and If They Really Can’t Help Themselves?:)
Hello my lovely people! One of the questions from the men attending my event Dare Ask Dare Tell was if all women were manic depressive. The list went on and on actually and I was under the impression, he must think all women are more or less nuts.
I could actually relate to his dilemma and this morning I was pondering about my own beast within and was inspired enough to be able to put this conundrum into words.
At the beginning I’m always all sweet in a relationship. But the longer I know my partner, the more I try to organize things, try to “help”.
I call it the “beast”, this notion within me which enjoys being on top of things. But the problem is, it doesn’t come across nicely any more, it comes across impatient, dominant, bossy, unnerved even. Give it enough time and I’m practically barking.
Why is that!?!? Where does this come from for crying out loud? The man of course starts to rebel at this treatment and might even start barking back and voilà, the two of you are arguing without any aparent reason.
Of course since I’m aware of this, I try to control myself. But it’s not enough. I don’t even wanna FEEL this way and to be honest, my ability to control my behaviour hugely depends on how tired or hungry I am.
How do I actually feel? Where does this controlling beast come from? Well that I think I know by now.
It comes from fear (like all our issues do it seems) but in an unpredicted sneaky way.
What I’m about to say is now very generally speaking and just for the purposes to demonstrate something, of course things are much more complicated for all of us, so bear with me. (And when I say men are this way and women another – it can always thought of as reverse.)
We all have some feminine and masculine qualities, right? Men develope their feminine side much less than women their masculine for a simple reason. We have to use our masculine side to protect ourselves. Men have nothing to fear really, but most women had to fear something/someone somewhere.
Even if a man was treated harshly, what is expected of him is to “toughen up”. But that is actually exactly what we women do too. We “toughen up” by bringing out more of our masculine side, the one that can protect, predict danger, organize and is strong, ready to bark or even bite.
Somehow feeling masculine (organized) becomes linked with being bossy.
The masculine for me can be two things: strong as in 1) agressive or 2) protective.
Somehow I can’t just use the one aspect of strength, the protective one. Often when I get in my organisational mode, for example I’m out doing the shopping, coming home to cook and clean etc, the bitchy beast is very close by. God forbid my partner doesn’t take his shoes off right away in the house and steps into the living room with his muddy shoes! Bark! I don’t go “woof”, it sounds much more as if I’m about to rip his head off.
Now why?? There is no carpet in the living room. It can be easily cleaned. I can’t really say I’m the only one cleaning, so that’s no excuse. I really love my man and think he’s fantastic – so why?
It’s how my mother was, it’s how all our mothers were and their mothers… Perhaps it was centuries of being overburdened with having 12 children, no kindness, cleaning and cooking and working in the fields or the factory.
Not much has changed today. Life was supposed to be easier but we keep finding ways to overburden ourselves or society let’s us think we have to do it all ourselves.
No we don’t!! At least previous generations used to live together in larger families and in real communities. They helped each other raising a child. Now the state might throw a bit of money at you but it’s not nearly enough to pay for childcare. So a woman is either overworked or is staying home and going nuts. One way or another, she can’t feel safe or taken care of.
And the beast keeps on being fed and unleashed onto the world! Mwuahahaha.
So what is my solution? I’m trying to learn a completely new thing – to trust a man. To let him be. To not get “all into his business”, not trying to “help” with advice (just another word for telling him what to do or bossing him around).
My new mantra is to just focus on myself, my own life. And to TRUST him.
Now trust is difficult at the best of times for all of us. The real test is to trust your partner in these difficult times where there are no jobs and no safety.
As soon as I get scared by such circumstances, the more of course the need comes out to protect myself which means to use my masculine side and I bark at everything.
But as a woman I can (or should be able to) resort to something else – to my female side. That would mean to surrender myself to my partner and the circumstances, allow myself to feel weak, cry (and men are afraid of tears haha). Cry and wait. But waiting is so infuriating! Feeling helpless just as well. Some women are great at being damsels in distress. The rest of us hates it. Why not DO something about it if I can? Why not fight, go out there and find a job and be strong and helpful? Am I not a better partner this way? Of course I am. Unfortunately when using my strength, the possibility of barking comes back.
I did find a balance though, one where I can be strong but don’t feel the need to bark. It’s tricky and I’m still practicing. I try to enjoy my strength on one hand, my job, the fact that I earn and can be a strong partner. But at the same time I have to keep my focus on just myself when it comes to planning, keep my focus on my own projects.
And when I’m with my man, I need to distance myself from his issues, not comment on how to do certain things or try to be “helpful”.
And maybe that’s the key problem – we women haven’t been allowed to have our own lives. Our “project” was our family, was our man, historically looking at society. Not only are we programmed by nature to care about our family, we couldn’t do anything else even if we wanted to.
Fine, so we focused entirely on our man and since we were powerless in life, we at least could try to control our home and with it – the man.
Only one problem – no one likes being controlled, so the man might have said “Fuck this!” and was gone out drinking.
Today we are facing millenia of past surpression and expect of our women to just magically let go of what our mothers and granmothers have taught us, the pain, the fear.
We did not learn from them to trust our men, to trust life, to be all warm and supportive and full of life. Nor did we learn to have our own lives besides having a family.
And honestly – me, I can only have my projects because I don’t have children of my own. I knew I needed something of my own or I would be completely unhappy and a total bitch. And no, I’m not one of those women who “can do it all”, the family, the career, be the perfect wife (instead of the nagging and barking beast).
I know my limits, so I decided against having children in this freaking unhelpful society.
We are all overburdened. With the history of the generations before us, with not realising we are copying our mothers if we want to or not, by being overwhelmed trying to raise our children alone and give them a good education…
I can imagine men having just as many issues to deal with.
And in the midst of all this madness we wish for love, for warmth, for someone who doesn’t critisize us and loves us for who we are… Hm… Wishful thinking?
On top of all, the knowledge of the beautiful dance between a man and a woman has been lost. We don’t know how to reach out for each other and enjoy the things we crave from each other.
And what is that, you perhaps ask?
If I had to boil it down, I would say:
We women are looking for physical safety in men.
And men are looking for emotional safety in women.
No matter how much we progress or change or who we are out there in the world – when we come home to our partner, all we want to feel is safe.
My partner is upholding his end of keeping me physically safe. Now it’s up to me to uphold my end and find a way to never ever bark.