Season 1: Episode 5 – Book Review – Aggressive & Invincible Mask

“Imagine the moments just before a cage fight. The cheering crowd. The threatening opponent in the corner, flexing, shadow-boxing, bouncing rhythmically on the balls of his feet, ready for someone to ring the bell so he can pounce. The highlight reel of his past victories plays on the jumbo-tron—man after man hitting the canvas or tapping desperately as the air gets choked out of them. Think about all the money on the line. The bragging rights. The years of training that led up to this moment.
And now think, how would you feel if you were the fighter about to enter the cage to face your opponent? Afraid? Anxious? Angry? Numb? Worried? You’d be a perfectly normal human being to feel those things.”

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

Some of you may or may not know my story about being a child, but back in 2003, I went through a phase where I saw a lot of aggression.  On the first day of school. my mother was laid off work.  We went from having a lot of food, to having very little food in the house.  My mom did everything she could to keep peace and calm in the house, but when the lights got cut off, it persisted.  There was a time my brother confronted me at band practice and we got in a fight.  His punk ass (and I mean that out of total disrespect — lol) ran home to tell my mom first.  When I got home, my mom was screaming at me, and so was my brother, which lead to me running away from home for the first night in my life.  For a mother to take someone’s side, as angry an individual one will ever meet (my brother) without hearing me first, was heartbreaking.

These things continued festering when my long-time crush, Adriana, ended up dumping me.  Following that, a manipulative girl by the name of Maria came into my life and left without a trace, too.

Going into December, I had an insane amount of anger.  There was a jazz band playing in the band room one afternoon — one of the most depressing songs ever that had stuck with me, and still does, to this day. I told my brother what was happening and he could relate.  Remember, if you’re depressed, the goal is to not be around depressed people. My mom, out of desperation, sold a truck to my uncle’s girlfriend (and the truck she got from her father).  She got a much needed $2500 USD from her, not to mention that a long time family friend had came over the previous three weeks with a full Thanksgiving dinner for us — seeing my mom reduce to tears.

Shortly after the New Years, my mother got a new job and that dark cloud that was hanging over our family for the third quarter of 2003 had gone away.  However, something was still inside me.

I would scream and slam controllers on my upstairs bedroom floor when I lost in Blitz 2003.  My mom would yell at the top of her lungs, screaming violently at me “IT’S JUST A F***ING GAME!”

That last time i overreacted was a basketball game: UNC vs. Duke.  UNC lost by a nailbiter and my reaction was so terrifying that my mother glanced at her friend, who was sitting right next to her, and asked him “is something wrong with my son?”

Days later, a kid name Manny approached me and asked about joining the high school Track & Field team.  That weekend I tried out and made the team.  Yes, there was just a small snippet of aggression and uncontrollable rage remaining in me at the time (my brother swayed my mother into not buying some shoes for me and I ended up crying really bad in the back seat of my mother’s vehicle).  After that, that was the last time I could remember being so emotionally distraught.

Aggression builds up.  There are so many areas, in my life, where I could’ve pinpointed what actually happened.  You can only connect the dots looking back.

“That said, the real problem for the development of young men is when aggression is the primary outlet for their pain, their sadness, their anxiety, and their anger.
Unaddressed anger is the glue that keeps the Aggressive Mask stuck in place, starting very early and lasting, in many cases, for decades. There is research on this, and it testifies to how much young boys, in particular, are soaked in anger. For many of them, anger is the only emotion that is “acceptable” to express.”

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

Invincible Mask Podcast

Today’s Podcast

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.