Dom Violence Reality check?

Whirlwind

MyPTSD Pro
Things are going well, moving forward and I have joined some clubs, volunteer etc.

Cutting to the chase I am taken aback by the behavior of men I am encountering. Retired professionals, etc. seemingly healthy folks and they must be? I don't think I am overreacting but I am floored.

I know why I got into my former disaster but I got myself out and built my life today to avoid my former mistakes. Today is easier too, I have no interest in dating, I just want friends and a life again.

Maybe I am just seeing the world how it is, normal? Or it crossed my mind recently, is my past somehow imprinted on me, and others can sense it?

The weird thing is I am socially skilled and if anything I am guarded, always have been. But I present decent I even spoke publicly for the first time in 20 yrs. I can't even believe I could still do it. It wasn't a big deal but for me...I was so very happy deep down knowing some of "me" survived.

But I have had too many situations lately to not recognize a pattern. It is bothering me and making me feel very wary of men and I don't want to be jaded but all of this is driving me that direction. The thing is I am not engaging them outside of normal courtesy and "shop talk" in groups etc. No one on one personal type engagements. Except for a young man, LOL he is nice kid. I've met some women and that has been nice, they are younger for the most part but again, I enjoy our interactions and it is nice to hear hello's when I walk in and they tell me about their world which is fun.

I want a new life, I want friends and to be comfortable in the world so I realize I need to get some perspective on this and I would appreciate some feedback.

Thank you,

Whirlwind
 

Whirlwind

MyPTSD Pro
In the last month or so

several were in break area I just met them and as I was walking back by they were commenting about my appearance loudly as it could be heard down the hallway and they were peering around the corner to get looks at me.
Another guy I barely know his name came up to me to "tell me something" and that his fiancé is jealous and he said she has to "get her game on" because I am around now and then commented she was upset and she should be as he'd be interested if they weren't planning to get married. I think he took a picture of me as it was something about how she saw me.
Walking by me then saying loudly "WOW"
Commenting that "if they weren't married....." in random conversation and pointedly to me.

Stuff like that. Then what really made me set back was I randomly encountered someone I knew professionally from the old days. Smart one back in the day, great career and simply put we chatted and then agreed to catch up over meal (public place) and he is much older than me. Seemed fine and I thought maybe he wouldn't mind being a reference for me as well. I could use that as I have been "out of it" for so long I don't have contacts, references etc. Anyway literally barely into the meal which was not romantic, fluorescent lights and plastic tables - I don't need to justify anything the fact is we knew each other professionally and peripherally at best a long time ago. There was nothing between us then and he could be my father. Barely into eating he dropped the bomb of "always been in love with me/ can we have sex".

It was laughable if I wasn't so pissed, I felt it was an utter insult and just a pathetic play for sex.

I am not young. I just don't get it, none of this to me is flirty cute like after you have known someone for awhile so to speak. Or if they were interested in my situation they can't just ask me? The answer will be no but I wouldn't get upset if someone genuinely asked - they don't know so that's ok. Make sense?

I am not flirty with anyone because I don't want that in my life. But now I'm feeling uncomfortable just trying to interact in general. Should I go back to wearing a fake wedding ring - even if that would work. I did that in my professional younger days. I don't have to justify myself but I mean, I'm in jeans and a flannel shirt at these places, and I am mechanically inclined so I'm usually have oil on me as I'm helping fix something.

These exchanges just feel cheap to me and like that is how men see me as a cheap object to be abused and/or used.

With this said the rest of my life is stable and nice, this is too I like the clubs it is fun and some of these jerks I looked forward to learning from as they have unique skills. I just thought at my age folks had more tact? Is this just how it is?

Thanks for your time,

W
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
Hi Whilrwind. I looked a bit on your previous posts as I’m quite new here and the questions you’re raising are also questions I’m asking myself. My escape from DV is much more recent but my disappointment with men dates back from a long time. I’m part of these people who do look good, when I’m not in bed depressed with an old pullover. Since I’m 12, I’ve been CONSTANTLY hit on by men, especially older, unless they understood I was in a relationship. The biggest deterrent for that was my partner at the time, who was almost twice my age (please no judgements here), but no attitude I could have done or not has even blocked this sense of entitlement and rudeness that I’ve found all across my way. But the entitled mastodontes I think sort of cloud the vision to see more normal people. These kinds of problems are faced by any women and it’s more or less worse depending on your specific cultural circle, but that is always latent in all society.

I don’t have many answers for this. I do navigate it by just being myself and actually don’t get too close from men unless I see a genuine conversation can be enabled over time. And even then. I did have the dinner thing too. I did have a guy who flirted with me, love bombed me, ghosted me and had the nerve to use my dissertation as the topic of a seminar they gave.

And this doesn’t work as "exposure therapy" as it’s so pervasive that it seems to grate you over time. My mum had a situation similar to yours with very similar disappointments. She built herself a circle of girl friends she goes out (or at least did before covid). But the fake wedding ring doesn’t seem absurd as a deterrent. If you have decided to pretty much ignore the entire gender romantically it means the same. It’s just stupid we have to reach such extremities, and by it having to borderline consider ourselves as a commodity.

I don’t know if any of this helps, but just feeling solidarity with you. Just wanting to interact genuinely and nicely without all this noise.
 

Friday

Moderator
I’m usually pretty appreciative of “Male, brash, annoying”, in much the same way I am of the “Superficial Vindictive Bitchqueen”, “Tinfoil Hat Brigade”, “God Squad,” & “Whackadoodle Nutbirds”.

People who walk around shouting who they are & waving signs? Lets me avoid them... or at worst? Saves me the time wasted getting to know them before I dislike them. Instead? I can form an instant dislike to them, and spend time on people who are -at best- totally badass additions to FridaysPeople, or -at worst- more circumspect in their repulsive qualities.
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
Thank the Universe I am 70 now and do not have to deal with this. But I do understand the confusion and how disheartening it can be to hear things said while I was in the room!

I would always wonder what was it about ME that was sending such a signal that it was ok to say and do the things they did. Some married men I had known most of my life!! It always hurt me and confused me. Then I would get angry.

Because I am outspoken I finally started asking them, when they said or did something that implied it was ok to talk to or about me sexually, why did they think that was OK?

And not in an ugly confrontational way, just a simple question. Letting them know I truly was curious as to why it was ok to say those things to me. They were usually embarrassed and I did try to ease that for them because I truly wanted to know.

I even asked what was I doing to make them think that was ok. Many times after a lot of mumbling and double talk they would get honest and say things, ' you have big boobs', or ' I love redheads' , or ' The way you walk'. And even when I asked for clarification, say, about the way I walked, I could never get a straight answer.

A few, who were being honest, would put down their own gender by saying' men are just dogs'. I would always shake my head in disappointment and confusion. I would even say to them, I just don't believe that. All men aren't dogs. I would see them in life and they didn't act that way.

And this was way before this was a conversation like it is today!!! I wasn't flirty or on the 'prowl'. Just being me. So unless some men here would get honest and share with us how this works we may never know.

I don't see men as 'dogs'. But I've always wondered what makes some women 'targets' and others not. I didn't have a problem saying no and didn't have to be over the top with it. But I still had the feeling they thought I was simply playing a game with comments like, 'well, maybe later then'.

I just learned to not take it personally. Which was hard because I was a target. So no advice, but I do commiserate with your situation. I'm so grateful I'm old and this is no longer an issue. Hope others come on and share.

Would love to hear from the men here about this. To help us understand and how to handle it.

Great topic. Will be following.
 
Would love to hear from the men here about this. To help us understand and how to handle it.
I'd love to provide insight but I just don't have any.

I suspect some people are just jerks, and for some men their jerkiness comes out mainly towards women. I think older men and men who grew up in certain kinds of family systems tend to be more likely to feel as though they have the right to treat women as commodities rather than people. However, I have also found that men like that often don't mind being treated as commodities themselves, so at least their attitudes are consistent.
 

Whirlwind

MyPTSD Pro
These kinds of problems are faced by any women and it’s more or less worse depending on your specific cultural circle, but that is always latent in all society.
Thank you for commiserating. Upside if this is "normal" then at least it is irrespective of me.

Congratulations on getting out!! I hope you are doing well and my experience things get better and easier. It does have trying moments and periods but they pass, that is what is amazing. Things move, change vs the relentless feel of before. No hope vs now hope and options that present all of the time.


I'm very happy to have accomplished a long term goal recently. What is interesting is how once free of my ex, I am getting big things DONE and successfully. When I was with him, nothing was accomplished and we had such potential due to careers, plans etc. But after marrying we just swam around in the abuse/trauma bowl.

So getting on my own feet and having real accomplishments is a great feeling. I am enjoying new intellectual stimulation I have missed. The other day it was almost funny I am in a cerebral conversation then suddenly he brutally redirects and I am essentially having to consider the guy's crotch. yeesh.

Putting that ring back on, I don't like to lie and it has been important for me to shed "secrets" because that was a big part of before but I'll consider this exception. It is a relief to be in a place where I don't envision my future as partnered and distinctly do not want it in my life right now. I am focused on my goals and that is it. It does not feel like a loss at all anymore. Admittedly I am older so makes it easier.

I was so scared too lose my ex back then and now I am wondering what the fuss was about? :-) This is much better :-)

Saves me the time wasted getting to know them before I dislike them.

Point taken.

I could never get a straight answer.

I am not shy and I did retort to fiancée and lunch guy. In the end they tend to hide or I'm dubbed a bitch. I've never gotten a decent response either. When I was young there was a theme of "casual" but that was different, got to know someone, how about some fun and if no, no problem. Somehow this is more desperate and strikes me more as mean. Not coming from an innocent place of attraction so to speak. I also had a married friend of my ex hit on me afterward, it was unreal not to mention I couldn't believe he wasn't more afraid of my ex, he should be.

Thank the Universe I am 70 now and do not have to deal with this.

So you are saying it ends? LOL I'm not young myself which is why I was caught off guard. Poor young women, ugh I hope things are getting better for them.

I think older men and men who grew up in certain kinds of family systems tend to be more likely to feel as though they have the right to treat women as commodities rather than people.

That is helpful as these men are older and I assumed they would act with more dignity ... but maybe it is related to generation and mine is still saddled with that. Maybe there is hope for the younger set.
 
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ladee

MyPTSD Pro
@Whirlwind, for me it ended in my middle 40's. After my last divorce, I made the choice to just not deal with ALL THAT again. I was burned out from how complicated it was and really needed to find out who I was besides daughter, wife, mother, sister.

I finally belonged to ME. I have never regretted it and I don't hate men. There are some good men on this forum! Some I have a lot of respect for. So it's been refreshing to see that not ALL men are turds. There are men here that are very devoted to their wives and vice versa.

In my line of work, I was able to see very up close and personal a few couples who were very loving and very supportive of each other. So it does exist. I was too tired to keep looking.

For a while, people treated me like there was something 'wrong' with me because I was not out there trying to do whatever it is they thought I should be doing.

So huge Congrats on accomplishing the things and fulfilling your personal dreams. I'm sorry you didn't have a partner that supported you.

This debate has been going on since the beginning of time. I just threw in the flag and walked away. Never looked back and never regretted it. The most interesting conversations I have had have been with women. I don't have to edit, I can just speak.

So maybe you will have to have some little business cards printed that says, ' Lets not talk or imply anything about sex. It's not an option. And treat me with the respect I am treating you'. And walk away. If you come up with what to put on the card, let me know.

Women can be vicious. So many times I wanted to pull a man's pants out, look down and say 'that's it? That's all ya got?'. But, I came from the mean streets so that would be more acceptable coming from me than from you. Sharing that so you can laugh, not to coach you!! 😊 😋

I personally would not compromise and wear a ring. I do have the right to walk around and be who I am. A single woman. But, I'm an OLD single woman so it's not a problem anymore. Hmmmm. I still have big boobs by the way, but they are nowhere close to where they used to be!! So there's that!!! 😵☺️

I am not taking your questions lightly. I am at the place in my own life where so much of the whole ordeal is funny to me now. So much energy I wasted. Now I do art when I want and am happy.

So good luck with finding out why men say the things they do. Possibly just stop and ask them right when they say things. You can even use a soft voice and do all the expected 'feminine' things and they will still call you a bitch. So go for it mama!! Hope you find your answers. Said with the respect you deserve.
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
I'm a transman. So, as a you woman before transition, I've experienced what you have. But I've spent years living with a man. I agree with what @somerandomguy said. It seems to be a cultural/age thing. I've been around groups of men who act like that. I think sometimes pack mentality takes over. I've been around plenty of groups of men who don't. One thing to keep in mind, when it's a group of men being asses is there are probably men in the group not acting that way and thinking the behavior is no ok but don't feel comfortable saying that. And it's not about you. It's more about those men acting in a way they think they have to.

There was an interesting documentary I saw (sorry, don't remember the name). And the interviewed men who catcalled women in the street. The men were genuinely surprised at how upsetting it was to women. The sad thing is, a lot of them sad they probably wouldn't change their behavior. They seemed to equate the behavior with manhood and didn't want to lose that.
 

Whirlwind

MyPTSD Pro
I finally belonged to ME.
Oh I so get this. It is where I am these days. I am tickled with my projects and I bounce up in the morning to get going. I like people too regardless of gender, and I don't expect the world to tread lightly around me but after everything I don't want to make my space in the world small (again).

So good luck with finding out why men say the things they do.
ha. I don't need to know I have better things to do these days. How blessed I am to be able to say that and mean it vs ruminate on my scary partners actions constantly.

I think sometimes pack mentality takes over.
That is a good point, these clubs are traditionally "male" hobbies and they do seem to feed off one another. Some of them, I just can't imagine this assholery going on in their professional world.

You have a unique perspective having lived in "both worlds" any notable take always you can share? I'm just curious so no pressure to share.


This is all helping thank you all. I wanted perspective and to hear you all "shrug in knowing acknowledgement" of what I am experiencing, it takes the edge off.

Whirlwind
 
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