Disguised as anger,

Concealed by Faces of stone,

Perceived as strength,

Manifesting as violence,

A result of Fear.

Few things are as hidden as a mans tear.

Be a man you’re told.  That’s not something to cry about you hear.  Intense displays of emotion are uncomfortable to the majority of society, so you’re led to believe you need to tone it down.  You don’t even need to be directly told by any one individual.  I hear people talk.  Comments like “OMG everyone has a feeling” as they roll their eyes.  Regrettably I’ve been guilty of saying the same words in attempt to fit in and hiding my own emotions.

But it’s not possible to keep your emotions constructively buried .  They will find their way out one way or another.  Depression, anxiety, fear, and my personal most destructive manifestation…..ANGER.

If I felt threatened, unappreciated, misunderstood, my defense mechanism was anger.  It hurts to be misunderstood, unappreciated, unrecognized for your abilities.  I believed it was not OK to display that hurt, so I got angry.  Pointed fingers.  Laid blame.  Problem really was, I got so used to burying emotions that I also buried positive variations.  Excitement, happiness and joy were bottled up in order to “tone myself down”, and the crazy thing was, by burying them, keeping them locked up inside….they too would end up turning into anger and rage.  I felt caged, oppressed.  I victimized myself and it made me mad.

I remember the days not so long ago that I was screaming inside, begging for someone to notice my desperation.  To recognize my anger for what it really was.   I needed someone…..anyone to see what was happening to me,  I felt like I was dying a little bit more every day to the point I wanted it to be so….  When I needed someone… I was labeled instead.  Labeled a grouchy asshole, one boss even said “I’ve never had more drama on a crew”  That hurt.  A lot, and it created amounts of anger I didn’t even know were possible.

I didn’t need advice, I didn’t need to be fixed (although I truly believed there was something “wrong” with me at the time).  I didn’t need pity, or charity.  I needed compassion, non-judgmental understanding.

Truth is, compassion and understanding are almost as rare as a mans tears in today’s society.  A truly sad fact.  It was the day I realized I may never receive outside compassion and understanding that liberated me.  Opened the cage, let me step out.  No one was really able to provide me with what I needed because no one knew what was happening inside.  I was that good at hiding it.   When I realized the only place compassion and understanding may potentially come from was me, I felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders.

I am human.  Old habits die hard.  Some days Mr. Anger comes knocking at my door.  Instead of inviting him in for a beer, I politely ask “Why are you here?”  Ah… yes, I see I’m trying to bury an emotion in the back yard again….. To be completely honest, it can be a daily struggle sometimes, but things that are worth it are also worth the struggle.

I no longer expect to find compassion and understanding in the outside world, but I do believe that we can change that.  Next time you see someone raging out or perhaps being dramatic, try not to pass judgement.  I’m not saying it’s OK for someone to take out their frustrations on another person as I have been guilty of……..Instead step back, look at the situation and wonder what tears that person may be crying on the inside.

Lets change the status quo….. Remove the masks, allow our facial expressions to soften.

Today I cried.  And I’m telling the world.

Then I laughed my ass off watching my two year old son do some crazy dance he created, and I joined him……. I am grateful to be here.

Matt Wrightson






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