When I look in the mirror at this man I see much more. I see a lonely man that is hurting and angry inside. Heís trying to grieve over the loss of someone very dear and special to him. Someone taken away by death with no warning, his life taken by his own hand. It has left a big emptiness inside him.
He sometimes wears a mask to hide the tears from the pain and anguish that he feels. Sometimes heís afraid to let others know exactly how he feels, afraid of what theyíll say to him, afraid of their reaction to him.
He just wishes things were different. He wishes it would all go away. He wishes he could wake up in the morning and realize it has all been a bad dream.
When heís out in public he hopes it doesnít show. He hopes the tears donít come to his eyes. He hopes his anger doesnít come out. So he tries as hard as he can to hold back the tears. After all a real man is not supposed to cry. So he hides behind his mask.
He manages to suppress his anger, he saves it for when heís alone then he finds ways to release it to keep from hurting others and to keep from lashing out at them for no reason.
So if you see me out and about and you manage to see a tear in my eye, donít criticize me, judge me, or stereotype me. Real men do cry and sometimes it is difficult not to. Donít tell me things like ďenough is enoughĒ, or that ďitís time to get on with your life.Ē Donít tell me ďitís been long enough that I should be over it.Ē It just doesnít work that way. Life will never be the same again and you never get over it.
Listen to me but donít condemn me. Donít feel sorry for me, feel with me. Donít shy away from me, but help me carry this load. Be there for me when I need someone to talk to.
Tell me I donít need to hide behind my mask. Tell me itís ok to feel the way I feel. Tell me itís ok for me to cry. Tell me itís ok to feel the anger. Most of all tell me youíll help me through this nightmare of life.
© 1998 by Lloyd E. Carson