I'm so sorry to hear you're still struggling. I'm glad you're meeting with the school counselor because these are heavy emotions to process on your own. You mentioned you feel scared to even try reading resources on the topic, can you tell me more about that? What are you fearing you might read or confront?
You also used the phrase "impossible for [you] to make change." I want to talk about that language for a quick second. With any sort of personal change we are trying to make in life, from small issues to big ones like this, if we use catastrophizing language that says we will NEVER achieve the goal we want to reach, it often acts a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe you can't change it will hinder you ability to try. So I want to be intentional with the words you use. Change might be hard, but its not impossible. What you're dealing with is a complicated issue that is the result of multiple systems of oppression coming together to influence our sense of self. It's not easy. But if you truly want to make a change, allowing the possibility that it could happen is going to help you.
I think its important to remember that who we are is a conglomeration of the choices we make, our goals and joys, our hardships and sadness, and our self-expression (there's a lot more to who a person is but these are important ones!). How you identify and feel does not always match up with how society perceives you. You've been taking in a lot of messages about how "men are bad' and "masculinity is bad" but that is a perception. Ultimately, YOU get to choose how you engage with that identity, deal with the struggles of it as a privileged identity as well as a complicated one, and the choices you make a result. It sounds like you are feeling like you've had your agency around your identity stripped away from you. That's scary! I get it. AND you do have some power to take it back and redefine masculinity in a way that isn't harmful or toxic. There are so many embodiments of masculinity from cis men, to trans men, to butch women, and more, that are not necessarily based in patriarchal violence but finding new ways to express masculinity in a beautiful way. I know you have concerns about your status as a feminist and I want to say taking masculinity and redefining it in a way that moves away from misogynistic violence is EXTREMELY feminist. At the end of the day, gender is a construct of society's ideals but that means its very changeable and can be extremely beautiful. Gender can be and is used as a tool of oppression but that's not all that it is. In fact its just a small microcosm of what gender can be. This is a diffucult process and I hope you can find a way to be kind and patient with yourself. Change doesn't happen over night and progress may be hard to see when its small but its still happening.
In terms of recommendations, here are some books that I'd recommend checking out:
- For The Love of Men by Liz Plank
- Men Masculinity and Love by bell hooks(these next two are a little dated in their language but still good)
- Iron John by Robert Bly
- King, Warrior, Magician, Lover by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette
I'd also recommend checking out this piece Man to Man: On Sex, Masculinity, and Being Yourself
Hope to hear back from you and I hope this helps.