With the latest young white male mass shooter, I started to think about how we deal with frustration in our country (US) and with raising our children now. Which led me to think about how we are disconnected from each other, how we view any emotion outside of happiness as being flawed, and this led me to think about mediation etc. Oh what a rabbit hole I have gone down.
First, as a highly sensitive person who has never been accepted (esp by my family) or has fit in, I find it hard to express how I feel. But anger is rarely one of my normal emotions. I am more frustrated than angry. But I also understand that feelings vary depending on situations.
What I don't get is why we cannot or do not understand emotions and most everything either comes out as anger or indifference. We would rather pull a gun and shoot someone rather than explain our pain, hurt, jealousy, sadness, frustration etc.
When did we lose our ability to feel and express those feelings? Why is it okay to be pissed off but not sad or depressed? Why is it okay to say hurtful things instead of having empathy and treating others as we would like to be treated? Why are we not allowed to show grief when we feel it?
Why is our society medicated and numbing our own selves with various things instead of feeling?
I want answers to these questions, damn it!
We all are seeking for answers in our own way. You are not alone. The best we can do is to addresses those issues individually. I can't do anything about someone else kids but I can steer mine towards certain direction. You're right, it seems that lack of empathy is driving things. Not an easy task if each and everyone of us is not willing to do our part.
A patriarchal capitalist society makes some men struggling with anger or other deep emotional issues feel inferior and disengaged and disenfranchised. They have pressure to be fit, stoic, virile attractive, manly, bringing home the bacon... that’s why patriarchy makes men suffer and feel awkward about getting help managing their emotions, resentment or hate. Lack of help and lack of insight into men’s mental health let’s everyone down.
Our definition of mental health is fucked up. Men are taught to expunge every emotion except anger, which needs 'management'. Women are told psychiatry is a misogynist plot to make them emotionless. Everyone is taught that expressing emotion is childish, that an adult just swallows it and puts that nose back on that grindstone. Furthermore, mental illness is seen in extremes and generalisations, that people with mental illnesses are either all ticking time bombs or all innocent victims. There's a baffling insistence on the part of those who paint them all as victims that violent people cannot possibly be mentally ill and how dare anyone even suggest it, all while blithering to anyone within ear-or eyeshot that Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a real diagnosis and that a huge list of objectively terrible people have it. I've yet to ever receive an answer from this camp to my question: if a drastic detachment from reality isn't mental illness, what is it, then? The kind of people who would shoot crowds of people or who try to force religion into places where it doesn't belong used to be sent for psychiatric treatment. Yes, the treatment then was too often ineffective, but at least an effort was being made. Nowadays nobody does anything about it until someone else, sometimes many someones else, is dead.
I think it has something to do with the old adage that men are not supposed to show emotion. It's not very manly to cry, show that our feelings are hurt, or that we may be depressed. Society gets down on men for showing any emotion except for anger. Anger is a manly emotion, it shows strength and the desire to fight. I guess, I disagree though. It's OK for a woman to cry, it's OK for a woman to show hurt feelings, it's OK for a woman to show any emotion, but it's not OK for a man. Bottling up your emotions is not good and they usually explode in a violent eruption. Men are human too, we have emotions just like everyone else. Men should be allowed to show these emotions without ridicule. The manly man image needs to go, it no longer serves a purpose anymore.
Too often we don't express our pain, sadness, and hurt because we are taught that others will take advantage of our vulnerability. Especially with males, whom I suspect are still taught--ultimately--that it's less OK to cry than to kick asses if it means hiding our weaknesses, an incalculably damaging falsehood if ever there were one. Not to mention the increasingly frustrating question of why someone with apparent documented mental health issues had access to guns in the first place... again...
I think the "young white male" may be reacting to the same frustrations as the young black, asian and hispanic males when they persue the "gansta" mentality.
We have a very twisted social structure here in the US. The parents of the baby boomers were comrades in arms. And they acted and thought that way when they ran businesses and politics. This was evident in the economic expansions during the 50's, 60's, and 70's.
Though you would think that would have been a fine example for the leaders and politicians that came from the baby boomer group. Instead what came out were the wealthy pampered rich kids holding the reigns of power in business and politics. They slowly strangled the working and middle class until all that is left is a share cropper class reminiscent of the US before the World Wars ... the grand parents of the baby boomers.
Is it then any surprise that our society now resembles times prior to and even during the great depression? There is no more attitude of "We are all in this together.", "Together we can do it!" .... It has all degraded once again in to "I got mine! Get yours somewhere else.", "Good job, good bye!", and "How little can I get you do do this for?"
The grandchildren of the baby boomers black, brown, yellow and white are looking to a bleak future if their family is not already wealthy. The odds of being able to climb any social ladder is slim or none. Sadly, this is the same society the baby boomers grandparents faced with the dust bowl, the great depression. The wars, monopoly busting and social programs of Teddy Roosevelt provided a means to redistribute the hoarded wealth of the tycoons.
I don't think the problem is sole-y guns, child upbringing, or discipline. It is a sort of social rot. Currently the youngest generation does not have much to look forward to in terms of making their lives better. All that seems left is "work until you die". Again, very much the same thing the grandparents of the babyboomers had to face. ..... But there are (happily) no world wars on the horizon (yet) and Teddy is long buried. I don't know what events will occur next .... but I will say the future of the grandchildren of the boomers is the same kind the grandparents of the boomers faced. It will take an earth shattering event to make the same kind of changes seen before ... and I just don't see how it will happen unless we make it happen somehow. It may take the firebrand "gansta" mentality to produce a bloody revolution if that is what is required to make a real change we can believe in and not continue to feed on useless platitudes while pandering to the status quo.
Sadly, I'm just one individual and all I have is this here soap box.
I think we need to guide this frustration of the youngest generation into constructive actions or at least "sane destruction" if there is such a thing. I do agree the randomness and senselessness of how this frustration is now vented is very sad to see.
I grieve for my son openly. I’ve also always thought that I was a social outsider with an unpopular view of reality, so maybe my willingness to be open in my grief is not common among the population. Tonight sucks, by the way. I miss the fuck out of my son.
I don't know, but I figure that the world is a very confusing place. in part because of what we've been led to believe, and in part because we were often wrong about what we thought we wanted. Another issue that we all live with is a society that is not very good with sharing. especially sharing each other's pain or perhaps more precisely listening well. like i said, I don't know, but these things seem to me to be relevant.
I feel your pain. We are so isolated even in groups. How often in a group do you see folks with their phones out. My daughter got on my case when I pulled my phone out while visiting my sister. I just was going a quick google of something. But she had a valid point. It wasn't necessary at that moment. As a society we have too much constant activity. No one spends time alone with their thoughts, it is constant bombardment of noise and visuals. We need to unplug and unwind before we self destruct.