Will The World Ever Have a Place For Tortured, Haunted Men?

The conditioning of boys and men causes significant internal conflict in a changing world

Ryan Fan
Moments

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Disclaimer: this piece mentions suicide. If you or anyone you know needs help, please contact 988 or visit the 988 Helpline. This piece also has spoilers for the show “This Is Us.” If you have not watched the show and don’t want it spoiled, do not read any further.

I present as a very nice, chill, and loving person. But I am more tortured and in pain than I would like to admit sometimes. As much as we try to embrace men in the world to be more open about their feelings, I sometimes feel like the world is not quite there yet.

I am in the process of watching This Is Us, and a common elephant in the room is one of the protagonists’ experiences in the Vietnam War. One of the protagonists, Jack Pearson, seems like the prototypical good husband and family man. He makes sacrifices for the family. He does all the maintenance work. He’s extremely involved in the lives of all his kids. For a man in the 1970s and 1980s, he’s remarkably emotionally open.

But there is one thing he does not talk about: his time serving in the Vietnam War. He was a Sergeant who saw many die. He saw his own brother, another soldier inadvertently kill a…

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Ryan Fan
Moments

Believer, Baltimore City IEP Chair, and 2:39 marathon runner. Diehard fan of “The Wire.” Support me by becoming a Medium member: https://bit.ly/39Cybb8