Hopefully today is a sunny, fun-filled celebration for your family – and I want to take a moment to speak to those dealing with Father’s Day when Dad is Depressed or Angry…
It’s a thing, although you’d never know it if you peeked in on some of the awesome dads out there…
And because our culture still shames mental illness, those of you dealing with this today yourself, or in your father or your spouse, or a friend or relative, maybe just need to be acknowledged and loved well today.
Maybe you just need to know someone cares.
Our culture is pretty rough on both genders, for sure, but I want to take a moment and dish some empathy to the men out there. So often you are held to a high standard, expected to suffer in silence, and even as little boys are told, “big boys don’t cry,” and “act like a man,” and then when you grow up, the women in your life are frustrated with the way you keep your feelings from us.
Must be confusing. I want you to know today that you are heard. That your feelings matter. And you aren’t alone.
According to the CDC website:
About 1 in 3 men experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime.
Nearly 56% of men who were victims of contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner first experienced these or other forms of violence by that partner before age 25.
Culture leads us to believe that ONLY women are victims of domestic violence, while what’s actually true is that both genders suffer this. The end result is often buried pain and trauma, often emerging as depression later in life. At the very least, it often can emerge as anger, and often men get labeled as angry when they are really reacting in pain. They aren’t that different from women in that regard. Maybe this is you or someone you care about this Father’s Day.
The following is a poignant post from guest author, Nicole Mann Watt. You can follow her on Facebook at Walking Out of Night.
I believe it’s necessary to let the ground lie fallow, at times.
And that’s where I’ve been personally, too. Just lying there in the dirt letting God plow up the ground of my heart. It hurts, but you know, it’s healing, too.
We do not need to fear anger. Or be ashamed.
With Father’s Day, if you know a man who struggles with anger, would you reach out (even through a letter) and offer a few words of kindness and help? Can you share this post and help me possibly shift some of the stigma and shame around depression’s rejected language of anger? Can we stop labeling anger and shaming angry men (and women) and normalize anger? By normalizing we are not excusing unkind or dangerous behavior. We are saying “We see your pain. It’s okay. Tell me what that anger is about. Who hurt you?”
I find it a “God’s Timing” moment that this is Fathers’ Day weekend, Nicole chose this to write about, and this is also Greater Impact’s launching of our first online coed coaching opportunity. I’ve had men reach out to me on Facebook asking, “What do you have for men? Why do you serve only women?” Truth is, we have always served both, it’s just been local. Now it isn’t.
God has burdened me for the broken-hearted – men and women alike – who struggle in their relationships. Not that I’m so neat, but I’ve been repeatedly told by plenty of stellar radio announcers in interviews, “You really understand men,” maybe because I teach the language of respect – yes women need it too, but our culture easily forgets that men have feelings and are human. I’m grieved for the pain both men and women suffer. Both are misunderstood. Both feel unheard and disrespected. Few speak also to the pain of men.
God hasn’t forgotten them, however. For ALL the dads out there today, including mine who is in Heaven, Happy Father’s Day. You are seen. We think you are awesome.
If you are interested in learning more about our communication coaching, What to Say & How to Say It, join us here: www.GreaterImpactCoaching.org .