When Did You Become a Man?

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by earllogjam, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. earllogjam

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    This thread is not intended to be about when you lost your virginity but rather when you lost your childhood. Many boys never truly shed their childhoods which I think is a modern day travesty and becoming a man is oftentimes a difficult road that we need to find for ourselves or are forced into like having a kids, marriage, having parents die, or being financially independent.

    We no longer have any truly meaningful rites of passage from being a boy to becoming a man. Bar Mitzvahs, confirmation and loosing one's virginity all are rites but you can still be a boy at heart and go thru these experiences. Does becoming a man just happen these days?

    I can pinpoint the experience- my rite of passage - when I became a man and lost my childhood. I was 16, in the Boy Scouts, and went hiking up in the Northern Sierras to a summit next to our camp with 3 younger scouts leaving the rest of the troop behind at camp. Long story short, what was to be a 2 hour hike turned into a 9 hour ordeal. We got lost coming down the summit and could not find our camp. But I found the way back using the terrain map and a crude compass on a keychain and everything I learned about wilderness survival. I basically was responsible for the 3 younger scounts who were looking for me to get us back to camp. It was after nightfall when we returned, cold and hungry and the experience made for great campfire stories. It was a frieghtening experience but somehow I had changed. It no longer was only about me, and the feeling that I had the power to go it alone and to change things became internalized, a feeling deep down that I wasn't a boy anymore.

    I'm interested in hearing other men's experiences on becoming a man. It's something we rarely talk about anymore but important we keep alive.
     
  2. DM34

    DM34 New Member

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    My father was seriously ill with cancer when I was a teenager. We thought it was over, but he recovered.

    That process was when I first got the sense of adult responsibilities. It wasn't financial, but more about integrity, consistency, and providing some emotional support for my mother during a difficult time.
     
  3. hung

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    I was required to become a "Man" at an early age. The Summer of 1953 when my Mom had major surgery and my Dad visited her on a daily basis at a Hospital some forty miles away. My Brother at age 11 and myself at age 13 were the Oats harvesters. My Dad was a Farmer and had just acquired a new Tractor and a Combine. He showed me how to run it and my Brother and I harvested the Oats crop. I drove the Tractor with the Combine behind and my Brother drove a tractor with a wagon to haul the oats to the storage barn. Yes, we were very young, but we accomplished a lot and took on the responsibilities of Men.
     
  4. ruffboy

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    when i ripped the still beating heart out of that 2,000 pound grizzly bear in the wilds my parents had thrown me into....

    kidding, but it is also a comment on what i think is an awesome thread and how you're totally correct, we rarely talk about what it is to be a man and what unique experiences between the sexes create us.

    i think there are a lot of experiences that contributed to my 'change', but maybe one that hits me first is i became a man in the late teens after rolling my car in a really bad one car accident and cheated death. there was NO reason i should not have been killed and i realized that i was now at a point in life where the things i did, the things i was capable of, were now of such a magnitude that i could truly do damage to myself and those i loved. was time to grow up and pay attention more

    the next moment was when i realized the woman of my dreams had entered my life and i HAD to marry her. which was at first sight. i had no idea what to do, how to have a successful marriage, but i did know that at least i was going to try and i was going to love her with all my heart. so not only is it these 'manly' stories of survival or overcoming adversity, i also think my road to becoming a full man involved learning how to love deeply and fully and taking that leap as well.
     
  5. headbang8

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    I was fifteen. I told my parents that it would be better if they got a divorce rather than to force their children to witness their daily anger and misery. We were caught in the crossfire far too often, and someone had to tell them to keep us the hell out of it.
     
  6. nudeyorker

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    When I became honest about my lifestyle, stopped caring what people thought of me, moved out of the house and started paying my own bills.
    ( I did all of this in a 24 hour period)
     
  7. Whopper-lee

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    Nice topic Earllogjam:
    I do feel where you are coming from and have a reply:wink:
    I was and am a small town country Mississippi boy and raised as such.
    I had a young female tell me once that I am a rare black guy with country charm and intelligence... Sweet to say but not always true:tongue:
    Ok understanding this and being reared my early years by my grandpa & grandma on our farm I feel my man may have taken hold very early starting at the age of 11.
    I lost my natural dad suddenly when I 5yrs old.
    Anyway...grandpa and grandma had & has always had very strong work & responsibility ethics.
    I was trained and made to work side by side with grandpa and my uncles on the farm since my age of 10.
    When I wasn't workin with them, I would have to go to town with grandma
    who did the shopping and domestic work for white families in town.
    She taught and gave me small chores also to help her on the jobs she did.
    It was never to many times I got to play like other kids I'd see.
    If grandma couldn't find something for me to do when I was with her, she'd sent me to our preacher's house or the church.
    Reb. always had something for me to do...if was nothing but shine his boots and shoes and clean the church and church grounds.
    He also would help me to learn to read and write because I didn't go to any formal school in a building like some of the other kids....I was considered and allowed home schoolin.

    Reb's wife was also kinda a teacher too. She taught Sunday Church school and what we call BTU= a special little group for kids.
    I loved her becuase she use to read all these great stories I liked to hear.
    But one time papa came to town early to pick me and grandma up.
    I was sitting on the proach swing enjoying Miss Reb read to me.
    Grandpa thanked her, told be to get in the back of the truck.
    Something told me he didn't like seeing me just sittin around.

    My hunch was right. Because the next I asked him to go to town with grandma and to Miss Reb, he said No, becuase Miss Reb was spoilin me sittin around on my 'do nothin'. In other words my ass.

    He really didn't have nothing for me to work or do either. So he drove me over the another farm neighbor of ours and made me work for him.

    That white man man worked my ass off from the time grandpa let me out of the truck until he picked me up that evening.
    I use to hate it when grandpa sent me there but there was one time, I did get a little money for doing it that grandpa take and made me save.

    Finally, he let me go with grandma regularly because grandma was having some blackouts and kind of getting sick. She depended on me more for help with the domestic work she had to do. Being the Man

    Hate to say this because you speifically said, not when I lost my virginity.
    But this is just what happened at 12.

    Anyway, guess the whole pt. to my reply here, is that I've learned the manly ways of responsiblities and working at 10.
    I also had many our our farm animals to look after... and my one of my favorite pony...Rocket.
    Rocket die (with my tears and memories now)
    Believe it or not it also added to accepting life and the give and takes that God out on you as a man.
    Grandpa says my daddy, is probably up in heaven riding Rocket, to easy my pain and sorrows. We went fishin alot and had talks.
    It broke grandpa and grandma's heart to know I was having sexual experiences with Miss Cindy who I got PG.

    My mama & step-dad came and got me and took me to Chicago to live with them and 2 step bros.
    I hated it and cried many nights and never, ever had much to say for a long time (about a month).
    Grandpa couldn't write but he and grandma would call long distance on Sunday evenings that made me feel better in my new home.
    Grandpa would always say:'son, this too, shall so pass'.
    I realized I was a man then, because I perfectly understood what he meant and still holds true today.

    Thank you for asking:smile:
    Whhopper-lee
     
  8. DaMoose

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    I'm only 18, and I don't feel like I'm a man yet. I, however, am completely independent of my mother (besides living with her until June) and I keep her house clean, food on the table, and an eye on my baby sister. That seems to resemble some of the stories posted here.

    MOOSE
     
  9. eldeld

    eldeld New Member

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    I became a man the day I realized that my childhood held on to me in ways that I didn't understand. I felt a hole in my heart left there from an absentee father and sought to fill this hole with any father figure that I could find. I never could really find one since that could only have come from my actual father. Being a person of faith I never could resort to chemical relief through drugs or alcohol but I was depressed a lot during my teen years and my early twenties. I was always the kind of guy who kept people laughing and never showed my real feelings. People would never know how often I cried when alone. I gradually found relief through porn (though not conscience of why I got into this addiction) This was no real relief, however, since it conflicted me greatly to look at porn and be a person of faith.

    To cut the story short, this year I finally came to understand myself and the hole in my heart. Once understood, I can't tell you how freeing it was. This is the year that I became a man. I have tried to look at porn a few times and honestly felt little sexual pull towards it. A couple of weeks ago I looked at some and actually felt myself go soft. I was like, 'this is some stupid shit!' And turned off the computer.

    I always wonder, and think would be an interesting thread, if people who are addicted to porn have the addiction for the same reasons people have addictions to drugs or alcohol. To fill-in some hole in their heart.
     
  10. earllogjam

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    I think that's why I overeat sometimes other than the fact that I love food and it's comforting for me. Lots of my childhood friends grew up without a real father and many of them turned to drugs and alcohol. Maybe it was to fill a hole in their heart. Maybe it was because it was such an easy fix like popping asprin, but it never filled the holes. It was always a quick fix distraction to forget and be someone else.

    Boys need fathers. I think men often are overshadowed by the mother figure and end up underappreciated and undervalued in raising kids which leads to the "mommy"-fication of boys, boys who have a hard time becoming men.
     
  11. rubberwilli

    rubberwilli Member

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    I think I grew tremendously when my mom and dad divorced.

    I think when I went to college I became a man. And when my dad died I reverted back to the little kid for about a week, utterly devastated because we hadn't talked alot in the past few years because I moved to Chicago and he moved to Florida.

    Moving to Chicago was also a huge growth effort for me because it forced me to strike out on my won and make my life my own.
     
  12. CalWriter

    CalWriter New Member

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    Great Thread!

    I was sixteen and got my girlfriend pregnant. Though the last thing in the world I wanted at the time was to be married and be a father, I sucked it up and took responsibility. I told her I would marry her if she wanted, help raise the kid even if she didn't, or pay for an abortion if that was what she wanted. My friends thought I was crazy, told me she was a whore that got what she deserved, but I put aside their advice and did what was right.

    Being a man means taking responsibility for your actions and taking care of your own.

    She opted for the abortion and, though I have two kids today, I often wonder aboiut that lost soul.
     
  13. hung

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    Yes, it is unfortunate that so many males grow up without a Father figure, but it is also true that so many young males grow up to be successful inspite of their home situation. We must all reach out to support each other. That is one plus about this site.

    We can reach out when it appears that a poster may need advice or support.

    Thanks.
     
  14. Lucky_Luke

    Lucky_Luke New Member

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    According to Jack White of White Stripes, "a boy becomes a man when he makes a stand".

    I think that's a pretty good point upon the issue. Most guys never make a real stand their whole lives.

    As for 'fatherless' boys, I'll only add that the worst 'child-men' I've ever encountered came from middle class (or upper middle class) families with two parents.
     
  15. kenshin_281

    kenshin_281 New Member

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    1Guess you can say i became a man at the age of 12 when my dad was sentanced to prison for life without possibility of parole and i became the oldest male living in the house. Felt like i had to step up and take the role of dad considering that i had a 3 year old brother at the time.

     
  16. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    I've always been very strongly independent, and growing up I was always very mature for my age.
    Still, I've been in no particular hurry to "grow up" in the conventional sense. Mostly because the things associated with that- having a steady job, settling down, owning a home, getting married or starting a family, do not appeal to me. I moved out to California when I was 19 because I wanted to but then moved back in with my parents a couple years later until moving out again last month. It made a lot of economic sense to do so. Right now I'm working a job with a one-year contract and not planning on renewing that contract when my time is up. I want to move somewhere else. I have no interest in a steady girlfriend at this point either unless I meet someone who changes my mind.

    I'm not nearly as much into video games or cartoons or comic books as I used to be, but some of these things still hold some interest for me. I'm not as far gone as these people though: YouTube - Human Transformers
    They're probably in their 30s and still enjoy the things I did when I was 5. i.e. playing pretend that they can change into trucks or construction equipment. My first girlfriend Jenni was one of these people, and in many ways I feel like she has never grown up. Some of the people I know who still Live Action RolePlay (run around in the woods pretending they are in a Dungeons & Dragons game) I put in the same boat. Yet I feel it's acceptable that I spend a few hours each week playing Civilization IV on my computer and that I own the complete series of Disney classics on DVD. I'm not sure what my point is in this paragraph.

    Anyway, I don't think I ever "became a man." In many ways I am a completely different person now than what I was when I was a child, or even when I was 20, but I don't think any of the most significant ways that I have changed pertain in any way to my "manliness." I think either I have pretty much always been a man, or I'm still waiting to become one.
     
  17. SoFla8

    SoFla8 New Member

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    I was watching shells explode on the horizon, like flashes, from the deck of a Navy ship that was in the Adriatic Sea. I was 21 and had done and seen plenty by then, but that moment....I dont know what it was. People were dying as a result of those explosions...this was a war zone and I was on a warship...Thousands of miles away from anything even close to being like home. I wasn't a kid anymore.
     
  18. invisibleman

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    As a man, I think that when you surpass puberty you become a man. In life, you go through a lot of experiences. There are plenty of defining moments. Some men don't get as many defining moments. That doesn't mean that they aren't men.
     
  19. Jackoff Jr

    Jackoff Jr New Member

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    When I joined the Navy at the age of 18, left the nest and never returned, so to speak. You learn to grow up fast in any branch of the military, you're on your own, i.e not having mommy an daddy taking care of you anymore. You also get to see other parts of the world, country, cities, etc (esp in the Navy) and learn to get along with many different kinds of people. I grew up in Smalltown, U.S.A. e.g. Mayberry and would never have seen much of the outside world if it were not for the Navy.
     
  20. B_Hung Muscle

    B_Hung Muscle New Member

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    When nearly everyone I knew was dying of AIDS, and I realized that there were more important things I could do in life than become a dermatologist.
     
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