Male Fragility

Every guy who is Type A and reading this, may hate me for writing it. But, I feel like the same guys need to read this and realize they aren’t alone. We are Type A, kick ass, punch throwin’, problem solvin’ sons of bitches, and we are fragile.

The subject of male fragility is still very taboo, in a lot of ways. I am a Type A guy, and it is still taboo to me to consider myself fragile. Even though there has been plenty of evidence, it is tough to digest. I am trying to fix that.

For us Type A guys, and gals, we are genetically disposed to protect in one way or another. We may share numerous ways of accomplishing that, but it is there. We stand between danger and those we love in a moment, even if that danger is a clogged drain.

We also learn that if we are Type A, we can’t be fragile. Even when there is an asston of evidence, like the woman you love reminding you it is ok and you are safe to be fragile, we fight it. It is years of genetic and environmental programming that has been implemented into us, and it isn’t easy to erase that code. It is worse when something happens and you need to “react”. “Tough guys don’t cry”, right?

I have spent years serving others. I have always been the protector, I have always been one to stop bad things from happening to good people. I have stepped into situations for people I don’t know, and literally risked my life to keep theirs safe. I never thought about it either, it is the way I am wired. Protect those who need it, and never ask for anything in return.

So, when the bad thing happens to someone closest to you, or, in my case, to the woman I love AND me, it is this insane mental hell about why I couldn’t stop it when I stopped things for perfect strangers. Even if there was NO WAY to stop it, you still feel this weird guilt that you could have done more.

Then after, you have this weird knee jerk reaction to try and fix everything around you and your loved one, and you become ignorant to what is really needed. The house is on fire, and you are rearranging the curtains. It is denial, denial that you weren’t good enough. Denial you failed the person who means everything to you. Denial, that you weren’t man enough.

Kitten told me all of those things were not the case. How I couldn’t have changed anything. How I was man enough, she just needed me to see it and forgive myself. How she NEEDED me to forgive myself and be there for her and listen. She told me she didn’t blame me, and I needed to stop trying to treat her like “This fragile woman who needs saving”.

I said in my last post, that when she said that I wanted to scream “You are fragile, you are fragile to me” because I was so afraid, I somehow had it in my brain that something bad was gonna happen, and I was gonna lose her too. That came from nothing, but it was still oddly there. I was trying to shelter her from everything, including me. I was trying to put the cape on, fly in and save her from….well, nothing. That was almost the problem.

I couldn’t stop what had happened, and in hindsight, I think I was looking for a way to redeem myself in her eyes and mine. Even though she didn’t judge me, I felt that she should have. I was fighting ghosts, and demons that weren’t there. She would try to right my thinking and tell me to talk to her, I kept swinging at the spectre that wasn’t.

I was deep in grief, I felt this loss so deep, so strong, that I selfishly tried to fix Kitten in a way she didn’t need and ignore the way she did. “I knew better” or maybe, the more I think, I was afraid to try and fail at the way she needed.

Maybe in my mind, and I didn’t overtly think this, but maybe if I tried what always worked and it didn’t, then we were broken and I couldn’t fix it. At one point Kitten said “I need you too carry more of your load” and I took that, ignorantly, as “Handle all your stuff”. That wasn’t AT ALL what she meant.

We were broken, but I never gave our way a chance. I kept trying every other way, hoping it would work and we could go back to our place after. But I avoided the place of love and trust. Maybe I didn’t trust myself, maybe I was just fragile and didn’t know how to deal. But, I did the one thing I never should have, I ignored the person who knew me better than anyone.

I was projecting onto her what I needed. I felt so broken, I guess I needed the bubble wrap and the superhero with the cape. I spent hours at night thinking about what I didn’t do, and didn’t focus on what I did or could do. I needed Super Kitten, but I never gave her the chance to swoop in and save me. I wasn’t strong enough to admit I was weak.

I know I am not alone in this. You only have to search PTSD, and a few other things to see millions of blogs and articles about it. But why, why in the age of information are we not using it? If we are so sure of ourselves, why don’t we see we aren’t alone? It wasn’t that I didn’t trust Kitten, I didn’t think she should have too save me, after all she gave me. That was stupid, and in itself was doubting her and the trust.

I have seen a lot of memes and posts on social media about teaching women to respect men as men are taught to respect women. That everything is mutual, that men need love and tenderness, even if we don’t ask. That men are fragile too.

But, we don’t see men and boys being taught this. That THEY are fragile and that it is ok, even the toughest guy has the ability to be broken. That when you finally have the person who can handle it, you don’t need the bravado all the time. I learned then ONLY when I met Kitten, and the old scars from before opened when they should have just gone away. I guess we all have scars, even when we think we don’t. My own self doubt, was projected onto her, because I didn’t trust myself, and she suffered.

This isn’t an excuse for my action’s, nor should it be for anyone. But, it is a reason, and one that can be learned from and needs to be. There are plenty of boys being taught all sorts of “softer” sides, but none to teach the Type A how to deal with their biggest foe, the voice within.

Man up, be fragile

S.L.

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