Silence or Violence: Logan, Suicide, and the Culture of Masculine Silence

Our friend Logan killed himself today. I wish we had known how badly he was hurting. We just spent most of this past weekend with him, and had no idea things were nearly this bad. If we had known, maybe we could have helped. But maybe not. These things don’t come from nowhere.

Logan Masterson

Logan Masterson, author, friend, R.I.P.

It’s kind of a no-shit thing to say in hindsight that Logan had struggled with depression. Thing is, many people do, and never take their pain as far as this. It’s also kind of a no-shit statement to say that I wish I had known he was hurting so badly. And the problem is, he did what so many people – men especially – do: He played the Strong Silent Type until it killed him.

And when he finally did reach out, hours before the end, he got smacked in the face for doing so. Repeatedly. In public, on his Facebook. By his so-called “friends.”

Maybe this is just because I am so goddamned hurt and angry and sad right now, but that’s the part we really need to talk about.

Bullshit, read the first comment on his final cry for help. That is so defeatist. You don’t always have a choice in what happens, but you get to decide how you react.

Work through it, said the next one. Things always gets better!

I’m sorry it feels that way, said another. I feels that way for a lot of us. I get that this was supposed to be commiseration, not criticism, but it doesn’t take much to read it otherwise. And if you’re so depressed that suicide looks like a viable option, then you’re reading things that way to begin with.

Other comments suggested that he go for a walk in Nature – you’ll get a better perspective. More crudely, one told him been there got over that. This was the second-to-last comment he saw before he decided that enough was enough. The very last (I imagine – I don’t know his exact time of death or the final post that Logan brought himself to read) was more sympathetic, but ultimately futile in nature.

No wonder he figured he was better off dead.

When I got the news a few hours ago, I was cleaning house for a friend of mine who’s a retired therapist. When I told him how I wished I had known what was going on in Logan’s head this past weekend, and that I wished I could have helped, my friend got angry. “Statistically,” he said, “far more women talk about suicide, and attempt suicide, then men. But four times as many men than women actually DO kill themselves.” I checked his statement as I’ve written this down, and he was right.

AFSP Infographic

It is absolutely not an accident that so many military vets commit suicide. The bigger wonder is that even more of them do not.

I’ve written before about how the toxic culture of masculinity demands that men “man up” and “don’t be a pussy/ whiner/ little bitch” when we are hurting. I’ve also noted how “invisible” illnesses and conditions like depression are stigmatized, blamed upon the person who suffers from them, and considered one more failing on the part of a person who’s already considered “weak.” And I’ve written about how perceived “weakness” is the cardinal sin in the masculine creed, a sin so awful that it turns a man into prey – into someone not worthy of being considered a man at all. As a man who has struggled with my own anger, identity, and masculinity issues, I know that it is way past time for a new mode of thinking about our selves, our genders, and the massive case of cultural PTSD we collectively suffer from as human beings. This culture, these ideas, our PTSD – they are literally killing us, and killing the world around us.

Today, it killed my friend. And I didn’t even know that was a problem because he didn’t feel he could fucking speak about it until it was too late… at which point, he got slapped for doing so. Because really, how dare he, right? What bullshit. He should have just gotten over it.

In conversations over just these last few days, before I had any idea how relevant the subject would be right now, I’ve been pointing out that culturally, men are not only not taught healthy ways of dealing with our emotions, we are actively taught UNHEALTHY ways of dealing with them. We are expected to be stoic and brave and “strong” even when we are hurting at soul-deep levels. We’re told to be “commanding,” “dominant,” “assertive,” not “wishy-washy,” “wussy” or “limp,” no matter how we feel inside. Women, too, are told to “keep it in and be strong for us,” but men are socially emasculated for being otherwise,  with no acceptable outlet for our emotions save violence, sex, intoxication, or sports… which kinda combine all three. And yeah – the sexual connotations (and implied misogyny) of all of those impressions are absolutely part of the equation, too.

Shhhh

“Be quiet – big boys don’t cry.”

It’s not my place to write here about why Logan took his life, but I know that it had to do with him being made to feel as though he’d failed as a man. Failed so badly that he had no choice but to stop being anyone at all.

Now, it’s easy to say, I guess, that we should just smash the patriarchy. That men expect ourselves to be superhuman, and that men need to change what’s in our heads before we can be healthy. And those statements are not incorrect.

But here’s the kicker: All those comments about “getting over it,” and Logan being full of “bullshit” for expressing his pain?

They came from women.

It was men (and one woman) who expressed support for Logan when he finally called for help.

It was women who told him he was being weak.

On our way home after I picked my partner Sandi up after work, a few hours after we had learned about Logan’s death, we were talking about how men are not socially allowed to express pain and weakness. Women are, indisputably, treated poorly for “being too emotional” (translation: weak), but women are still allowed to feel something other than anger, joy or victory without having their identity shredded for expressing emotions. When I pointed out that men have very few safe spaces to be raw about anything but rage, Sandi said something along the lines of “But men can be vulnerable with women.”

No, I told her, not always. We really can’t. Because here’s the thing: We may or may not be safe expressing our feelings to women… and if we’re not, then we usually find out the hard way after it’s too late.

As I told her, I had one now-ex-lover tell me how I was being “needy and bleedy” the last time we got together, and so she didn’t find me attractive anymore. (A friend of mine had died a few days earlier, but I was supposed to be cheerful and strong and sexy, I guess.) Another told me how “your energy was totally inappropriate”after I’d hugged her a little too long… two weeks after I had been raped and did not yet understand quite what had happened to me; when I told her I had been hurting that night and needed contact, she snapped “That’s not my problem. You should have had a handle on it.” One now-former wife got angry at me for getting on Prozac during a hard bout with depression… because I had not done it sooner, and so had been ” a burden” on her. From one side, I absolutely see how those women felt uneasy with my expressions of vulnerability… and yet, like most men, I’d never been taught HOW to be fucking vulnerable in anything resembling a healthy fashion, and so it’s not exactly rocket science to figure out why I kinda fucked it up.

It’s a nice little social illusion that women provide safe space for men to be vulnerable. The reality is, that’s often not the case. A man – and this is true of gay men as well as “straight” men (yet more pervasive toxic social messaging there!) – has no idea where, or if, he has safe space to be vulnerable about emotions. We are taught to suppress our feelings until we die inside or explode. And so, all too often, silence or violence (to one’s self or to others) is the only expression that feels safely “masculine” and “strong.”

Do I even need to point out how utterly fucked that is? And how much harm it inflicts upon everyone involved?

We need better than this. All of us need it.

We need to speak, and to hear, and to act, more carefully with one another, regardless of gender.

We need to be more compassionate, and more aware that we don’t know what’s going on in one another’s heads and hearts.

We seriously need to STOP MAKING A FUCKING SPORT out of shredding one another in public for fun.

We must stop holding each other to, and stop teaching our children to expect, impossible standards with unhealthy results.

And when someone cries out – regardless of their gender and our thoughts of how they “should” be acting in that time of crisis – we goddamned well should fucking LISTEN. And not make it about ourselves.

It’s too late for our friend Logan. Rest well, my friend, and I hope whatever’s waiting for you over the next hill is better than what you endured on this one.

Now, maybe next time, we could all pay a bit more attention, have a bit more compassion, and stop expecting men to be strong and silent if they want to remain among the company of men.
Weeping

 

 

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About Satyr

Award-winning fantasy author, game-designer, and all 'round creative malcontent. Creator of a whole bunch of stuff, most notably the series Mage: The Ascension, Deliria: Faerie Tales for a New Millennium, and Powerchords: Music, Magic & Urban Fantasy. Lives in Seattle. Hates shoes. Loves cats. Dances a lot.
This entry was posted in Politics & Society, Sex & Gender, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to Silence or Violence: Logan, Suicide, and the Culture of Masculine Silence

  1. sion Williams says:

    Talk about it.it hurts.it’s awkward. It makes people uncomfortable.but talking about it is the only thing that will help us deal with it.the only thing keeping some of us alive.

  2. Stefani says:

    I’m so sorry. This is very important and well written. and true. For all we women deal with in the world, the pressures and expectations of being a man are something I can’t imagine.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m posting this anonymously because the person doesn’t want to talk about it, but I still feel that it’s an important thing to talk about, so some details will be obfuscated. I’m dating a guy who tried to kill himself before we got together (the gun malfunctioned, thank goodness), and he never really told anyone out of shame. He still struggles with the events that made him attempt suicide, and it took forever for him to open up to me because so many people have berated him for his problems. He’s dropping out of society, and no longer goes to social events, because he feels like he has to wear a mask to be accepted.

    He’s an abuse survivor who sees himself as a monster because other people refuse to listen. And the sad thing is, most of the negative voices are coming from people who identify as “liberal”, and they twist the rhetoric into a bludgeon to hit him with. I try to be supportive, but I’m only one voice out of hundreds.

    • Judy Cain says:

      I am so sorry – I wish I could talk to you and/or him face to face. I do think there can be help but without knowing his situation it’s hard to know what to suggest.

    • Ronnie says:

      Don’t let the numbers deter you. Keep on keeping on. Just having someone there that supports you…helps a lot. Just keep being there for him and listen to him. Be a positive light in this crazy world of darkness. I’ll definitely be praying for you both! Im a guy that used to be suicidal in high school. Any time before I tried to off myself…flashes of my loved ones would enter my mind…I would get reminded that I do have support. And I know it was God that had those certain memories come up to save me. Without God and my loved ones…I wouldn’t have made it. You’re definitely helping by being there for him. Keep doing what you are doing and don’t lose hope. If he’s not already on any anti-depressants, I’d suggest that he meet with a psychiatrist to see if he needs any.

      As for those negative voices. If they are always cutting him down and the like…they need to be cut out of his life. He just needs to let them go and never speak to them (I know it’ll be near impossible to do if it’s family.) But for his own mental well being…he definitely needs to be away from verbal attacks and the like. I’m talking about blocking on FB, calls, texts, etc.. He needs a break from the berating. I cannot fathom the pain that he is enduring. It breaks my heart. And he shouldn’t feel ashamed for how others have wronged him. Just keep reassuring him that he’s not a lone. I would suggest that he find a support group of some sort and that you go with him to help him feel safe.

      I hope that helps you some. I try to help folks as much as I can. Even if it means revisiting past horrors. I’ll definitely be praying for you both. God can do a whole lot more than I can 🙂

    • Stefani says:

      I find that although well meaning, some of the most liberal new-age type people do serious damange with their woo woo talk. I have a great friend, and she really is great — who, when I was in the hospital with peritonitis told me not to express my fear that I was going to die because I would bring bad luck to myself. I have people in my life who are devotees of something called “The Landmark Forum” where you will be told that you are a jerk for the issues that you have with people in your life and that you are making yourself a victim and making everyone else wrong. The sad thing is, it is those of us who are most vulnerable to the emotional damage of that kind of thing — abuse survivors, etc — who are most drawn to these kinds of woo woo things. We are so eager to buy into the idea that the problem is us. I recommend Barbara Ehrenreich’s book, “bright sided,” that deals with some of this. Personally, I think when we express sadness and fear and need we make other people uncomfortable, so they abandon us … Lest we put them in touch with their own sadness and fear and need.

    • Metalhaid says:

      You are an angel for hanging in there. I wish I could wrap my arms around everyone hurting and just infuse them with the love they need. Since I can’t, I can thank you for being there for your lovie.

  4. James Flanagan says:

    Well said! My deepest condolences to Logan’ family and friends.

  5. elon m bagley says:

    Thank you for helping us out. As women, we too have been brought up to believe in the strength of men and our minds are wrapped around the understanding that they are the protectors. we came to believe that they are almost invincible emotionally. I was born in the 50’s. We were taught to virtually “venerate” and “tend to” our man. He got served the largest and best portion at dinner, he was to eat first, we were to honor his wishes both in decision making and in love making,…etc. He, in turn, was to financially and emotionally protect us. It was an unspoken contract. the movies taught us that when a woman cried, she was tender and vulnerable and our “protector” found that appealing because then, he could come down and sweep us up into his arms and ride out on a beautiful black horse. But we were also taught that if a man cried, it was a sign of weakness and to be looked down on. I have no idea where the future will take us, but i pray that all this change will bring about an enlightenment that will free our souls from burdens so heavy that we feel our sole recourse is to take our lives in order to escape the one we have.

  6. I am so sorry for your loss.
    I am also deeply sorry for what you have experienced yourself when you have been hurting. It is tragic and terrible to have lived the experiences you have, but it is compounded by the receptions you have met with when you have reached out.
    I am also very thankful for your article.
    You have managed to say things that are so difficult to find words for.
    This will be in my heart and mind today as I consider how I can be more supportive to the men in my circles.
    I don’t know you and you don’t know me, but today I feel for you. And for Logan and for all who have reached out and been rebuffed when they most needed embraced.

  7. Reblogged this on Mischief 2.0 and commented:
    Phil says it all.

  8. Lyssa Shaffer says:

    Yes.

  9. Reblogged this on In and Out of My Mind and commented:
    This post is relevant to my own experiences as well as the recent loss of a friend. Thanks, Satyros

  10. You’re clearly correct about what we ought to not do but I’d appreciate it if you (or someone) could provide some guidance about what we should do or say that could be useful or helpful for someone who needs it. An acquaintance on Facebook posted something in December about finding himself at the bottom of a chasm of depression. Almost all of the comments were supportive but he took his own life a few months later. My comment was “This too shall pass, my friend.” He “Liked” it but could it possibly have felt dismissive in a way that I didn’t intend? I’ve thought about it consistently ever since. Was there something more that could have been said, something else that could have been done? And how can we know when someone’s experiencing something more than a garden variety bad day? In any event, thanks for writing a great and obviously heartfelt post.

    • Lyssa Heartsong says:

      This has been on my mind since this post, and for most of these past few months. When it’s in my city, I do the Overnight Walk for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention–they are currently the major organization that I know of that works to educate and provide resources for survivors and those affected by suicide. Their page has some resources on what to do here http://afsp.org/find-support/worried-about-someone/, and you/folks might want to contact them for further help here/resources.

      I am not a counselor, but I think that active listening and taking a person seriously, being with them in person if you can, may be the most helpful, asking them, “What can I do for you/how can I help?” is key. And…they may not know the answer for this. It may be working on a plan with them may help, but I do not know the ins and outs of the best ways here–and I want to learn them. Anyway, that’s where I’d start for resources.

      And for folks having trouble during these times, here are some crisis line resources. I hope anyone suffering, having thoughts of suicide/going through depression will take advantage of them.

      The world needs all of us in it.

      http://afsp.org/find-support/im-having-thoughts-of-suicide/

      Love to all,
      Lys

  11. Showing weakness tends to get you crushed from all sides. In my experience, with most of the women who have been in my life, when they say they like vulnerability and sensitivity, it’s when you’re watching a sappy TV show or a show about animals and you get a little blurry eyed and they can hug you and feel close to you. But when it comes to the big things, the life things, such as sickness or death, a little goes a long way and then you get told to suck it up, or you just feel them withdraw from you because you’ve shown that you’re not quite the rock they expected.

  12. Felony Jones says:

    ” A man – and this is true of gay men as well as cis men – has no idea where, or if he, has safe space to be vulnerable about emotions. ”

    just to clean up a point here: het and gay men ARE cis men. trans/and gender non conforming men are NOT cis men. gender identity and sexuality are two very different things. het/gay refers to sexuality, not gender identity.

    i think you meant to say this: ” A man – and this is true of gay men as well as het men – has no idea where, or if he, has safe space to be vulnerable about emotions. “

  13. stitchy1 says:

    I’m truly sorry you lost a good friend to suicide today. This is a great post. It’s disheartening that women support the unhealthy ideals of manhood that also create misogynists out of some of them. It’s disheartening that all genders are complicit in shaming people for speaking out and reaching out for help, for being vulnerable, and for being honest. Depression and suicide are subjects very close to my heart as a person with Major Depression and who’s struggled with suicidal ideation many times in my life. I’m glad that you are speaking up about all of these issues!

    Angelina Williamson

  14. Well said…even though I didn’t know him, RIP Logan. .

  15. Thank you for this. I hope it will be shared repeatedly so we can be reminded that some of the statements of FB are sincere cries for help.

  16. Really a great piece. And I’m a woman. 🙂

  17. From Jack Donovan: “Women have a habit of throwing men’s exposed emotional vulnerabilities back at them in heated arguments, and many men have been burned for baring their souls. Even in the context of a private relationship, many men have good reasons to avoid showing women or men the things that really get to them.”

  18. I am so sorry to hear this.

  19. The only thing I disagree with in this article is your assertion, at the end of the paragraph about how women in your past have reacted to your expressions of vulnerability, that you, “fucked it up.” You didn’t fuck anything up … they did. There is no right or wrong way to be vulnerable, almost by definition. There is a right and wrong way to be supportive of someones vulnerability. Being completely self-absorbed and closed-hearted, which is how I feel every one of the woman you mentioned behaved, is certainly the worst way. Shame on them!

  20. I just met Logan at Norwescon and then he friended me on FB so I had no idea he was hurting. (I completely missed the Facebook Post to which you refer.) I am saddened I will not know him better. However mostly, I wanted to say, I am so sorry for your loss.

  21. steveberman says:

    A powerful, honest, and much-needed essay. And I am always hear to listen to you, whether you need to vent, to laugh, to cry, etc. Because you can, you should, and one day you may very well need to do so.

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  24. Wow the amount of truth in this post/essay is just overwhelming. You know ifi you have mental health issues, people act like it’s your fault but if you had cancer they wouldn’t blame you. It’s funny how that works huh? No it’s not funny its freaking pathetic and pisses me off. Thank you for calling out the hypocrisy!! And I am sorry for the loss of your friend, he sounds like he was a pretty cool guy. Rest Well Logan.

  25. Eldon Hughes says:

    Your points on how men are raised to deal with emotional issues are well made and valid, but you also appear to be making some assumptions about the relationships that some people had with Logan based on a single exchange. There are better, more productive targets for the anger and pain. Thank you, and I wish you well, sir.

  26. Paulie says:

    First, let me say my heart äches for Logan. To reach that ‘one point’, and then step over the line… Just… I can’t.
    Facebook can be both a blessing and a curse, especially when dealing with those black places. You want to say so much, and yet… *sighs*

    All I CAN really say is I hope your thoughtful, moving words reach the right people (which is anyone who needs to hear them) and I hope you can find peace.

  27. madbintuk says:

    Reblogged this on PJ_LeaWrites and commented:
    Phil says it all.

  28. Reblogged this on facingthefireswithin and commented:
    Thoughts and commentary on suicide and toxic masculinity.

  29. Libby McDuffee says:

    Hey now. Hey.
    All valid points you’ve made about the potential toxicity of masculine silence are obfuscated by your extremely misplaced anger towards Logan’s friends. Not “so-called friends”, Friends.
    Logan had over a thousand facebook friends. Let’s assume that a small percentage of those folks are NOT mental health professionals. Let’s also assume that of those who ARE mental health professionals, a small percentage are NOT psychic. I have read and re-read the final post to which you refer. And it reads to me a lot closer to “I blame myself for shit” than “I’m planning to end my life.” Would social media be improved if everytime someone posted a message of a depressive quality they received a reply of “Don’t do it! Call me!”? Maybe.
    Let me tell you something. Many years ago I lost a dear friend to suicide. Logan was by my side throughout my grief, was by my side when I was no fun to be around. He commiserated and listened to me talk and cry for MONTHS. And months. And never once did he say, “You should have done more.”

    • Satyr says:

      I was with Logan a few days before he died. There is a lot more to this story than I posted here, which I did not post out of respect for his memory and other people involved.

      Let’s just say this much: my anger is not displaced, nor is Logan’s situation unique. not even close.

    • frithkin says:

      Its better for everyone involved if no assumptions are made about anything ever .

  30. Ronnie says:

    My previous post was a reply to the person that posted as anon.

    This is to the article writer. Thank you so much for sharing this. This crazy image does need to stop. Lord knows that the image of man causes depression. I feel like I need to be stronger all the time and to be strong for others. I tend to feel like I fail if I break and show tears. Only my closest of friends have seen me shed tears. Luckily I have a safe space with my friends and my amazing girlfriend. She has been helping me to break that image and to talk to her when I am bothered and when depression strikes. She’s not judgmental at all and I’m not judgmental towards her. We all definitely need someone to talk to.

    And I abhor the actions of those that attack those that are crying for help online. Always show love and compassion towards other human beings. That angered me so much.

    I am so so sorry for your loss. Just know that you are helping others by posting what you did. I’m gonna try my best to not keep everything bottled up. Thank you again. I’ll be praying for you and the other loved ones affected by this tragedy. May God bring you all peace and comfort during this tragic time.

  31. HowlingFire says:

    Reblogged this on Howlingfire's Blog and commented:
    As someone who lost a man close to her to suicide, this!

  32. Jayson Nelson says:

    Condolences on the loss of your friend.
    You called out some uncomfortable truths. It is not just men who perpetuate masculine stereotypes. Even when people, regardless of their gender identity, are being a supportive listener the dynamic can change dramatically in your relationship with them. Now a price of reaching out has been established, often the loss of respect. For a lot of people that can result in the lid being tightened down on the pressure cooker. I think that sometimes the lack of honest compassion it is a function of the poor listeners pain. The scars can become a source of pride for having survived, which is ok. The reaction to others suffering may unfortunately become “Your pain cannot measure up to the hell I have been through, so if I can deal, then you should too.”
    Thank you for posting this.

  33. BlueHeron00 says:

    I wonder if this is so unique…inability to communicate and share feelings. I do not know the circumstances of your friend’s case, but think about it… someone is diagnosed with a terminal or life changing disease like cancer or Alzheimer’s and well, even those who are closest to us really dont’ know how to talk about it? So many married couples divorce because of their inability to talk with one another…. Maybe it would “help” all of us if there was a primer on how to talk about something that makes us uncomfortable… heaven knows how tough it is to be an adolescent. And in this day and age, with social media, creating instantaneous sharing and commenting, no one is immune to the ridicule, the shaming and bullying of others who fail to see the venom in their words.

    I was just watching a TED talk given by Monica Lewinsky on the emotional yes (PTSD) of shaming… Regardless of how you feel about her, I would strongly recommend searching on TED for her talk. It isn’t so much about her, but about the challenges today of living with shame, public ridicule, regardless of whether it is warranted or not. Her speech was very powerful.

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  35. Celeste Lamosse says:

    So, I am curious, Satyr, what would YOUR response have been? If someone posts on Facebook, they assume they will be “answered” or receive some comments, wouldn’t it have been worse to not reply at all to his comments? You rage about what others said, responses that were seemingly ignorant to you,but what would YOU have replied?

    • Satyr says:

      Had I seen his post while he was still alive, my response would have been what it usually is when my friends post such things: *hugs* followed by a PM check-in with the person who was hurting.

      Sadly, I was at work when he posted this, and still at work when I heard he had died.

      I would not ever have posted that he was full of bullshit, or that he should just get over it already.

  36. malcolmgin says:

    I get that you’re in mourning and that you’re hurting. And I’m glad you wrote this. But I am at the same time really uncomfortable with the really unfairly broad brush you’re using to, in your grief, paint all women as the problem here. I think either the brush you use should be wider to criticize all we humans or much finer to criticize the specific women you’ve clashed with. But having your grief and rage convict all women is not doing justice any favors.

    • Satyr says:

      If you read me condemning “all women” here, Malcolm, then that’s what you read. It’s not even remotely close to what I wrote, nor to what I believe.

      I invite you to look at why you think I said that, because that perception is not supported by the words in my post.

      • Anonymous Woman says:

        I wish I didn’t feel compelled to reply, but I actually agree with Malcolm. I know you’re grieving your friend, but on a less emotionally-charged day I would invite you to re-read your post starting around “They came from women,” and try to read it from the lens of a woman. Tone takes a subtle turn, but it feels accusatory, which is unfair.

        While I’m sure societal pressure to conform to certain gender norms played a big part, I think this could’ve been written to say less “women were telling him to man-up” and more “we all could use to be kinder.” Empathy and acceptance for all over accusation and generalization stemming from actions of a few.

        My condolences to you, his friends, and his family.

      • Satyr says:

        Thank you, Anonymous, for your observations.

        And in turn, I invite you to flip the genders involved and then take a look at how you would respond to a man who said the same thing you just said, had this been a piece about the role of men in a woman’s suicide and in the perpetration of patriarchal and misogynist culture.

        My loathing for misogyny is pretty clear, both in this essay and in many others on this blog and elsewhere. I’m sorry if that’s what you see, but it is not what I have written, nor is it what I meant.

        At the same time, there is a fundamental social perception (which is, women are safe space and men are not) that is not only factually untrue, but which was directly involved in my friend’s suicide. The details are not mine to discuss, but as I’ve said elsewhere, there is a great deal more involved in this incident than merely the comments on his blog, and gender expectations are very much a part of them.

      • Another Anonymous Woman says:

        As you mentioned, valid masculine expressions of emotion tend to be destructive, so women are conditioned to treat male vulnerability as dangerous; there are women that are confident and trusting enough to handle those stakes, but those /are/ stakes. If a woman f**ks up she could get hurt, or he could get hurt–and it’s all a guessing game. Acting like women deserve blame for not soaking the damage that they don’t have the measure of yet is not fair at all.

  37. I stumbled across this post via friend. Much of what you wrote resonates with me and my own experiences. I appreciate your constructive plea for us to extend compassion and consideration to others:

    “And when someone cries out – regardless of their gender and our thoughts of how they “should” be acting in that time of crisis – we goddamned well should fucking LISTEN. And not make it about ourselves.”

    I feel that this message in particular is lost among a number of the people replying to your post. They seem more concerned with “policing” your thoughts and feelings than they are with empathizing with you, your friend, and any other men suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts.

    Anyway, I’m sorry about your friend. I’m glad you spoke out.

  38. Thank you for this. Compassion is so very important, and in the loss of compassion we lose each other. I lost a dear friend last year in a similar way. He is one of the numbers in the 2015 chart. Having experienced that I know that it is not the same. What you are going through is in no way similar to what I did. The events are the same, and thats where people get a little confused, but what is different is everything else. Logan was a person, with uniqueness, and in your relationship with him you experienced a uniqueness of him that isn’t even shared with others. I cannot know what you are feeling, or what you are going through. You are talking about it, and these things need to be talked about. I am wishing you love and compassion and grace. Keep spreading the words of compassion. It takes more strength and courage to show compassion than to be silent. Silence is easy. Thank you for this, and your courage. My thoughts are with you, and everyone that knew Logan.

  39. Pingback: CREATING AN EVOLUTION | passions724

  40. Billie McFadden says:

    THIS NEEDS TO BE A NORMAL PART OF OUR DAILY CONVERSATIONS.

  41. passions724 says:

    Your blog and Logan’s suicide inspired me to write my own bloghttps://passions724.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/creating-an-evolution/
    Thank you. Yes, these are just words. But they are good words, important words. Words that can inspire action that create change.

  42. Joe Hannibal says:

    Thanks for posting this. And while this may not mean much coming from a stranger, my condolences for the death of your friend Logan. I do share your frustration…mainly because once upon a time I was almost him. I didn’t come out of it alive because I was stronger than he was, just way more lucky…because unlike him I had a friend who actually saw what was going on.

    A messy divorce had left me in a bad place, and like your friend a lot of the people I knew, they just didn’t get it. Looking back, I can see how much of what they said was meant well, but at the time it only made everything worse. One of my good buddies was different. He told me “hey, if this shit you’re going through ever gets to be too much to deal with, give me a call. I don’t care what time it is, we can talk. I mean it.”

    Long story short, I ended up needing to take him up on his offer. And in the clinch, he was that friend. He came over to my place at 3am and sat in for The Mother Of All Rant Sessions. Because of that, I’m still here.

    Every person ought to have that friend. What’s sad about our culture is that far too many don’t.

    Anyone reading this…you really want to help a person who’s suicidal, crying out for help? Don’t offer them tossed-off advice, offer them your ear – and then be prepared to hear some really, REALLY fucked-up shit without blinking. I’m here to tell you, it takes a LOT for a human being to overcome their basic survival instinct enough to end their life, okay? If you have a yen to help somebody come back from that particular brink (and that’s very noble), don’t think it’s going to be easy. Pain is not pretty. It’s not politically correct, either.

    Again, I’m not stronger than your friend Logan, just luckier. Luckier because somebody noticed and made good on their promise to help, even though I didn’t exactly make it easy on him. And again I say…it shouldn’t be “lucky” to have a friend like the one who helped me. Society needs to be written in a way where such friendships are easier to come by than they currently are.

  43. Darko Kreculj says:

    Really sad, but i understand the situation, i also had problems with depression, here’s my little contribution, try and share it with people to whom you think it will be useful https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiZZK98ppkQ

  44. Shawnee says:

    Thank You!!! I shall miss him very much. I applaud your effort to shine a light on these dark places!

  45. Charlie says:

    I understand your pain, but if you didn’t know he was depressed, maybe you just weren’t one of the people he shared that with. Telling someone about your depression is difficult, and you often don’t want everyone to know on purpose, because of the stigma associated with it regardless of gender (I also struggle with depression) In all those times he was strong, there’s a fragility beneath the surface – one there but never spoken. I’ve known this man over 25 years, he introduced me to AD&D, Magic, fantasy novels. He taught me to believe in myself, he gave me the courage to do my first poetry slam, he helped me get over my public speaking fear so much I have no issues doing so now. I won a poetry contest because of a poem he inspired me to write. I hate that he is gone, but I know he wouldn’t want this bickering/division to be part of his legacy. Posts like this are made for those of us here, it’s what is helping you make sense of everything. That’s why I’m responding too. I choose not to be angry, it will not bring him back, but you should look into NAMI or other organizations that help w we depression. Logan was an amazing person and a good friend. I will always carry a special place in my heart for him. I hope you can find your peace as well

  46. You are such a hypocrite, Phil. You stand in a man’s wedding, a former lover of his wife, and the man reaches out to you, but you ignore him. His wife claims she was “pushed” and “yelled at” and “he’s crazy, so just ignore him” and so you do ignore him when he reaches out to you without bothering to listen. You write about nasty women who manipulate and abuse men, but you slept with one and called her your girlfriend and had no idea just how abusive emotionally she could be to her husband? That man suffered emotional abuse from her for years, constantly belittled, gaslighted by her, and slowly conditioned to servitude before he stood up to her and stopped letting her bully him into submission. Now she she uses more lies and manipulation to take his children away from him. You are as much a narcissisist as she is; feeding egos and constantly needing your own fed. You are fake. You care about how others perceive you and that you look like someone who cares. When was it you first figured out that by pretending to care about others and by stroking their egos and making them feel special that you could manipulate, control, and seduce? How long did the relationship last when she stopped wanting to have sex? When you realized that her ego was impenetrable?

    You don’t give a shit about abused men, unless you are manipulating them just like abused women into your bed.

    • Satyr says:

      Y’know what, Frank? I’m going to approve your comment just to deprive you of the satisfaction of thinking that I would not do so.

      Oh, and also to address you publicly – by name, too, since you seem to be too ashamed to sign your own bloody name to this screed. But yes, it’s pretty obvious who you are.

      My initial response to this tirade of yours was along the lines of nuking-the-site-from- orbit. Now, though, I’m just gonna say this:

      Seriously, Frank – get psychiatric help. Your comment above displays not simply poor judgment and overwhelming insensitivity, but significantly delusional paranoia. Since you clearly view me as some sort of parasitic antichrist, I suggest you get a professional to evaluate you and provide appropriate treatment.

      In the meantime, stay the fuck away from my blog.

      Given the things you have done to someone I love, you’re no longer welcome in my life.

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