...is to ignore her when she's hurting. I don't mean when she's angry; that's another subject entirely, nor do I mean when she's in physical pain -- women can handle physical pain a hell of a lot better than you might think and we don't tend to get teary about it unless it's really intense. What I'm referring to is genuine emotional pain. Somehow, though, you men seem to get it all wrong. You think either 1) we're overexaggerating, 2) we're trying to manipulate you or 3) we're looking for YOU to solve the problem and make it go away. Well, here's some light on the subject...1) We know when we overexaggerate; 2) We're smarter than that; if we want to manipulate you we'd actually use something that WORKS and 3) We know you aren't superman; we don't want you to give us a solution; we simply want you to comfort us and tell us everything is going to be alright, (cause it will resolve itself, whatever it may be -- remind us of this). If we are coming to you for comfort, chances are you weren't the one who initiated the emotional distress, so what do you need to do? Not much. Just be there, damn it, and listen. Offer your ear to her even you know it means listening to her cry for a few hours. Give her a giant bear hug and tell her how much she means to you. Sympathize with her; chances are you may have gone through something similar once; and while you may have not outwardly expressed your emotion(s) in the same way she does, you still felt them. Tell her you understand (but only if you do...if you don't, tell her so and ask her to explain how she feels. Just letting a woman talk is usually one of the greatest things you can do; women think outwardly and when we 'mull things over' we do it while verbalizing). Don't tell her to get over it, don't tell her "well, that's life", don't state the obvious. We're not dummies.
My uncle, who has always been like a father and grandfather to me, passed away this past Thursday. It has been extremely painful and I have been grieving his loss. While I have inner strength and faith that convince me that he is indeed well and in a better place, and while I do recognize grieving as a selfish process (for the most part), I do worry greatly for my aunt who has just lost the love and light of her life...a man who while he didn't understand every aspect of his wife, especially her emotional issues, he, at the very least, tried.
Anyway, as anyone who has lost a parent or grandparent or someone else so very close to them, you know what it's like and the sense of loss and heaviness that you have to endure (and I haven't even been to the funeral yet). I've turned to a few of my male friends; very tentatively I might add, simply because I was actually thinking about THEM and afraid of THEIR reaction to my expression of pain and underlying request for support. But heaven forbid any of these men start to think I'm manipulating them. But I figure, hey, at the very least their heart strings may be tugged...just a little...and they'll offer their condolences and if I'm real lucky, perhaps they'll even offer to be a shoulder to cry on. And that, more than anything, is what I need -- even if it's a virtual shoulder. The best man of my LIFE has just passed away, and I have tons of female support, but no male support. It is male support and compassion that I'm needing; I don't need a babysitter, I don't need a date, I don't need someone to lavish me with praise and gifts; it's not even ABOUT that. It's simply about being human and standing with those who stand in need of comfort; it's being the good Samaritan; it's stopping along the way and helping someone in need; even if it's an emotional need and not a physical one.
But as the story continues, of these few men that I specifically talked to or wrote to, one answered, but very hurriedly and tried to change the subject. The other two, two who are/were supposedly two of my very best male friends, haven't even replied. They know how important Uncle Mike was/is to me. They also know it's been a trying year; I've lost my grandmother among many other things. I've just heard "well that's life'. Other men won't even TOUCH the subject with a 10 foot pole. The simple idea of a woman who is crying (and possibly hyperventaliting) in front of them is too much for them to handle. Are they thinking about her needs? No. They're thinking about how uncomfortable THEY will feel; how much time will be wasted dealing with HER.
Frankly, I'm just sick of it. I see the outpouring of love and pain over the loss of one of the rare, precious few; a truly honorable and righteous man; one who showed compassion to all; one who knew the meaning of life; one who wasn't afraid to extend himself and better himself in search of a holier sphere. Where are all the men who are like this one? I need to find one. I need to find someone who can think beyond himself for one damn minute; and who truly cares about the world around him; not just how much damn money he makes or how good he looks in a suit or how and when he's going to get lucky. I know I sound like I'm stereotyping; and I realize i am; but quite frankly, I have been very disappointed as of late in the quality of men out there; even in my so-called friends who are supposedly there for me.
I guess everything is conditional. As long as I'm cool; I'm fun -- as long as I keep my mouth shut and make sure no tears stream down my face; as long as I continue to better myself and make myself more attractive but allow the men in my life to do whatever the hell they want; as long as I don't encourage them also to seek after a holier sphere and aspire to become better people and reach true manlihood...yeah, as long as I don't act like a human being who cares about others, then perhaps I could talk to these friends or find myself a man.
Too bad, though. I believe in eternal, personal progression, and I believe in unconditional love and friendship. When I say I'm there, I mean it. I can be extremely angry and need space sometimes, but if your mother just died or you were in a car accident, or you just achieved some personal success you've always dreamed of, or had your first child; I'd put aside the pettiness and my own ego and I'd be there.
That's all I want in return. And from now on, from those men who can't/won't offer it -- it's your loss. I'm not going to hang around waiting for you guys to grow up. I deserve better than that.
Oh, but I most give props where props are due. To those of you who have been there for me and/or my family; to those women AND men (yeah, there have been a few of you, even on here, who have reached out), I humbly and gratefully thank you for your thoughts (and prayers, if you are that kind of person:). You have no idea how much it means to me. I know people say that all the time, but the people who have had the greatest effect on my life are those who truly mourn with those who mourn; those friends who love you so damn much they actually are crying right along side you -- even when the pain you feel is yours alone. My uncle was like that. He was always there for whatever you needed. And not just for his family, but for strangers, too. He always put others first, and in doing so, his life was enriched and full of people who now call him a hero. Kindness commands more respect than many of you might think. It's something you might want to try sometime if you haven't.
But thanks again to those of you who do practice such. You inspire me and remind me of all that is good. Thank you.