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Being treated with respect by older men matters more


I recently got a new job, working with several very nice older men. It scares me how much I want them to like me, to respect me and and to treat me well.

My experience of being a man's child was awful, and has left me with lasting scars. I am also a lesbian, so I don't look to men for romantic partnership. And I have religious baggage. The last time I worked with a lovely older man, he turned out to be awful once I was alone with him. He was a priest, we were working to advance justice for very vulnerable people, and I feel that he could sense the hunger in me to transform my experience with men like him- and I think that was his signal to behave with me the way he did.

I wish I didn't care so much, and I don't really understand why I do. My feelings about men in general range from indifference to hatred- and I don't think that they are important, as a category. Ok, I spent my first 2 decades as the captive property of one- but why do I want other men in authority to redeem their gender for me? I really think I need to examine this.

I am so aware that I am the only woman in that workplace, also. Every time I enter the kitchen, the walk in fridge, anywhere the general public can't see us.
am i flaunting my straightness to believe that half the human species is worth redeeming in my own mind? well? ? ? maybe a quarter? ? ?

i have the same problem with women. many of my meanest and most repetitive abusers were female. most of my legal paid career has been with exclusively male work forces with more hinderance than help from the females on the sidelines. in general, i don't like women, regardless of their sexual preferences, but? ? ? when i do come across a female i actually want to know and might be able to actually respect, i fawn sloppier than a man with a woody. it make no logical sense to me, but i actually want and crave their approval. i've yet to gain it and i'm not gonna hold my breath while i wait, but the craving is there, nonetheless.

it is tempting to write off the entire female population because of my cognitive links to female abuse, but? ? ? is half the human species worthy of redemption? ? ? at least a few of them? i like to leave room for the exceptions to be truly exceptional.
but why do I want other men in authority to redeem their gender for me? I really think I need to examine this.
Ya know…

I know for a fact -and knew it at the time, rather than in retrospect, which is pretty rare for me- that a rather big part of why I f*cked around so much every time I was raped was that I was reaffirming/reminding/redeeming men as a species. And they did. To a man.

I know a lot of people trauma reenact by choosing one abusive asshole after another, or punish themselves by choosing dangerous/deadly or humiliating/dehumanizing circumstance.

That’s not the way I went with it.

I wanted to replace every bad memory with 1,000 good ones.

And I did.

I’m someone who learns best by doing, by empirical evidence, experience & experimentation.

So it was hugely beneficial to me. Both in the short & long term. And makes total sense others do this, too. In myriad ways.
I wanted to replace every bad memory with 1,000 good ones.

And I did.
I think this is what I'm trying to do by caring so much. I almost want to prove to myself that some older man somewhere would feel protective towards me rather than possessive, and would not think of me in a sexual way. I think as a child I could see that other girls had fathers who felt this way about them, and the fact that mine didn't meant I was bad.

The problem is, I have not so far been able to replace these bad memories with good ones despite how hard I have tried- maybe because men just suck in general?

A part of me really wants to stop whatever it is about me that signals the type of experiences I've had, because I'm tired of fighting. Sometimes I give the impression that 'if you harass me I will tell no one about it' and that's not 100% true anymore- I have fought back sometimes. But because I'm giving this impression still, I keep finding myself having to fight back and it's exhausting.