Why I Started the Man Cave – The Journey and My backstory

by themancaveproject

The Man Cave is a relatively young project. Founded in 2018 after a long chat with @freedomexists on hive, we started off as an idea. This eventually trickled down to a fully motivated team eager to take on the challenges the world threw at us. We were ready to essentially take on the world. The journey was an interesting one, if not filled with major potholes at the beginning.

— My backstory.

I was a young man without a strong dad in my life. I lacked the guidance and grounding that having a strong father figure around regularly would give me. Yes, of course, there was men that would come and go — but none that were interested enough in taking on the full responsibility of me as a child would entail. Men would not be a constant in my life, and my trust in men and male bonding would grow thinner and thinner as the years faded by.

I grew up not having the guidance a young boy should have. I had to work everything out all on my own. I had to teach myself the skills to survive in a fast paced and rapidly changing world. Granted, I had good male friends but at the time they were just working it out in the same way I was. Puberty was.. hard.

Sadly, I fell seriously ill around 2001 and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. A condition, when researched properly, you will find out has a very low chance of survival due to the high suicide rate. Something that I was very determined to break free from.

By then I was a drug abuser, alcoholic, and not a great person to know. I had trapped myself in a perpetual cycle of abusing substances and acting like an idiot but then falling back on my illness whenever I was called out for my bad behaviour. People don’t generally know what to say to a Paranoid schizophrenic, or at least they didn’t know back then, so my behaviour was excused.

Looking back I had largely trapped myself in a victim mindset. In my eyes I could never get ahead in the world because there was always something stopping me from getting where I wanted to be. I was always blaming something, or somewhere for not achieving my goals or my dreams. I had never once thought to focus on myself.

Luckily it was around then I started to volunteer at some lovely charities that specialised in mental health. They, like Jordan Peterson, taught me that nothing is impossible, and the only thing that was holding me back was myself. Strange thing to say for a charity that regularly dealt with people that had lost limbs, memories that only lasted for a day, and severe epilepsy. I had some pushback at first for sure because I liked the safety net that my illness provided. I’ll admit that having an excuse to fall back on every time for when something goes wrong in my life was rather intoxicating, and easy to hide from.

Yet, I admire that as I look back. They cracked me like a walnut and taught me that I could fulfil my dreams if only I could try. My biggest problems were the large emotional baggage that I had dealt with as a child and how that was affecting me as an adult. I carried lots of it and it took me years to unload. An example below I found off the internet is how that worked, if only a bit simplistic.

Child contamination

So, there was work to be done, and work I did.

Around 2015 I was made redundant from my previous employment. I was project managing several charity projects in my local town. I’ll be honest and say I loved that job. If anything I learned real community spirit and comradery there. I truly learned what it was like to have a manager that had my back, and in turn have my own teams back. I learned how to lead like a professional there, and boy that was such a learning curve I loved every minute of it. I had the chance to help so many people with similar problems to what I had it was the opportunity of a lifetime. If I could I would go back to work there in a heartbeat.

After redundancy I was left dead in the water and sort of grieving from the loss of my last job. I was beginning to work on my writing skills so I decided to start my own blog. This lead to a load of exciting writing opportunities which included contributing to the Huffington post. I met a load of lovely creative writing individuals who spent the time to nurture and hone my abilities with me. I’m actually very thankful for the time they took to help. Because of them I write with passion now, and don’t write like a robot.

That being said around 2018 I began to notice something strange. Suddenly, writing about men and women began to get a lot more hostile. Writing about my lessons learned with my wife was seen as an all out attack on men as a whole, rather than just some reflections on how I am as a person, and similarly I couldn’t write anything about women else face the chopping block for it. People suddenly became very opinionated on light hearted subjects, and small reflections were seen as crazy attacks. Thus began the Politicization of men and women. After a while I realised that I could no longer write about a subject without Politics being dragged into it, so I let my domain slide and went head first into the cryptosphere, which is essentially anti-Politics.

Thus, this is where the Man cave was borne. After a long discussion with @freedomexists one night about the politicization of men and how I’m tried of it, he mused with my community building skills I should create the man cave, and so, the seed was planted.

The idea was to create a place for men of all creeds to come and feel welcome. I wanted a place where men could come and be themselves without the insecurity of the increasingly hostile and judgemental world around them.

Initially I wanted to create utopia. I was quite the Marxist back then so I really wanted to create a place where men could be free and equal.

I wanted to create it as equal as I could and I wanted to create a coin that was equal as possible. In general, everyone would get an equal share for whatever they contribute. If anyone knows me then I always want to test out my theories rather than just endlessly talk about them.

But the results that I got at the end of the first month shocked me. After distributing everything equally, the results did not end up equal. Some had used all their coin for the intended purpose. Others sold it right out on the market. Some saved some and spent others, and one or two held every last dime that I gave them. Interestingly enough, I learned equality of outcome isn’t a thing if not done by force. I couldn’t tell people what to do with their money to end up equal.

Another result which shocked me was the amount of stimulus I needed to keep my coin worth something. If there was no demand for it, then it’s not worth having, and it won’t be worth anything. I realised very quickly that monetary value doesn’t grow on trees. There had to be a demand. If no-one wants it. I’m screwed. And here was me giving it out for free. Who’s going to want it if I’m giving loads out for free?

I learned a crash course in economics that year for sure. My coin ended up being worthless and the cave eventually ended up being silent. For over a year.

I wasn’t done though, determined to learn from my mistakes I went about gathering some net worth and some respect around the Hive chain meeting some incredible people along the way. I learned a great deal hanging out with @neoxian and watching him in neoxian.city. That’s where I met my developer, and coincidentally managed to circle back with a large funder I knew and the Brofund was born.

And thus, as we sit now, the project is well over $30,000 worth.

I’ve learned a lot about men since the project began. It’s amazing how biased I had been due to my life experiences. Apart from my own personal circles I had thought men were broken and needed to be fixed. But through watching and speaking to some of the amazing men that have come and gone over the years I have learned one very true thing: Your self image shapes your view of the world, and that it was me that needed to look internally to fix myself, not the other way around.

And through this last few months we’ve created some amazing stuff in the cave so far.

Funded Charity Projects in Colombia. We’ve funded lots of little projects off the ground (and continue to do so). We’ve created opportunities for individuals where there exist none. We’re currently developing an app that’s going to be game changing, and will hopefully take a good few writers off food stamps. We’ve created a place for some men to call home. And we’ve made our funders a looooot of money.

What are you waiting for? Come join us in the cave 🙂

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