by Brett A. Scudder on Sunday, September 23, 2012 at 8:15am
I didn't start living the real life I have until I lost everything I thought I needed to be happy, comfortable and worked so hard for. My eyes and heart opened when I wasn't blinded by them or had to stress/worry for/about them. The illusion of happiness was torn down by a strong, harsh and mind-blowing reality of life and the decadence of it.
It started when I went to the hospital for abnormal breathing problems, headaches and chest pains one day after work that concerned the doctors so much they decided to admit me and run more tests. While they were running tests and waiting for the results, they advised me that I would need a few days off as some things weren't right and they needed to make sure everything was ok. I called and told my manager that I was in the hospital and getting tests done due to the concerns from the doctor and he told me I needed to be at work 8am in the morning or I would be replaced.
So what do you think I did, even against the doctor's orders, I checked myself out and went to work under those conditions. My headaches and chest pains lasted through the week and Friday couldn't come fast enough for me to get some real time to rest. My manager never asked me about the medical/health issues and why I was admitted, he kept my workload steady and even increased it a few days due to a fellow team member being out. I dreaded the thought of passing out on the job and if I did, what could be the consequences. I gave my time, services and commitment to that company until I was no longer needed and terminated in a very unscrupulous and unethical way. So many things went through my head, mind and heart as this impacted me on every level. I remember him telling me my contract was terminated and the cold, dark, shivering feeling that came over me.
Could I have even imagined the agony and pain the years ahead would bring as things fell apart out of my control faster than I had built them? I cried myself to sleep so many nights for so long to care to remember. The tears were very bitter and drenched the thirst of my heart from the pain I was feeling. It soothed the sleepless nights impact and weight on my eyes, it washed away impure and evil thoughts and cleansed me from within. If it wasn't for the tears I shed from the deepest recesses of my soul I wouldn't be here today as the world and everyone in it turned against me and/or disappeared and I was all alone. I never felt pain like this before and it was dark, deep, overbearing and very intense. What would people think of me if they knew what my nights were like and the ways in which the comfort of a dark room became my closest friend and brightest light of reality. It took me at least a week before I was able to tell my wife what happened just so I could try to get a handle on myself to deal with her response and reaction to the situation.
Aside from the shock of what happened, the fear of what is happening and will happen if I didn't find a new job quickly became the focus at attention. She started worrying just as much as I did for the house, wellbeing and financial stability of the family. I couldn't blame her because that is natural to do in a time like this with such a sudden change in circumstances. Our marriage and relationship was never the same since then, everything went downhill and fell apart as I couldn't find a new job that allowed me to work out a deal with the bank to keep the house and now the reality of being homeless in a new state with a young family started sinking deeper in us. Now I had to focus more on the wife and children than myself and what and how I was feeling.
I had some tough decisions to make and it wasn't going to be easy. I was upset that she wasn’t paying attention to the fact that I was emotionally distraught from all that was happening and how much I needed her to be there for me mentally, and that alone killed me slowly and deeply. I abused myself with the constant thoughts of why she just couldn’t see how unfair this was and stop worrying about the house and just stick with me to help balance the mental needs to handle the fight. I started feeling she was like all the other people that was only concerned with the monies that were needed to come in to pay the bills, the mortgage and put food on the table. I ended up starting to really hate being around n talking to her because every conversation had to do with money and the need for it.
It was like, forget the emotional meltdown happening, just go out there and do whatever the hell you need to do to get this issue resolved before we lose everything. Should I be upset that she didn’t understand what and how I was feeling? Should I have taken it so hard on myself that I was abusing, stressing and depressing myself in loneliness feeling like I was just a resource to her?
The people I thought would have been there for me weren't, the friends I thought were friends abandoned me, my pain, hurt, anger were lonely, dark, deep and depressing. I felt betrayed, deceived, mocked and confused. Through all that I still had to wake every day and go out into the world seeking employment or building on new efforts to sustain myself and take care of my family. Did I do something wrong to have this happen to me? Could I have prevented it? Did I make the right choices? At the end of the day, I had to make some serious decisions and those decisions would have life-long impacts. We live our lives every day aiming for happiness, comfort and prosperity, but what happens if we lose it, lose the happiness & comfort we so dearly cling to.
Have we ever considered the fact that nothing is sure in life today except death? Have we ever considered what happens if something was to come our way that took that safety and comfort blanket away? What about the people we have around us now, will they be there if/when things go bad? What then? People feel that males should man up to the challenges of life and “take it like a man”, stop being a wuss, wimp, shouldn’t cry or express signs of weakness, etc. We are not limited to emotions and feelings and go through so much just by being males and the responsibilities that comes with that. I was always shy of expressing my personal feelings and emotions publicly and openly but this experience and what developed from it changed so much about me and my levels of thinking I just let go and let God.
Crying is not a sign of weakness. It is sometimes the cleansing of the soul and the strength wielded in fighting off thoughts and emotions that really cause deep pain to one’s self or what can be to others. Sometimes those tears are what holds a real man back from doing things to others that people would consider him an animal, wicked, evil and heartless for. Sometimes he has to take the pain and suffering for his family and loved ones because he really does care about them and would rather suffer than let them go through it.
So when you see a male crying, try to find out and understand why rather than add more pressure on what is or maybe an already pressured issue/situation. We take on many hardships, struggles, abuse and pressure from so many different levels and the last thing we need is for people with lack of understanding on these issues to add extra pressure to an already pressured and hurting being who is so badly needed today to be good men, husbands, fathers, lovers, friends, mentors and leaders.