Be A Man Not A Boy

I don't really know how to get this through. When I was 18 or so I was quite the timid person despite the exterior bravado. I felt like I was a small boy in a man's world and my job was to keep my head down unless the "bigger boys" spotted me and called me out. I have carried that little boy (about aged 13 or 14) with me for years and years, during my mental breakdown he was close to the surface, crying out in pain, and I finally listened.

Most of the times I failed were those when I allowed the boy to act out, lash out, to be, well an angry 13 or 14 year old. This time though this little boy was in charge of a mans body, a man that was legally allowed to drink alcohol, drive a car, have sex. It was a potent combination, and so wrong.

In Aotearoa New Zealand I see so many mens bodies being driven by a boy inside.

The Beano comic's Numbskulls characters title panel

Men, with the machinery of being men, and for much of the time having a man at the controls, being a good parent, a loving friend, expressing empathy and kindness to strangers. Sometimes though the angry boy manages to take control; for some this is an almost permanent way of being, letting the lost boy control the mans body.

It must be so tough to not know a difference between the true and rightful driver of the adult body, the man, and only know how to let the boy keep going. I think all men have knowledge that the boy shouldn't be driving but don't know how to change seats. 

When I finally decided let the man into the seat on a permanent basis I had two thoughts:
  1. Christ, can the adult me actually do this?
  2. Thank you boy me for holding on for so long, way too long
What I would like to pass on is three things:
  1. You DO have that man, waiting to relieve the boy
  2. Your boy will thank you and love you for taking over
  3. Don't let other boys keep your boy in the driving seat
Boys are for a time, they learn, they grow, they give us the base to stand on. They cannot and do not want to be doing the job of being men, that is for men. Let your own inner boy relax, step away from the controls, enjoy a well earned rest, and live on in the days of your youth.

If you're up for it, remember you're never alone, let your dreams out!

Resources

  • Men's Health Week
    “Mental health is something that men are getting better and better at talking about. There is a growing understanding that although mental health issues can be triggered by stresses in daily life, they are clinical diseases that often require outside help and medical treatment.”

  • Tough Talk: Videos
    We provide short documentaries and tools focused on men’s mental wellbeing.

  • Movember: Men's Mental Health
    We provide reliable, expert information to help men cope and live happier, healthier, longer lives –no matter what life throws at us.

  • Umbrella: What being masculine really means for men’s mental health in New Zealand
    Mental health is a topic that many men are reluctant to talk about. One indicator of our reluctance is the simple fact that, while NZ males report lower rates of depression and anxiety than NZ females, men accounted for roughly three-quarters (72%) of NZ suicides in 2020.

  • Depression: Embracing your identity and community
    Connecting with our roots, discovering our unique strengths or simply embracing our true self can enhance our sense of identity, fostering happiness and resilience.

Addendum.
Not everyone has an inner boy that was equipped for life. Parents and society can be right cunts sometimes they force boys to play act as men, or take away the ability for the boy to grow into a man. Fathers that are still controlled by their own inner boys are especially prone to doing this. Break the cycle.

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