Let’s start with a story. It is about a woman who went to live in a cave, within the mountains. He wanted to learn from a teacher who had promised to teach him everything he needed to know to live. The master gave him many books and old scrolls, full of wisdom. He also told her that he would visit her every day to see how much progress she had made in her learning.
The next day he returned and asked the woman if she had already learned to live. She said no. Then the master took a stick that he was carrying in his hand and struck it on the back. The woman was very scared and from that moment she tried to read and understand as much as she could. But even so, the next day the same thing happened: she did not know how to respond to the teacher and he hit her.
Everything remained the same, until one day the woman got fed up with the situation. When the teacher was about to hit her, she grabbed his arm and did not allow him to do so. Then the wise man looked at her gently and said these words: “You have already learned everything there is to know to live. You learned to stop the pain. You can go.”
“Fear is often an indication that I am running away from myself”
When you fear men
It will be said that we are already in the 21st century and that it is not possible that women continue to exist with fear of men. But this is not true. There are many women, on all continents, who continue to suffer from this great fear.
There are various modalities. There are those who fear men and avoid contact with them. There are those who do the opposite: they constantly seek contact with men, even if they are afraid of them. There are, finally, those who are afraid of a specific man.
Fear as a phobia
Some women have an intense and irrational fear of all men. That is why they shy away from contact with the male sex and any approaching situation makes them extremely tense.
This fear is often expressed as a kind of philosophy of life that justifies it. They say that “work comes first”, or that “men are an unnecessary burden”, or that “there are no good men anymore”. Whatever they say, the truth is that they reject contact with men, before even giving them a chance to meet them.
They are actually afraid. This type of phobic fear usually stems from some high-profile past traumatic experience. It could be a very negative relationship with the father, sexual abuse during childhood, or a negative relationship experience.
Fear as dependence
Other women fear the reactions of the man they love. They become expert simulators and liars to prevent that man from having some dislike and, who knows, maybe rejecting them or leaving them if they do not satisfy him. They are the type of women who fictitiously like the man they love. They desperately need it and pretend that they are capable of meeting all their needs, and their foolishness.
You see them saying “don’t tell him I came to visit you, because he doesn’t like me frequenting my friends.” “I better not tell him that the vase was broken, because he adored that piece.” “That the children do not yell, because it bothers him.”
The fear of “bullies”
For one reason or another, there are also women who are involved in relationships with real “bullies.” Those that give you a black eye, without getting a hair out of order. Those who “get along” with women by blows, by way of force.
Women who live with such a man see themselves as people without any energy for anything other than dealing with the beast they have in the house. They pale, they turn gloomy, gray, as if lifeless. It’s like they’re permanently stunned.
Fear traps them like a dark maze and then they become elusive, distant. They can become very religious people, or addicted to soap operas. They are very dreamy, but they feel powerless to even think about changing their reality.
At the bottom of these three forms of fear there is a common element: the belief that it is impossible to live without a man. The idea that you have very little value as a person and that you are unable to correctly handle feelings of loss and loneliness.
The woman who avoids men thinks that if she got involved with one of them, she would end up losing and suffering. The one who lives to please a man behaves like a little girl who would be orphaned without him. The one who admits abuse, does not believe she has the strength to make her own life and send that jerk to fry asparagus.
It is ultimately a fear of being free. A fear of growing up. A fear that has been transmitted for millennia and that feeds itself. As in the story of the beginning, these are fears that are only overcome when they look at each other and face each other. That is the lesson that remains to be learned: say enough and stop the pain.
Image courtesy of Claire Mojher, Yelena bryksenkova.