Turning Boys Into Men The Old Fashion Way

Why men grew up so confused

I grew up with a father that was insecure about his manhood. Later in life, I was able to understand the cause of his way. He projected it onto my brother.

Watching how my brother was turned into a toxic man who was taught “how to be a man” by my father. It was gruesome. It was so hard for me to watch and know I could do nothing about it.

My father was teaching my very intelligent brother who was empathetic and kind into a man that didn’t understand women ( though he thought he was an expert) and was violent, self-serving and confused.

He was turned into a very confused man. I loved him deeply and I also watched what relationship we had ( before the man beatings) turn into no relationship at all. Still, my love for him was always there.

My Dad did what many men did during this time in history they used violence and force to teach boys to be men.

My father would start fights with my brother and provoke him into hitting my dad and then my dad laid into him. My brother actually broke one of my Dad’s ribs. Nothing was said about it, it just is part of the shaping of a man.

He also allowed my brother to go without consequences in regards to us, his sisters. My brother was just said to be doing “what boys do”. So my brother was self-serving and felt he was above consequences. He started testing the law. Getting by with pretty much everything.

He got caught up with drugs, alcohol ( which turned into an addiction later) fights, car wrecks and who knows what. I’m sure I never heard the truth.

It all was covered up. No matter what the expense of the car repairs, broken windows, other people’s property- he was just being a man!

My sister and I learned that men just do these things. My father had violent tempers and so did my brother. We were spanked hard as children when we did something that was deemed bad. Severe punishment, physically and emotionally.

We learned that abuse was the norm. Men do these things. They are just being men.

His behaviors ended up killing him. The damage he did to himself, even after being clean for years. Too many head injuries. I took it really hard when he died so young. He was only 42. I think it hit me the hardest. I still remember that young boy that I used to so enjoy sitting with and reading to.

I still cry when I try and force myself to remember him being taught to be “tough”. Fight like a man! It was horrible!

What I know today is that isn’t how men are! That isn’t being taught to be a man. That was a father that projected his own insecurities on to his son.

I believe that it is ok to have a gentle side to show your son. Compassion, acceptance, love in the form of physical expressions. Especially when they are 5 years old. I also believe that when they are being bullied at school, like my brother, it is ok to show them how to defend themselves — yes even fight if need be to protect.

That doesn’t mean roughhousing them or bullying them at home, starting fights to teach them self defense. That is showing them violence and aggression and calling it a “MAN”.

I’ve talked to men for years and I’ve heard from many that they wished their Dad’s had taught them to defend themselves. My Dad abused my brother! It isn’t defense it was beating him into a man.

I later learned after my Dad died that is what his Dad did to him, and so the pattern continued. I believe my brother taught his son different. However, I do remember hearing remnants of my Dad echo. However, he is such an amazing young man. I just know he will do things differently.

Do I side with men? ABSOLUTELY! I do! However, I’m committed to not feed that old school mentality that misogyny and violence are OK… it isn’t. Being Violent and defending one’s self isn’t the same. I do feel deeply that young men should be shown a different way of looking at their manhood.

Photo by Chinh Le Duc on Unsplash

I work with Men and Women to Awaken the Conscious part of themselves that knows how to love deeply.

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