Men, mental health and stigma

I have been doing mental health advocacy online for a long time now, it’s been almost 3 years, I am most active on Facebook but in the past wrote a lot in this blog about mental health as well. I also make note that the majority of the support groups are geared toward women, they tend to be the most active in self-improvement and mental awareness, I don’t mind that, in fact, the majority of my friends and supporters are women, they are amazing and I learn so much from them.

But talking about gender roles and how men are perceived in this society is something that is a part of my advocacy and something I think about a lot of the time. I think how a lot of men are perceived as unemotional, detached, expected to be the strong ones, they don’t open up with their feelings and don’t show their sensitive sides. I think most people would say that men do have mental health struggles but choose not to talk about it.

I think about it in a different way, I think men can be just as emotionally ( maybe more so in certain cases) open as women, they can be sensitive, they care deeply but they are told to be more open with their emotions, they are dismissed or shamed for being so open emotionally or struggling with mental health, Many people see that a man who is highly sensitive and emotional is weak, which is far from the truth, men who are open with their emotions are the strongest of them all. . So when men feel shamed or unheard, they stop speaking out and keep their struggles to themselves. This leads to worsening mental health issues, which can lead to breakdowns and even suicide.

I myself, don’t feel comfortable in men’s groups because I always get the sense that the unspoken message is ” I have depression or anxiety, but I’m still a man, I’m still tough” and that message bothers me. It makes me feel as though I’ll be judged with this type of thinking so I continue to seek support from my female friends.It’s a contradiction with me. I want to break the stigma of men and mental health and yet I find myself not relating to a lot of men and that is frustrating. And I don’t blame men for being the way they are, it’s the society that raised that, I see it everywhere, especially in the media. Men play sports, they love cars, they never talk about their feelings, they are in control and it’s a tiring message to me because many of us aren’t like that and even within the mental health community, I see men being labeled that way, and it’s a terrible stereotype that keeps men from getting the help they need.

I remember whenever I was in a college classroom and we would have a discussion about men and women and how men never opened up, all they did was drink beer and watch sports and everyone seemed to be in agreement, while I could not relate and I just rolled my eyes because it sounded like every dated comedy routine from the 80s and 90s, like Home improvement, total nonsense to me

I don’t know, it’s an uphill battle because these messages are ingrained in our society and it genuinely bothers me and it was tough to grow up and feel so alienated from that culture, I couldn’t relate, I had guy friends but I never felt a part of things and I much rather have been by myself or talking with my female friends, I just felt so different and when I just started struggling with mental health, I noticed the stigma about how men were treated. Women are freer to talk openly about their emotions while men were laughed at for being too sensitive. All I can do is write what’s in my heart and lead as an example. I hope this post can make somewhat of a difference and maybe give you a different perspective of the need to break the stigma of men and mental health.

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Kurt Cobain

Not only was Kurt Cobain a great musician but he was also a man who wasn’t afraid to show his sensitive side despite how others may have viewed him, he spoke in support for women when misogyny in rock was commonplace, he spoke out against homophobia in a still very homophobic society, he was someone I think who cared much about equality in a very sincere way, he didn’t run-up to the mic at an awards show and shout it but he quietly stated his views in interviews and he was very insightful. It’s shame he was so depressed that suicide was his only option, I admire him for courage and authenticity during his lifetime and he made it easier for men like to be open about my emotions and to show my emotional and feminine side without shame. I miss Kurt, he was incredible.


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Gender roles

I just want to share two status I made on Facebook related to gender roles and masculinity and femininity


I think men who are more interested in traditionally female traits like the arts like writing and music and who are expressive with their feelings and able to relate better to women than men are seen as different in a bad way. A lot of men will wonder why this man can’t make friends with other guys. And they make assumptions about this guy’s masculinity or lack thereof. Because femininity in men is seen as a weakness and I think some women believe this as well, depending on how they were brought up. There is so much stigma about men and sensitivity, The patriarchy hurts us all. it is a constant battle but I do my best to talk about these things openly because I know there are men out there like me who feel the way. And as a man who is sensitive and expressive and hates toxic masculinity, I want to lead by example


I stand up for women because they have been always been my biggest supporters, the ones who accepted my sensitivity, the ones who have been there for me when I struggle with mental health, the ones that help me advocate and who inspire me with their writing and support my writing as well.

I hate how society treats women, it’s unfair and they deserve better. I try to be a man who speaks up when I see things are wrong and am facing my fears by speaking my truth.

I say this often but thank you, women, for all you do, for putting up with how some men treat you and for continuing to overcome obstacles and break barriers. You always have my support



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Can I sit at the girls table?

I know most guys don’t want to sit at the girls table but do you mind if I sit here? I’d like to sit with the guys but they never talk to me; I try to be friendly but they just ignore me and I’m not really interested in sports or cars and that’s all they seem to talk about. I try so hard to relate those guys but I just can’t and so I stopped trying long ago. I accepted most of my friends are women and I’m OK with that. I don’t want to hit on you or ask for your number; I just want someone to talk to; I’ll ask you how your day was and we can talk about music or art or even writing; I’d love that. I love talking to the girls they are always more interesting than the guys and a whole lot nicer.   So can I sit here with you girls at this table? Thanks

The choice (repost)

I found this poem on someone I follow on Instagram at  ashlee_heals_as_she_heals ; check out her great posts.

I tried to copy and paste but it’s impossible with Instagram; this is the best I could do.


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THE CHOICE She raises She drops She forgives She stops She tries to comprehend The lies she put inside her head Were they real? Were they pretend? Will she ever love her heart again? Not looking outside for resurrection But knowing it comes from within No condemnation Just forgiveness Surrender Rejuvenation She returns to her youth Looking back Unraveling Spiraling down into the cocoon Back into the womb She returns to her darkness Embarking this journey with a softness A presence An essence Rescuing her inner child She runs wild Like a flower She grows in the dark She pushes through the foundation Through Earth’s crust, she is born into the light She is earth, she is light, She blossoms out of night Out of the seed she grows Out of the cocoon she stretches Into her element Into her essence Her almighty voyage It is only death of the old Only rebirth of the new She is out of the tomb. Into her own, She accepts her role She is no longer the victim No longer the actor in her story But the observer, the overcomer She is the director. A creator. The director of her reality She is free… A butterfly, Flapping her wings Transmuting everything; Dark into light. Negative into positive. Embracing the opposite. Seeing that duality is a gift To appreciate ourselves in all realms. To accept that this journey doesn’t end The dark night of the soul calls you into the light You have might You must not lose sight For she will not go down without a fight. She catches glimpses of the light But she is the light! She must light her own way back home… Into herself; Her oneness, Her wholeness, To know that she is a Taurean, She is perseverance! She is an ocean, She pushes and crashes. She will not let emotions be her master But she will master the self. She has the tools within to guide her home again. She has God, her inner voice, Her intuition. She has a choice… Will she stay in her darkness or enter the light? Will she give God her fear? Can she accept that unconditional love is always near? Does she know there is no wrong or right? There is only darkness we transform into light!?!? So she ponders, her mind wonders. She makes the choice… … READ IN FULL @thetruthwriter

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Why most of my friends are women

I made this quick video about the reason why I relate so much better to women.  It seems that in any social situation; I always gravitate towards females and I feel more comfortable; I can never seem to relate to men.   It’s something I always wondered about; like why is that? I don’t really have a clear answer except that’s just who I am.  I try to be a kind gentle sensitive man who is open about his feelings and women just tend to be more responsive to that.   So I am grateful to all the wonderful women I have befriended in my life.  Here’s the video enjoy.   And feel to subscribe to my Youtube Channel: Revolutionary musings and my Instagram at Davethewriter18.



What I’m listening to right now

Why I believe women

This has really been a rough week for so many; with the Kavanaugh hearing; a lot of people are triggered and emotions are running high.  I actually have to admit I don’t have cable news ( or even a TV for that matter) so I miss out on a lot of the details; I read headlines on Facebook and hear people talking about it but I don’t get the full picture.  The news is just so negative and full of drama that I have a tendency to just shut out the news because it’s too much; too many players; too much arguing back and forth; it’s not good for my mental health. That being said I have jest of what these hearing is about; Judge Kavanaugh is being accused of attempted rape at a party in the 80s in high school  ( a pretty serious accusation). A lot of people these days are being accused of sexual assault; it’s seems like a celebrity or politician is being accused of sexual misconduct each day; and a lot of them have surprised me (Charlie Rose, really?)  And while I am shocked and have empathy for these women that are accusing these men; I don’t know them personally so it’s easy to not get emotional because I am looking at as outsider who has never been sexual assaulted and can’t fully understand that pain; but a lot people have   ( as I have been finding out recently)

I find myself to be a very sensitive man and have met so many caring women who have been there for me in my life; I admire their strength and courage. I admire how they express their feelings ( some not all); how they show empathy; how they are usually to ones who speak against the injustices of the world..  So when I hear about men who abuse women; my heart breaks because I can sense the pain and anguish the actions of these men cause; the trauma inflicted on these women is life long. I understand trauma in my own way and I have empathy for them because i am a human being who cares about others; but there are so many others in this world that are insensitive; they can listen to a woman describe unbelievable trauma while recounting being sexually assaulted; hear her voice quiver; hands shake and tears rolling down her eyes and not blink an eye.  To them it’s all in act to smear the name of good family man; it’s scam; a political ploy; instead of a woman speaking her truth. And then I hear some say “Well why didn’t they come forward earlier?’   Well who wants to relive that trauma in front of a courtroom ( mostly made of men ); have your sexual history on display; be called a liar and told that it didn’t happen and  say that you just want money or attention? Why go through all that; especially when you are a teenager.  Being bullied as a kid I can remember being ganged up on and when I told the teachers; they told me to just ignore it and it made things worse. I learned not to speak up because it didn’t stop the bullying and no one was going to help me anyways; so I just learned to put up with the bullying because i had no choice.  I use that as an example of trying my best to understand why women take so long to come forward ( if they ever come forward at all). Just typing this now makes me feel angry; I feel angry so many men doubt women; so many men say so many disrespectful things towards someone who has been through sexual assault; why are they so quick to judge?. And do so few men stand up for women? That’s my question.

For a long time I didn’t speak up because it wasn’t personal but last year after the allegations of Harvey Weinstein were brought to light; I started seeing all of these statuses from women that said “me too”.  I had no idea what that was about; I later found out it was women sharing that they had been victims of sexual assault and harassment; and all of sudden most of my female friends were making “me too” posts; it became personal. These women who were my friends and who I loved were sexually assaulted or harassed at one point by men in their lives; that hurt deeply; I really felt for them. Soon some of them started sharing their stories in more detail and I started to realize how many women were affected by this and how so few of them ever came forward and their seemed to be a recurring theme: fear, fear fear.  Either they were threatened  or didn’t want to get his male in trouble so they held it in for years and years. Now by sharing this they have nothing to gain; they aren’t taking these guys to court; they are speaking their truth so other women don’t feel so alone; and they’d have no reason to lie.  I thought about that; a lot of these accusers are coming forward 15-20 years later; way past the statute of limitations; so they can’t charge this guy. Why would a woman put herself through that trauma all over again; be called a liar in front of everyone; have her sexual history questioned and gain nothing legally from it; if she wasn’t telling the truth, right?.  I don’t know; I don’t have statistics and figures; I can only speak from the heart and I believe a lot of women coming forward and I commend them for being so brave; because it takes guts to stand up against powerful men who think they are entitled to sex and see women as solely sex objects with no feelings or worth.

I want to finish this post and talk about a family member who I have not seen since she was a little girl; we actually share the same birthday; she is exactly 6 or 7 years younger than me.  I don’t talk to that side of the family so I don’t know about any of them.  But I was told that this member in the family was sexually abused at a very young ( 7 or 8) and it was shocking; especially since I had met the boys who had abused her for years.  I just felt so furious and had so much hurt in my heart; knowing that cute little innocent girl who was funny and who i went to the pool with and talked with her  had been through unimaginable abuse. I can’t describe how it makes me feel except sick. Even though I have no contact with my family; I do love her and she crosses my mind from time to time. I caught up with her on Facebook about a year ago. I messaged her a few times and I could tell she was struggling; she didn’t work; had ptsd ( related to the abuse); and it wasn’t like talking to an adult; it was like talking to a little girl. I realized that the abuse was so bad that emotionally she remained 7 or 8 years of age.  I didn’t think it was appropriate to be talking to her; even online so I cut off contact with her and any other family I had on Facebook. But when all this talk of sexual abuse comes up; she does cross my mind. And she’s isn’t lying about the abuse and didn’t tell anyone for years; long after it had ended.  I tend to believe most women who come forward because in a  rape culture such as ours; I believe that there are many more men out there capable of sexual abuse than I had previously imagined.   I hope to continue to be the kind of man who speaks up for women; comforts women; is friends with women; and never stops believing women

Thank you






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Being a man in the age of the #metoo movement

I have stated many times that I relate better to women; I feel less comfortable talking to men. Lately I have seen numerous stories about sexual misconduct; the latest being a pastor groping singer Ariana Grande at a funeral for Aretha Franklin in front of a nationwide television ( it’s enough to make anyone sick to their stomach). As someone who writes about the power of God and how one can benefit from spirituality; I find this particularly troubling. Men are using their power to manipulate and control women in order to make sexual advances towards them. Being someone who is less dominant and never been aggressive with women ( anxious and needy at times but never aggressive). While rejection hurt; I never blamed the women who rejected me; I looked within myself to see how I could improve myself and in turn improve my chances; which I hope is a healthy attitude.  I hope I have become a man that respects women; because I  try not to cross boundaries and am consciously aware of how my actions are perceived ( much more now than in the past).

But we live in an age where the metoo movement is a trending topic in the news; women are understandably wary of men who are too friendly. I wonder at times if my friendliness could be misinterpreted as something more or if I’m chiming in on conversations I should stay out of. I don’t get a lot of opportunities to meet women in person that I’d be interested in getting to know ( you don’t meet many people working in retail); I find my interactions on social media ( including my blog) are mainly with women; some I know and some I don’t know.  I often wonder if I comment on a woman’s photo that I don’t know well; does she think I am try to come on to her when in reality I am just trying to be friendly? I comment on anything I find interesting especially if it’s a fellow writer. I don’t know

Some of interactions with women offline I admit can be awkward. I was at a poetry reading and there was a young girl and she recited a poem relating to metoo; afterwards I walked up to her and shook her hand and told her I really liked the poem she wrote  ( i shake everyone’s hand out of habit) she gave me this upset look and said nothing; I walked away thinking I may have overstepped my bounds; I didn’t mean to; I was just trying to be friendly but I maybe shouldn’t have said anything. I tend to over analyze situations like that. Another time I was out at a bar late at night and I was dancing with this beautiful woman and we were dancing close. Without thinking I put my hand on her shoulder and she backed away and excused herself; I felt so bad. She had every right to be upset; I did it out of ignorance and not malice. I realized I shouldn’t have put my hands on a woman like that and that would never happen again. I wonder how much of these mistakes are related to being on the autistic  spectrum and failing to recognize social cues; I am really working on these things.

I really do try to be respectful of women and try to relate to them but these days as a man you have to be careful because so many men pretend to be kind and respectful in order to make sexual advances towards women; that isn’t me. I just realize how as a man; I need to think more clearly before I act. I mentioned this in a Facebook post and a friend said that the fact I am even questioning this means I am respectful of women and she observed how I talked to my female friends and assured me I was fine ( as far as my online behavior was concerned). Its something that bothers me and I hope the females I communicate know that my intentions are always innocent and that I have never behaved otherwise.

Thanks for listening




How men talk to women

I have noticed when it comes to approaching women; most men are not like me; they have far more confidence. I’ve seen men just walk up to a beautiful woman and start up a conversation and immediately she is interested; within minutes and it’s always amazing; I am at awe at something I find so difficult. But I also notice some men are extremely aggressive when it comes to approaching woman; particularly in public and it always bothered me. There is this 7-11 that I go to every morning on my way to work and the clerks are all young attractive women; which is a rarity when you go to 7-11. Anyways I am always nice to them and they are polite to me; like you know how you are supposed to act in public. One morning I was there and some guys walked in; I think to replenish the drinks. They went past the clerk and said something like “Hey babygirl” or Hey Sweetheart” She kind of laughed and said hi. She then gave me this look like she had heard all of this before and wasn’t too happy. She looked at me said “Not this again” I responded with ” I guess it’s going to be a long day”. I tried to make a joke of it and left realizing it wasn’t funny.
They have to put with this shit everyday; all they are trying to do is do their jobs and get a paycheck; not be harassed by every random dude that walks into the store. I mean the men weren’t overtly rude but it really helped me to see the subtle way men talk to women; always in a demeaning way. Did this man think by calling someone babygirl; she would give out her phone number? Did the men see it as a compliment because she giggled and didn’t respond back angrily. I don’t know why this bothers as a man but it does. So while I am shy; I’d rather not know how to approach women than to harass them and make them uncomfortable. I’d rather see women as friends with personalities and feelings than see them objects. I do my best everyday to treat people with respect and it hurts to know that women get harassed so much; maybe women I know and that really upsets me. So I can’t control how other men act; I can only be aware of my behavior and hopefully be an example.
Thanks for listening

Understanding my feminine side

I tend to be someone who overthinks and analyzes every thought that comes to my head; lately I been thinking a lot about how I relate to others. I know it sounds incredibly self-centered to think about yourself so much but I think we are all guilty of that from time to time.  This is a subject I have talked about a lot but it’s the issue of gender and how I see myself in regards to that.  Whenever I find myself in group setting ( work included) I find myself gravitating towards women and not in a “I’m going to flirt with them” kind of way but more in a I just feel more comfortable with women; I am a pretty expressive person and I love to talk but I can’t find myself relating to men.  I don’t enjoy the banter ( why would you call someone by their last name?) and sports are boring to me. I’d rather talk about politics or my favorite album or movie and I question why I am the way I am. I feel this is deja vu because I have talked about this so much but it has been on my mind a lot lately.  When my brother died; I found it was the girls who listened to me and were concerned about how I was. It was almost a maternal thing or a sisterly kind of thing; I didn’t plan it like that but that’s the way it happened. And it is interesting; I have never had any sisters and wasn’t close to my mom; so I wasn’t surrounded by a female presence. I have told my female friends why I am this way and they say it’s great and it’s sweet etc; I appreciate it but it sets me apart.  When it comes to making female friends it works quite well and even online about 90% of people I talk to are women; I take pride in being able to relate to women.

I relate much less to men.  I am a very sensitive person; I like to write and talk about my feelings. I feel like when I am with other men; they are judging me; making assumptions and there are times where I wish I was just like them.  I wish I didn’t take everything to heart; I wish I had more male friends ( and saying just be more masculine is an idiotic statement and doesn’t work).  I also feel being overly emotional is disaster when it comes to dating; I can’t tell you how many women I have been hung up over the years; how many times I expressed too much of how I felt; misread signals; ended up hurt and unable to move on. I think women love sensitive men as friends but never want to date one; these thoughts run through my head all the time. I work in a warehouse in a department store and the men know their power tools, car, watch sports and I just stand in the corner with nothing to say; in a sense hating myself.

When I was younger I used to be sort of jealous of women; in the sense that had closer relationships; they talked more; spent more time together. These are not normal thoughts for a little boy but I had them. I wanted to have close guy friends but its girly to just sit around and talk and even writing this sounds so feminine and I cringe at my own words.  And I tried to play sports and be tough but I couldn’t be that; it never felt right.

And some may be reading this thinking maybe I’m questioning my sexuality; I know very well who I am and I have always liked women. I am just trying to understand why my brain works the way it does; why is my feminine side so much stronger.  I always feel that some look at how I relate to women as suspect when in reality there is no ulterior motive; those who know me are aware that my intentions are always good. I will say this that I didn’t always embrace my sensitive side but once I did; I felt a lot happier; I felt I didn’t have to suppress my emotions anymore and be someone I wasn’t. I just wish I could find more of a balance between the masculine and feminine side of me.

Thanks for listening