a fifo wife {fifo life: bloke stuff: mental illness and places lost}

by debbie on July 29, 2014

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He sat across from the table from me, he was sad I knew it he just didn’t know I knew. We have known each other from high school and literally bumped into each other again just last year while he picked up his nieces and nephews from school. I hadn’t recognised him without any hair his blonde boyish locks gone but he instantly grabbed me and hugged me like an old friend. Its Mark he said. I looked at his big blues, heard his voice and went yes it is.

Six months on here he sat across from me at my dinner table. It felt so good to see an old friend again but there was something not right and so I started you know John took his life last year I said. His eyes wide as I continued, John had gone to school with us.

No he said shocked. I wasn’t when I found out I knew he would he had always struggled you could see if you sat, listened and watched but time moves on and so did I but when I had the call I wasn’t surprised I wasn’t.

And yet when I heard about Paul, Michael and Vernon I was. That’s how many young men I know that have been lost to a mental disease. That’s how many men I know that haven’t become fathers and how many men I know that have left wives and children behind. All unnecessarily so and that is the part I can never understand the unnecessariness of it.

“Why do you think this happens?” I said to Mark trying to start a conversation. He looked at the bottom of his empty coffee cup “Well he said some of it’s a genetic disposition” he said but then he said “we as men boys have lost our place in society”.

“What do you mean” I asked?

“You as women no longer require us you don’t need us to hunt for you, care for you; you don’t even need us to make babies for you anymore. Our place is lost. We are just here. Look at you” he said “I offered to mow the lawn for you and what did you say…I don’t need a man…bam Deb that hurt and I’m not even your husband”.

I was hurt by the way he said it back to me “but that’s not what I mean” I said to him “I wanted you to know I was capable and not to worry about me. I don’t need a man I want one and that the difference. I’m a proud independent woman and my husband loves me this way. I’m capable of doing it all myself. Should we turn back the clocks I said to him?”

“No” he said “we want you to thrive as women we don’t want you to go back to being less than but where does that leave us?” “

To love us” I said to him “support us”.

He sighed “But we are men and often we are taught that loving is for sissy’s and admitting that we are hurting because we don’t know how to do that more so. We haven’t evolved emotionally as you women have. We simply have not.”

I looked at him. He still looking; at the bottom of his coffee cup still not looking at me. I crying because I could see he was lost. His lost his place is lost.

“Admitting is half the key” I said to him. “I don’t understand the shame in mental illness” I said

“I know” he said “but I do because I’m a man”

“Mental illness is no different to any other illness” I said. “It’s a chemical imbalance in the brain that happens for whatever reason just like an imbalance of iron or b12 in the blood it requires a medication, therapy lifestyle change to fix. Where is the stigma in that” I asked him?

“The brain is the holder of your emotions Deb that’s the part you do not understand”

“No” I said “it’s the part we are not evolving enough in men”

He looked at me the first time in our conversation and smiled.

“I love you Mark” I said and “I need you as my friend that’s your place for me”

“Yeah” he said “me to”.

Xx Deb

 {image with thanks to here}

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