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I am afraid of women
July 30, 2005
1:53 pm
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Worried_Dad
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You know, I thought I had gotten over it. I put up a personal ad, have been doing different things to make the acquaintance of women. But I realize I am keeping them at arm’s length, and never letting it get to the point of actually “dating.”

I know it’s irrational, but I just get cold and sweaty and anxious when I start really visualizing trying to get close to a woman. I can be friends with women, I like them and respect them and get along with them at work and socially, but I just can’t see getting into a situation where kissing, or worse, might be forthcoming. Sometimes celibacy seems tedious, but when it gets to the point where a woman wants to go out with me, suddenly I have so much housework to do, or I need to practice my guitar, or there’s a novel I really want to finish.

Intellectually, I know that the dangerous personality-disordered people are only a bit more than 1 out of 25 in the population. In my brain, I know that most of the women I have met have not been man-beaters. Batterers are actually not that common, it’s just that they carve such a wide swath through society that makes it seem like there everywhere.

But in my gut, I don’t know it or believe it.

I used to be such an outgoing, loving, passionate guy. Now I feel like I will never be “normal” again.

I am pathetic.

I dunno, maybe I had better find a therapist or….something.

July 30, 2005
2:00 pm
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sdesigns
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Hi WD: You are not pathetic. You are a victim of abuse and that will always be part of you. I know you have had counseling (from your other threads) but that doesn't make the experience or the memories go away. I think if you want to date (or kiss or worse, as you put it) you're going to have to take things really slow, at your comfort level, but you also have to be willing to take the risk, like we all do. There are no guarantees w/ anyone.

I'm in the same boat as far as being afraid but at least you are making an effort to get started. But you don't need to force yourself to see someone you don't want to.

I've heard men say that women can be really pushy about getting into a relationship and maybe you need to steer clear of that type, but just get started w/ womwn as friends and some casual dating. I think your experiences were horrendous and no wonder you are a little gunshy.

Just my thoughts. SD

July 30, 2005
2:05 pm
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jamaicanwife
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Hey, I'm afraid of men, and I'm married to one.

You are not at all pathetic. You are a decent human being who survived a terrible experience. You did what you had to do to survive, and your brain did some stuff too, probably without asking your permission.

I thought you were in therapy. Have you been trying to do it on your own because of your bad experience? I can't afford therapy right now, but I definitely see how helpful it can be if you fine the right one. You should go.

July 30, 2005
2:13 pm
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on my way
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Hi WD,
Glad I caught your thread.

I would say that you would benefit from your thought patterns being changed. They are holding you back. But for some as well,including myself, there is something fearful and vague about just meeting someone without even knowing them, or seeing them in differnt situations before you ask them out..on-line dating, personal ads to me, are not as revealing, although some are able to walk right into it.

People are different. When I was on-line I recevied so many hits and repsonses in one week...and it terrified me! I knew I was not ready, and I did not know these pwople. I like to know more tangible concrete characteristics about someone. So, this is who I am and it's ok. Try not to bea yourelf up too much, as you may also be a different way than being so agressive for the ads and the online dating.

I have a male friend who tried on-line dating, and his coment was, that their pictures were gorgeous from the neck up, they sound gret, but when he met them they were everything he did NOT want. So it all depends on the individual I beleive as well.

ALl of the outgoing, passionate, loving guy in you is still there, has just been buried. We are born a "whole person, a clean slate"...and as you know we do not end up that way as adults.

But rather than live in your fear, adn be miserable, which it seems is not your first choice, yes I think therapy would be a good idea.

However, what is working for me is that I have started Hypnosis with an NLH. I find it is one way to dramatically cahnge my thought patterns and all that happened to me in my earlier years. Would you consider this? I have heard that even some people do it to improve their golf game!! But I am doing it to change my thought patterns about me, others and my perceptions of my world.
It works very well, I am happy with it. So maybe this is another suggestion.

You say, "intellectually in your brain you know", yes you do know. Your healthy adult knows, but your past and abusive experiences are dictating how you act about what you know, yes?

Glad you posted. Will be good to get feedback.
omw

July 30, 2005
5:16 pm
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hi y'all,

I am afraid of (some) women too. Sometimes. But not all of the time.

WD, you said :"I just get cold and sweaty and anxious when I start really visualizing trying to get close to a woman" -

Could you be suffering from some kind of performance anxiety (~ afraid of failing or not living up to your "picture" of a woman's expectations etc.) ?

If so, one way I know of overcoming it is ... exposure to whatever it is you are afraid of (or feel anxious about).

That doesn't mean you'll have to fight this "battle" all alone. Consider taking another male friend (put up another ad?) along with you on your next quest. This will distract your attention and take off the pressure.

If you're not ready to date yet, you can also try to hook up or mingle with women at places they like to come (a local gym, an astrology workshop or meditation class, a single's club, a cooking studio etc.) and focus on just blending in or keeping a conversation going. Just for fun (not setting your aims too high). The general idea is to refrain (or distract yourself) from being achievement or performance oriented. I don't think it would be wise to pressure yourself into doing something that doesn't feel right for you at this point. I feel you should cut yourself some slack here.

Like OMW said before, (self-)hypnosis can indeed be an effective method to address any emotional or psychological "block" (impediment) you may (still) have within the realm of your subconscious. Because a lot of memories from the past have been stored in your "emotional memory" which, as far as I know, isn't accessible by mind. The subconscious understands the healing magic ("magic, my ass!") of images.

July 30, 2005
5:31 pm
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bonita1
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PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)

Once we've been through that kind of trauma it is very normal to feel that way and it probably would be beneficial to talk to a therapist. From your posts I can tell you are still that strong passionate guy underneath. You're just protecting him by avoidance behaviors. (which probably means you are not ready for dating or even face to face meetings)

IMHO (in my humble opinion)

July 30, 2005
5:32 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Yeah that's what I think--Im just not quite ready.

July 30, 2005
10:03 pm
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on my way
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WD, hope you do not see not being ready as something negative.

I am sure you have criteria that you also expect a woman to have that you date. Maybe you just have not found her yet. Sounds as if you are very selective, and not willing to settle. You might be lonely , but when she finally shows up.......
will let you finish this thought for yourself..only you can know what it will be like. 🙂

in short,
HANG IN!!!!
omw

July 30, 2005
11:19 pm
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exoticflower
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wd, I was talking with my therapist about our tendancies to seek out the same dysfunctional counterpart to allow my own disfunctional habits to play out...as I deal with these things and change them, I feel like I am dysfunction-proofing' my mind against this thing and that and this here...and as I am aware of me I am aware of what in others is designed specifically to enable this part of me, and what in that is unhealthy from them and for me...I guess the point here is if you are doing the work, you are safegaurding yourself as well. "Female, enjoys biking, crazymaking, withholding effection, must love cats and subtle bellittlement" will read more clearly now to you when you talk with these people a few times, when you see them calling up your own negative behaviors and patterns. But you are in the field, you must already know this.

And aren't you the one who told me women usually want to kiss on the irst date? YIKES, that IS scary. Maybe you just aren't ready, dating in itself is a lot of mind games, ones others play AND that you play on yourself.

July 31, 2005
12:07 am
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Worried_Dad
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EF,

"Female, enjoys biking, crazymaking, withholding effection, must love cats and subtle bellittlement"

Now THAT is funny! Thanks for cheering me up.

You know, when I am tired or cranky I just get in feeling sorry for myeself mode and need to whine a little. Wah.

July 31, 2005
4:23 pm
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jamaicanwife
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ef, WD, I chose the other option - find somebody whose problems have nothing to do with you, and then make him into your insert abuser here.

Seriously, how do people get by without therapy?

July 31, 2005
4:29 pm
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exoticflower
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jw, you're a work of art! Thanks for that!

July 31, 2005
10:28 pm
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Juanita
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WD,

You caught my attention with the name of your thread. It echoes some of the thoughts running thru my head & heart.

You know where I stand in regards to my opinion of you. You are a great guy, and that is as simple as I can put it. Your passionate, loving, outgoing side is still within yourself - I hope & pray for its resurfacing. You know all my thoughts sent your way are good ones. A cyber hug is sent your way to help you find some healing.

Find a good, educated, licensed, therapist. You do need someone to vent to who can help you re-learn some very important information about yourself, and about women in general.

(sigh) A little bit unfortunately, I do believe that we must open ourselves up and trust again (ie, open ourselves up for hurt again) before we can find love and move on with life. If we don't want to be hurt, then we can never let our walls or guards down. That can be tiring, lonesome, & sad. To be able to give and receive love, we must be open and vunerable. That means, opening our emotions up & sharing them, sharing our deepest thoughts & fears, and trusting that in doing so, the one we love will not betray or hurt us. Vunerability.... laying our trust in the hands of another can be a scary thing. No one wants to be hurt emotionally or physically, never mind both.

You have much to offer someone special WD. Our past conversations ring in my head of all that you are, how smart and talented. These are FACTS. Don't say 'nah' in your mind either - you have revealed these tidbits to me over the past 18 months - and one thing for sure about you - you don't lie & you tell things like you see them.

I hope you find and take whatever means necessary to secure a higher level of personal healing for yourself. You deserve to share a love. There is some lovely lady just waiting for you out there. She will hold you, love you and not hurt you ~ but you'll have to be ready and able to open yourself up to receive what she has to offer...

Take a deep breathe, meditate, do some yoga or Tia Chi, or whatever necessary to prepare yourself for the journey ahead. If that doesn't work, jam on your guitar, and then count to 3 and jump in. Sometimes, we have no other choice other than to just "do it". You have your friends here to be your life preserver on this river of life.

You have my support.

Warmest regards,
Juanita

August 1, 2005
3:34 am
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bonita1
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jammy-wife! I have often pondered that question myself..."How do people get by without therapy?"

LOL

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