First of all, don’t get me wrong…
I have loving and supportive parents.
Neither do I want to cast a bad light on my father nor depict my childhood as absolutely horrible.
Yet, while my mother used to be the empathetic, emotional part of the two, my father was (and mostly is) the rational, strict one.
Mostly hiding negative emotions, not letting us children see what was going on inside his head.
My older brother caused all sorts of troubles due to his ADHD and other problems he had, attracting and demanding my parents’ attention all the time.
This left me, as the younger child, trying not to cause any hassle, trying to be unobtrusive and compensate for my brother so that my parents at least had one “normal” child.
As you can imagine…
When he was in puberty, my brother consciously or unconsciously terrorized the rest of us for years.
Cutting a long story short…
We went through hell together.
Every Boy I Met
As I grew up experiencing my father as an unemotional, flawless authority and my brother as the tormentor he was, I reckon I never properly learned that boys or men have emotions…
That they are not mean or evil.
I remember a time in my life when sooner or later I saw my brother’s face and personality in every boy I met, if I only searched long or hard enough.
(Now that I’m aware of that, I can ignore it, phew!)
In elementary school, boys were “the other kind”, someone you could not talk to and there was no possibility to make friends with any of them unless you wanted to imply that you were interested in him…
Which would have been absolutely embarrassing.
It didn’t help that my brother used to tease me if I ever had contact with any male person.
When the issues with my brother finally moved out of everyday life’s focus, I got engulfed in the rest of my puberty – trying to get to terms with my life, school and plenty of the other topics consuming my attention.
The whole “get in touch and make friends with boys, maybe go on a date or have the typical teenage problems” process seems to have drifted past me and appeared so distant…
I was that acquaintance’s friend you are told about but only get to hear of from a distance.
And if you grew up with a difficult relationship to the other gender mixed with many sources telling you that men only want sex (movies, books, songs…)…
It’s not at all surprising that your body thinks so, too, and “shuts down”, right?
Maybe that is why it took me so long to get in a relationship with my first boyfriend.
Scared At An Instant
I wouldn’t be writing to you if the sexual relationship to my boyfriend had started out all perfect.
I talked (or rather thought) myself into being convinced that my boyfriend wanted sex so badly. As that’s what our environment appears to tell us all the time – warning us of those bad men obsessed with sex and their own pleasure!
When he tried to take our relationship a step further, sexually, I didn’t know how to react.
I was scared at an instant.
Was he just like all “the others”?
Do boys really only want to have sex for their own benefit?
Was it about me at all – couldn’t sex have been with any girl for him, if only he experienced satisfaction?
Would he stay with me if I never “learned” how to do “it”?
On the other hand, I knew that if he left me due to my problems, he wouldn’t be the right one. I knew that but I didn’t feel that conviction deep down.
Okay, I don’t want you to think that I’m drowning in self-pity here or that I’m a truly pessimistic person.
On The Road To Creating Mutual Trust
My family and I have been working through our past together and have been able to develop a completely different atmosphere at home, confiding in each other and creating strong bonds of mutual trust.
I now get to see my parents, but especially my father, in a different light, and combined with the experience I’m gathering right now in my first amorous relationship…
It helps me to alter my picture of men altogether.
I understand that even though my father is and always will be the analytical type, his aloofness and rationality were strategies he needed to imply in order to deal with my brother and to provide my mother security and stability in those tough times.
I’m proud to say that I’ve been realizing more and more that men, just like women…
They have emotions, they can be playful or friendly, unhappy and foolish, they aren’t robots or the enemy!
It seems as though a new chapter has opened up for me offering enriching experiences as the “male perspective” can be both so different and similar to the female.
So if you feel you can relate to me regarding your attitude towards the “other gender” or if you are in the same boat, I encourage you to not give up convincing yourself otherwise!
There are self-centered men out there who only crave the egoistic satisfaction of their own needs (much in the same way, there are women with those traits), who want to abuse you, not caring for your well-being.
There ARE tyrants and individuals with sensitivity matching that of a streetlamp. And I truly feel your sorrow if you had negative or traumatizing experiences with them in your past.
Still, please trust me if I tell you this is just one side of the coin.
Consequently, I honestly apologize to all men I wronged, even if it has only been in my head.
Kicking Out The ‘Bad Guys’
I’ve had reasons for the firm fears that try to stay in my head, but now I’m strongly determined to kick THEM (the ‘bad guys’) out.
All in order to let the other 50% of humanity show everyone how amazing men can be!
This was me kicking out my fears, not the men! 🙂
And I invite you to do the same!
– Jana (20 years old, Germany)