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#458606 - 01/14/14 06:48 PM Finally, I know what a "man really is"
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 767
Loc: upper south
Near the end of Nov, 2013, I received my latest "bullying", familial abuse, attempt at public humiliation… call it what we will… when a member of family declared in contempt and anger they "would slap my face and show me what a man really is".

Of course, this is discourse which has followed my childhood, helped lead me into the den of the perpetrators, and even lead to my poor private decisions in adulthood. I have spent more than a fair amount of time the past weeks thinking about the remark. What is a man? When do you achieve manhood?

I will start with my first thoughts. And forgive me if I get too personal with my thoughts, but it is MS…

My sons. Both of my sons have grown to be loving, giving, honest men of compassion. Both have a heart to serve the greater need. One is an officer, risking his life every day for the average person on the street. He has held the dying victim in his arms, he has arrested the abuser who hurt, beat, or sexually assaulted the kid, he watches over me constantly- and thinks I don't know. He has been assaulted, shot at, and still he smiles, stands tall, and continues serving.

The other is a warrior of prayer- if you will. He serves the poor, the needy, he lifts up the downtrodden and hopefully he prays diligently for his brother. He is gifted with remarkable ability for computer video graphics, and creates some of the most moving for his ministry I have ever seen.

These are the men of my life. These are the REAL MEN that have touched my heart and let me see that manhood is not abuse. They are fathers that any child would be fortunate to have. They are husbands who can cook, clean, whatever it takes. Manhood does not mean belittling someone else, or threatening someone else in order to be "manly". Manhood is the state you reach when your actions can be lifted up, held forth as an example of what a good spirit can do.

I am so thankful I had limited the exposure these men had to my family of origin when they were young. Thankful they don't really know their uncles, barely knowing their grandmother. I am so thankful they really don't know what abuse is, what sexual assault is. I am thankful they have never experienced the ugliness I was exposed to. And I am thankful that somehow, through the dimness of my own personal shadows of the past, that I somehow managed to display to my sons what a man should be. A man should be "love". That's what a man should be. Love. His family, his friends, his world.

The latest episode of the abusive family I am from has simply concreted for me that I am "a man". I need only look at my sons when I doubt. Unfortunately, I have been doubting quite a bit lately.

I am just wondering what you might think a man is and perhaps if there was someone who exemplified those attributes… care to share?
_________________________
For now we see through a glass, darkly.



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#458616 - 01/14/14 09:25 PM Re: Finally, I know what a "man really is" [Re: ThisMan]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1600
Loc: New England
ThisMan,

When I think of a man, its guys like you who come to mind. The guys who can feel, can empathize, can love, and can serve others are the real men.

Jude
_________________________
Seems I've got to have a change of scene
Every night I have the strangest dreams
Imprisoned by the way it could have been
Left here on my own or so it seems
I've got to leave before I start to scream
Joe Cocker

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#458682 - 01/15/14 08:49 PM Re: Finally, I know what a "man really is" [Re: ThisMan]
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 767
Loc: upper south
Thanks, Jude, for the response and the comment. Coming to terms with what "manhood" is haunts most of us as survivors. We wonder what it means to be a man and how can we truly be a man if we were sexually abused as kids. It follows us through life until that one day when it clicks. One day something happens that is so out of the norm, that we are forced to step back and take a good long look. Have we made it? And it is one of the most peaceful feelings I have ever had when I finally realized I can b e proud of myself.

btw Jude… when I think of a man, it is definitely a guy like you. Someone who gives and gives… to his family, his friends, and the world. (I have read the post of the saving of the pedophile-) And you absolutely give to us here at MS.
_________________________
For now we see through a glass, darkly.



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