The Hated Man
Many men have masculinity ruined for them before they even have the chance to learn what it is for themselves. At the extreme end of this we see kids of single mothers, who hated their father and has a resentment towards all men. Maybe you had an abusive or absent father. These kids learn to not be like the men their mothers hated and to reject masculinity as harmful and "toxic". They swear to take care of their mothers, to be their protectors, care-takers, and to never treat a woman how this way. They never get true and full love from their mothers and it is always dependent on caring for her feelings so they seek the approval of women forever.
What a fucking horrible situation this is. The more single motherhood grows the more we end up with men like this. It doesn't even have to be as extreme as I laid out. There are more mild versions all over. Your first relationship with a woman is with your mom, a fucked up relationship is one that effect you forever.
I was in a similar situation (kind of). My dad and mom got divorced when I was young and my mom was always depressed, emotionally volatile, and wanted care-taking. Although they had a pretty good relationship, my dad would occasionally go off on her out of frustration. She would spell this out to me. I would get angry with my dad and felt like I needed to protect her. At the same time, my dad was always a very cool guy so I didn't understand why he did this. We always got along really well while my mom and I would have problems. Later in my life she told me that she resented me because I reminded her of my dad. She would then blame my brother and I for being forced to stay in contact with him (she wasn't). It took me a while before I realized she was projecting a warped view of the world onto me. I was just a kid that wanted to make my mom happy.
There are a few problems with the thinking of a kid that doesn't know any better. The first is that his mom is a saint, she's not. Women are equally responsible at creating functional relationships. Women file for 80% (or something) of divorces and nearly half of couples get divorced. All of these relationships were beyond saving? According to those women, yes. Even if your mother was "alpha widowed" and your dad either was never married to her or divorced her, she picked a guy who she knew wouldn't commit or took a guy who wanted to commit and didn't work to keep him around. I'm not saying it's always a woman's fault, but it's not never. Maybe your dad could have been more alpha, or more tolerant, but it takes two.
The second problem you faced is that it was your job to protect her or take care of her emotions. She was a grown woman, you were a kid. Who is whose responsibility? It takes a special kind of person to use a little kid for their own emotional manipulation. Women, especially with feminism and the state, have created a world where they are more than capable of taking care of themselves. If a women is using you for something, it is plain manipulation, don't be fooled.
The third mistake these kids make is to reject masculinity because of this situation. Usually, this is more subconscious than anything. Talking about it brings it to the conscious we can realize just how stupid this is. First off, if you are a powerless man, you have no ability to change the world (or your immediate world) anyway, so good luck accomplishing nothing. Second, you were taught what masculinity was by a person who hated men, of course they have a negative view of it. Third, your mother was never your responsibility, you were a kid and she was an adult. You were her responsibility. Dumping her neediness on you was fucked (but expected if you know women). She was not your burden to carry. Adopting a mode of being that rejected an inborn part of your innate nature is counterproductive. Being strong willed, (sometimes mean), firm, and authentic is how we get by in the world. It is part of being a man. Without it you will be crushed under the weight of frustration, being taken advantage of, being stepped on, and being stepped over.
I am advocate of fixing your relationships and letting people know the truth, or else it is an unnecessary weight to carry and you may be effected in the future. Even if you don't, just realizing that the way you were taught the world may not be how the world is can be helpful.
We were born men to go out and live authentic lives. To lead ourselves. To take what we want, impose our will, and go into challenge head on. Don't fall into old habits. Overcome. Don't let a woman steal that from you.