difficult position compared to most other guys who are not sensitive.
We have many more challenges in this life.

Yes, it is clear that our culture rewards narcissistic extroverts and 'alpha-males' and shuns those who don't fit that mold (unless you create great art or music, at which point they declare you a genius and it no longer matters).

Yes, I have been ridiculed, rejected, and made fun of for being "too sensitive," too emotional, too deep, too complex, etc.
By family, bosses, co-workers, and others.

Yes, I have hit roadblocks professionally because I was not willing to be a shark and step on people to get what I wanted.
Bosses have hated me and mistreated me at times. Although I didn't allow them to get too far.

But you know what? I have also discovered that it is not true that sensitivity automatically equals weakness.

We can be sensitive and still cultivate a lot of confidence, bravery, assertiveness, focus, directness, and perseverance, among other things.
Those are all traditional masculine qualities.

If our critics don't notice, that means they are just not looking hard enough, or are just tone-deaf (or both).

That doesn't mean you don't have these qualities. And if you have them, they WILL come in handy one day.
...And then, people will notice.

You know what else? I have also discovered that we can be sensitive and still develop a toughness, and a resilience that would rival anyone.
Not in a cartoonish, movie-hero kind of way, but in a real-life way.

Maybe it might not get the career advancement one is seeking, but that is usually more due to unwillingness to step on people and treat them poorly.

I will never apologize for not willing to treat people like dirt.
That doesn't fit my values. I'd rather accept the loss.

...But "not strong enough to survive"?

I can't fully resonate with that one.

I know with full certainty that if the vast majority of "tough guys" out in the world were to be forced to go through even a quarter of what I have had to endure physically and emotionally, they would throw themselves off a bridge, shoot themselves, or slit their own throats. There is no way most of them would be able to live more then 5 hours inside of my personhood. Some have even told me so. You'll have to trust me on this. There's too much to endure that cuts way into the core of what most of them believe equates with manhood. But I have to wrestle with all that. So far I've survived, sometimes barely. But we are all called to endure different challenges.

Who knows, maybe most of us on MS have endured far more than the "tough guys" would be capable of...Something to consider, because it sort of shifts the narrative a bit...

So yes, I sometimes would rather be the crude, frat boy alpha-male type because they seem to have it so easy.
Sometimes I will accost God with all the "why me?" questions, and set the candles for the pity party.

But if I had to choose, I would still rather be sensitive and caring than heartless / unfeeling / thoughtless / cold-blooded / uncaring / unsympathetic / unkind / callous / cruel / merciless / self-centered / narcisstic - take your pick.

If fewer people in this world value me because of that, that just means I have to work a lot harder to find my "tribe." They are out there....somewhere. I found a few so far.

I hope you can find more people who will value you for who you are. I know they are out there, it is just a little bit harder to find them.
The others are a dime a dozen. But sheer numbers doesn't mean they have value and we don't.

#514742 - 08/17/17 01:07 PM Re: I don't like being a man [Re: Chris4TheMill]
Ceremony Offline

Registered: 09/14/16
Posts: 2984
Loc: Minnesota
Hey Chris, well said, and thank you.

#514752 - 08/17/17 06:53 PM Re: I don't like being a man [Re: Blue22]
MACH123 Offline

Registered: 08/08/15
Posts: 49

Edited by MACH123 (03/25/18 12:54 PM)

#514753 - 08/17/17 10:29 PM Re: I don't like being a man [Re: Blue22]
Blue22 Offline

Registered: 09/02/16
Posts: 29
Loc: CA
Thanks. It's something that's always with me, but usually not to an extent where I get suicidal as it has been of late. I guess I'm just in an extended "ugly duckling" phase of life.

#514759 - 08/18/17 12:23 AM Re: I don't like being a man [Re: Blue22]
greenwizard Offline

Registered: 02/11/17
Posts: 497
Loc: PA
I am a very sensitive person, always have been. I have a very bad habit of taking things personally when I really shouldn't. I can even drag out an example from when I was young. All the way back in preschool I had trouble mixing in with the other kids because I was not at all socialized as a toddler. One day we were all playing this game. Something about who stole the cookie from the cookie jar. I can't remember details but we were going around in a circle, and in the end the cookie thief was me. It's just a game right? And sheer chance, and not at all personal in hindsight. But in that moment I felt singled out and ended up in tears. I begged my parents not to make me go back.

So yeah, been this way all my life. It's a good thing I never had to take a debate class because as soon as my views get called into question my response is to scream 'fuck you', throw something heavy or sharp at their head, and run away and cry and obsess the rest of the day.

But in therapy I've not only been working on changing my thought processes and reactions, but accepting myself for who and what I am. My therapist, who also happens to be my long time friend, says I am a rarity. While the 'manly man' is a dime a dozen, he's never met anyone quite like me. I'm told that when I'm not feeling like I'm being attacked and cornered I am a total sweetheart. And when an object is one of a kind it is considered to be priceless. While I am a person and not a possession obviously, since I am truly one of a kind, why shouldn't I also be heavily valued?


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