Bert’s therapy: Bull — chapter two

(If you’re new to Monkeytraps, Steve is a therapist who specializes in control issues, and Bert is his control-addicted inner monkey. 

“Bert’s therapy” is the session-by-session saga of a control addict trying to learn healthier alternatives.

If you missed it, here’s Bull — chapter one.)

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bert

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Remember when I complimented you on developing some empathy?

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Yeah.

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I may have spoken too soon.

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What the hell is “empathy,” anyway?

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Awareness of another person’s feelings.

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And I lack that.

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Apparently.  But it’s not your fault.

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bert.

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You’re a man.  Most men are trained to be emotional dunderheads.

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“Dunderhead”?

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Emotionally stupid.

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How does that happen? 

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Well, we teach men to ignore or hide their feelings…

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bert

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…so they can go to war and go to work and do other stuff that feelings tend to interfere with.

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Because big boys don’t cry.

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Exactly.

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bert 10

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And once you lose touch with your own feelings…

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bert (11)

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…it’s hard to be sensitive to anyone else’s.

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Like a wife’s.

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Yes.

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So she’s right.  I am insensitive to her feelings.

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So it would seem.

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Now I feel like a jerk.

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I wouldn’t say that.  Just think of yourself as…

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bert (15)

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…a bull in a china shop.

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(To be continued.)

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* * *

Want more?

Having spent half his life trying to find fulfillment outside himself, he awakens to discover that it has not worked. For the first time in his life, a man may turn inward for answers.

He may begin to realize that his unhappiness is not caused by his failure to find the right woman or the right career, but by who he is and the way he is living his life.

Rather than blame others, he may ask, “How have I caused this to happen? Perhaps I need to change and develop greater self-awareness before I can have a healthy relationship or a satisfying career.”

This is a very difficult and courageous step for a man to take. Having successfully mastered his life on the outside, he is now forced to acknowledge that he needs help to explore difficulties encountered in his inner life.

From Real men do therapy by Jerry Magaro.

 

* * *

Most men grow up with an emptiness inside them.  Call it father hunger, call it male deprivation, call it personal insecurity, it’s the same emptiness. 

When positive masculine energy  — a male mode of feeling — is not modeled from father to son, it creates a vacuum in the souls of men.  And into that vacuum demons pour. 

Among other things, they seem to lose the ability to know how to read situations and people correctly.

Richard Rohr, in From wild man to wise man: Reflections on male spirituality.

 

 

 

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3 responses to “Bert’s therapy: Bull — chapter two

  • Jon

    I have been hearing I am a Bull in a china shop since I was a young boy and I have ignored and hidden my feelings from around the same time

  • Ruth Martin, MFT

    Steve, The ears…great addition now that Bert is starting to understand…also glad to see Richard Rohr is still out there doing good work! And obviously, you are, too!
    Ruth

    • fritzfreud

      Thanks, Ruth, kind of you to say so.
      But they’re not ears, they’re horns. 🙂
      (God willing, he’ll grow ears eventually.)

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