Toxic Masculinity, Violence, and Regret

Mishka Shubaly in The Confessional

“I have grave misgivings about airing this story publicly because… this is textbook toxic masculinity, you know.” -Mishka Shubaly

Listen to this episode here

A note to readers:

I wrote this in the first week of April 2020 during a global pandemic, but before the world erupted in much-needed protest of police violence and systemic racism toward Black citizens. This moment deserves time to breathe. To set in. To be given language. So I have delayed releasing this message for a time.

I hope this episode, and how it deals with the issue of anger, violence, and masculinity offers us something important. Maybe even hopeful. It’s one of my favorites of season one.

Compounded Emotion

I finally had a really good cry this week. The inciting incident wasn't remarkable—I was just reading over something I wrote years ago when I was still in my parish. It was an essay about Holy Week and before I could even prepare for them, the tears came. At first I was crying from the grief of a beautiful time in my life that I will never have again. Then I was crying about Holy week this year being so completely fucked because we are all stuck in our homes. Then I was crying because I wondered, was I as present as I could have been during that time in my life? Then I was crying because I realized how similar this feels to when I look at pictures of my children from when they were toddlers—when I wonder if I was too caught up in the exhaustion and challenges of motherhood to have soaked up the magic of it. Then I was crying wondering if I only seem to appreciate the beauty of my life in retrospect. Then I was crying ‘cause I wish I had been a better mother and then I was crying because my friend Rachel died a year ago and I miss her. 

I don't know why grief’s delivery system is so inefficient like this, how it seems to drop off all it’s packages at once, no matter when they happen to have been shipped. 

All I know is that when sadness shows up, it’s like it puts its foot in the door and waves in all it’s friends. We just can’t control the guest list. Compounded emotions like grief are just so unpredictable. And also, humbling.

This week in The Confessional I’m speaking with Mishka Shubaly, who learned as a young man that anger’s delivery system is just as inefficient as grief’s.

Mishka Shubaly:

Mishka has an MFA in writing, but prefers to live out of his van while touring as a musician. He is a storyteller, a songwriter, and a shipwreck survivor.

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