Why Every Man Should Take Off His Own Boots
We’re all damaged in our own way.Johnny Depp
I’m sure you’ve heard enough from the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Herd defamation trial. If you haven’t you must be living under a rock or perhaps you really just don’t care.
Personally, my ears perked up and I began to follow the trial “lightly” when I saw a headline that quoted Johnny Depp as saying “I knew there was a problem in our relationship when I took off my own boots.”
To recap: Amber Heard and Johnny Depp were married from 2015-2016. Their marriage seemed to be incredibly tumultuous dripping with drama to say the least. Amber then went on to publish an Op Ed accusing Johnny of being physically and emotionally abusive. In defense, Johnny is now suing Amber in court for defamation of character.
Amber started a ritual of taking off Johnny’s boots when he came home. She’d massage his feet. They would share idle conversation. It was their thing.
Sounds to me like these two had an intoxicating addictive relationship that involved a ton of abuse. The trial reveals Johnny’s mother was abusive and she often threw ashtrays at his head when he was a kid. He started using her antipsychotic meds and he got addicted to her painkillers too.
One day Johnny took of his own boots. Amber threatened him and claimed it was her job to take off his boots. That’s when Johnny said their relationship shifted.
It’s as if the monster that is Johnny’s mother still lives in his head. He has animated her through Amber. Maybe that’s what got them both connected. Maybe Johnny just needed to work through his maternal shit through Amber. He literally cast her in the lead role of his life until he could bring resolution to that part of his life that needed it. Yes, it’s a huge display, but that’s Hollywood for you!
I remember when my younger cousin was dating a gal in France. She sounded like she had a ton of drama going on. Nothing was going well for her. My cousin would try to help her and listen to her perils. He had a ton of empathy for her. I would tell him to get rid of her. She was Uber dramatic and no one needs that in their lives. Eventually, they broke up and he continued to date other women while he was living in New York.
The dramatic French gal would often scan my cousins Instagram and chastised him on all the fun he was having. And of course all the women he was dating. So, he just put his account on private and blocked her.
The dramatic French gal moved to New York for a work assignment as an architect, though her life still remained chaotic. My cousin had dinner with her to help her get acclimated to the city. He offered to help her furnish her apartment. He volunteered to go to IKEA with her. The French gal took this as they were dating and exclusive.
I always taught my cousin to communicate fairly with women. Say what you mean and mean what you say. So, he corrected her and said “we’re just friends. I’m helping you get settled to the city as a friend.” She then slapped him and scratched his face.
I hated telling him “I told you so!”
And yes my cousins mother, very similar to Johnny’s mother, had her moments of bipolar rage. I once saw her slap my cousin across the face in Paris when he was only 9 years old because he said something he shouldn’t have. He was only a 9 year old boy being a boy. But my cousins father quickly stepped in and looked my cousins mother in the eyes and gently corrected her on her behavior snapping her out of her hypnotic rage. He then spoke to his son and gave him a hug.
Like Johnny says, we are all damaged in our own way. And yes my cousins mom came from a very abusive traumatic family.
Those traumas are stuck in our subconscious. When we are triggered, the stage is set for the drama to be unleashed. If we are not conscious we’ll just continue with the ‘comdeia del arte ‘ in our minds until it’s somehow they are resolved through the cast of characters we direct to help us through the trauma.
I’ve spent well over 20 years single and dating. As a nurse, I’ve been cast in many men’s lives as the “savior.” It’s exhausting. I’m over it.
And yes, those guys needed help taking off their boots.
Several months ago, I was dating a guy. I noticed he was drinking quite a bit. I didn’t know how to approach this topic of conversation. I did like him. But, the drinking was a huge elephant in the room. Eventually he ghosted me.
A few months ago he started to contact me again. I really wanted nothing to do with him. But he was persistent in his text messages. Sure, I could have blocked him. But, maybe I had stuff rolling in my subconscious that I had to resolve and he was cast in my personal ‘comedia’ to help me resolve it.
As I met with him, I noticed he looked different. He curbed his drinking. He looked healthier. He had taken off his own boots on his own, so to speak.
Though, he felt vulnerable enough to confide in me about the many dragons he was busy slaying in his life aka baby momma drama. He helped me with some plot twists to a play I had been writing since 2013 and also a documentary film I’ve been pitching since 2016. they all seemed to come together. Their purpose and importance finally revealed.
When I asked him why he kept conjuring me up like a genie in a bottle, he said “it’s because you’re such a good listener.” He also added he enjoyed the time we spent together. I countered with “I need for you to be a better communicator, and if you need time for yourself, please let me know, instead of cutting me off with no explanation.”
He confessed it was that “juvenile” side of him that had problems with communication.
It’s true. Working with teenage boys as a pediatric nurse practitioner, no one allows these young men to have a voice.
In clinic, I saw a 17 year old male patient for a physical exam. I asked him if he’d like to be seen alone or with his mother. He whispered to me “Please get her out of here!”
As I told the mom her sons wishes, she literally left the room scowling. Her son just said “ Mom, please leave.”
I started the exam as I always do, I start by asking about school, friends, romantic relationships, alcohol and drug use, porn consumption, sexual relationships, hobbies, life goals, suicidal ideation, and of course family life. I assure to all my patients that this information is all kept confidential unless I feel their lives are in danger.
My patient felt comfortable to tell me about all of the above. We talked about his girlfriend and sex. We talked about STDs and the importance of using condoms and getting tested for STDs especially because Gonorrhea is making a comeback. I also strongly suggested always having good communication with all romantic partners. As well as decreasing porn consumption since it really messes with your brain.
At the end of my exam, I had my medical assistants give my patient a parting gift of condoms, which he quickly shoved into his pockets with a sheepish smile. His mother then approached me with a look of dissatisfaction. I assured her all was going well with her sons health. My patient then replied to his mother “ Mom, I’m a man and I need my privacy.”
The only way we can assure future men take off their own boots is to be healthy advocates for them, allowing them to express their vulnerabilities in a safe space. Even in front of their overbearing mothers.
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