MANY of us are struggling out here. I’ve struggled for years with underemployment and ageism, but I’ve figured out ways to make my ends meet. I let go of the working 9–5 dream in 2007 after the last financial collapse. Since 9/11, the government has shifted more resources to war and bailing out banks, fewer dollars to social programs and local economies. I’ve worked in factories where men literally have heart attacks and died on the job trying to provide for their families. I refuse to allow this crooked, punitive, greedy nation to stress me out.
Society has placed unrealistic and unattainable expectations on men to be providers. Families have provided unrealistic expectations to their daughters to find the man who provide fairy tales and fantasies for them. We are working to make capitalism happy, healthy and rich. Meanwhile, we all are struggling trying to exist in this new financial environment on top of all the isms (racism, capitalism, extreme conservatism, neoliberalism, etc.). Many of us are suddenly finding ourselves overqualified after being told college was the way to go to get ahead.
People with college degrees are no better off than people without one.
Add the pressures of consumerism, hell we are all struggling to find happiness. It’s a nightmare.
I would say many of us struggle with emotional detachment in our families. I have for many years. At times it’s a blessing and at times it’s a curse. And the future…I think it’s fair to say our futures here on out our uncertain.
I’m preparing to live like our ancestors did, and I am going to be glad about it. I have no expectation a savior is coming and everything is going to be better for us. Black people and people of color will struggle royally, like we always have…but much more so now that people in power are able to show their prejudice in every way, including in how they hire. America is a lot whiter these days, there is no need to think that this trend will cease. It’s a bad sign for men like you. Struggle and toil continues.
Those in power will remain and retain their power. This my friend, hurts intelligent kind men like yourself. Black men suffer most because they have the most to prove. Decent Black men have people looking to them for their help. There is the potential to let a lot of people down.
And so, we need to think differently. It’s time to let go of old dreams, and our old ways of thinking. It’s time to let go of being the super provider of wants. Forget being an overachiever. For what? For a system that rapes the help, leaving us to care for ourselves. Men never get a chance to address our mental health, because they are always putting out fires. My heart goes out to them. It’s always a struggle for you. A silent struggle. I just want men to know they aren’t walking paychecks. I wish it was easy to unload some of the Black man’s burdens, but life just ain’t havin none of that.
Sometimes it’s better that we are alone when we struggle, but who wants to be alone in the struggle. It’s always better to have a ride or die when struggling. Sometimes it’s not a lover, but a good friend, a new friend, a dear friend, or maybe even a best friend. Struggle is always better with unconditional love. The kind a mother or bestie gives is best. Talking things out with sane people helps a lot.
We are simply pawns in America’s game of chess. You must adapt to survive. We aren’t always going to win. In fact, we are going to lose more than we win. If we change how we think, and become accustomed to the truth of what America really is, I think perhaps we wouldn’t struggle as much with the providing aspect of our lives.
I acknowledge your struggle, and the struggles of all men. The pressures for men to please, give, and provide are overwhelming. You should talk about it. Don’t die holding it all in. Don’t lose sleep worrying about things you can’t control. It’s a new day, and we have to adapt to survive just like our ancestors.
We need to talk about this more and offer solutions. There are too many men in your situation suffering in silence. I just wanted to men to know I see them struggling. I see and feel the loneliness, and I care.