Statement: Men are socialized to rely on their romantic partner to satisfy most, if not all of their emotional needs.
(the alternate title for this post should be: how we got emotionally triggered at a play)
Some men don’t do that. Some men keep it in, are told from young that the only person they’ll ever have is themselves and therefore, they should fix it themselves. Some men are told that showing emotion is a weakness.
Last night, I went to watch TheatreSauce‘s latest offering – a compendium of plays featuring four upcoming directors and a myriad of talented actors. I won’t deny that the plays were fantastic. I won’t deny that they were masterfully written and staged. I won’t deny that the trigger warnings didn’t do the content justice.
Out of the four, I was only able to sit through two. The first made me violently throw up dinner and find fresh air, while the second made me cry throughout the whole play. Do I not have the stomach for theatre? I don’t know.
The first one was too much like the interiors of my brain for my liking. The constant whispering, the way the male characters interacted with the lead, the scene with the psychiatric hospital. The lead character’s nihilism was similar to my own, especially when I’m having a bad day. The futility of life, and how the only truth that is absolute in life is impermanence and death. Yup, sounds like my brain in a depressive swing.
During the 7 minute intermission (after a 30 minute play), I went to throw up in the bathroom and attempted not to make a scene. I looked at the railings and remembered that there was a suicide case a few years back, and that’s why the university has those chain-link fences on the walls.
The whispering is something I never really stop hearing, and occasionally they get very loud. I’m not ever able to block it out completely. In terms of emotion, women are socialized to share it with their friends to lessen the emotional burden but a) I don’t have many of those and b) telling people you perpetually hear whispering of all the bad thoughts and insecurities you have, makes them look at you funny.
The second play was about the relationships between mothers and daughters, and that’s a can of worms I’m not about to open. Needless to say, I cried the whole play. I love my mother to no end, but it’s been a tough road getting back to having an actual relationship with her.
Luc and I had a long conversation in the car about all of this, which sparked a few interesting trains of thought. I still couldn’t keep my voice from warbling as I was still crying.
It’s good to know that theatre still has an effect on me, but wow was it painful.