All men are scared of one thing: not being enough. The threat is everywhere you turn: the muffled laughter of boys behind you, the weird stare of girls as you walk by. Without warning, something you never knew was a problem becomes one. And where you once felt bliss and freedom, you’re shackled to your thoughts, wondering how and what you did wrong. Kurush, a mid-twentysomething from Queens, shares just how frightening this revelation can be.
I remember being at my uncle’s house. He was the closest consistent male figure I had in my life. We mainly saw each other on holidays or when we went to dinner as a family. But when my other uncle would visit from Florida, I would run away. The sight of this big towering figure, who looked powerful and had a deep voice, scared me.
I never had many older men in my life, which is why I was apprehensive around older men, especially if they were hyper-masculine with the “don’t fuck with me” look. For a long time, those kind of men scared me–the very sight of them. I just wasn’t used to them, and for some reason I couldn’t connect them with me.
By high school, I had gotten over that fear with the help of my two older uncles. Even though they weren’t around much, I learned a lot from them afar. Ironically, by the end of high school, most older men I would meet considered me mature for my age and very serious. But I still had trouble deeply connecting with them.
When my other uncle would visit from Florida, I would run away. The sight of this big towering figure who looked powerful and had a deep voice scared me.
I was also never the type of person to seek dominance or power over anyone. Even when I was a child, I felt like that was childish and just dumb. There were many times where I was submissive in a certain kind of sense or I had been dominated, but didn’t care.
I remember this one time, I was in a school yard and I had Yu-Gi-Oh cards. This kid took my cards and was like, “Beg me for them back.” I ignored him and was like, “Okay… let’s play another game instead.”
I didn’t think about reputation. None of that mattered to me in that moment. I got my cards back and went about my day. But at the same time, as I got older, it became more prominent: taking shit when you shouldn’t. As I became older, I became more sensitive to situations like that and not wanting to appear weak or effeminate.
For example, I had a girlfriend who asked why I slouched. Previously, I never had someone tell me to stand up straight. So, when she told me that, I started to stand up straight. That act alone built up my confidence. And that’s also when I started to research online how a man is supposed to look and act. It said powerful men stand up straight, are serious, and look you in the eye. So, I would try that. But there were other things that related to masculinity that didn’t resonate with me or I didn’t agree with, such as violence and pride.
…I never felt like I measured up. I was always questioning myself, looking for the answer to whether I was man enough, but scared to find it.
When I was younger, I had fights and held my own. But I never really “beat” someone up definitively, except when I was really young and this huge bully started beating up on me, and then I blacked out and started kicking his ass. But in all of those fights, I tried to avoid them. They were very embarrassing experiences. Even if I held my own, it felt like the fights hurt the pride that I denied I had all along.
I was always against violence in any kind of way. I never sought to protect a sense of pride in myself, especially in middle school. It seemed stupid to me, and I watched so many people people mess their lives up because of it. But even though I felt that way, I wondered if that meant I was weak because I never felt like I measured up. I was always questioning myself, looking for the answer to whether I was man enough, but scared to find it.
There he lived doing odd jobs around town and receiving what education https://domyhomework.guru/ was possible for him until managing to get accpeted into oxford.