What is it about me and men?

I’ve got real issues with male authority figures. This time, it was my psychologist. I think he’s pretty good – our first couple of months together have been quite constructive – but today he reduced me to tears.

I was so excited explaining the breakthrough I’d made with my therapist last week (complete with diagrams!) that he asked me to take a breath and slow down. I took the breath, but then felt tears pricking, welling, falling … The rational part of my mind knew he didn’t intend to rebuke me, but that’s how my inner child reacted. Thankfully, eventually, I could speak with him about this.

Perhaps today’s episode was a case of (female) hormones clashing with (male) pragmatism; however, I have had a sad history with male authority figures in the past. Of course, I hope to transfer my psychologist from the “authority” category to the “work alongside” category, but he brings a bracing, energetic energy into the room, which I find unsettling – other men I’ve worked with in a therapeutic session have been gentler, less obtrusive.

The good thing about all this is that the issues have been brought into the therapeutic space and can be dealt with. The revelation is that certain types of men in certain types of situations still push my buttons.

Onward and upward!

13 Comments

Filed under Out

13 responses to “What is it about me and men?

  1. rod

    I’m not comfortable with the category ‘authority figure’, especially given your obvious intelligence, which brings with it its own authority.

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    • Thank you, Rod. Yes, it is a broad label; I’ve used it here as a sort of shorthand for a cluster of characteristics which push my buttons – a trade-off between brevity and accuracy! Thank you for reading and commenting.

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  2. It’s definitely good that you went with your true emotions right at the moment. What better way to give your therapist the whole view of what’s going on. It’s great – you didn’t have any walls up and even though I’m sure anyone would be uncomfortable at the moment, it’s a very key moment. So long as the therapist handled it well, as it sounds like he did.

    I have issues with male authority, too. Especially in the workplace. I always tend to have naughty dreams about them and it’s frustrating – because it doesn’t mean I find them attractive. So it kind of bugs me after waking up from that type of dream and then having to face them within a couple of ours. LOL! It’s entertaining to blog about, though. 🙂

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  3. I don’t think he meant to rebuke you but he just asked you to slow down and breathe because he is a male and can’t keep up with the female mind! ’nuff said. 😉

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  4. Jobmergency

    I’ve always very intentionally had women for therapists, because of similar issues with male authority figures. I always (ALWAYS) initially distrust men in positions of authority. Even though perhaps I should know better. It often just seems like a matter of time before men do something to indicate to me that my opinion lacks the validity of their experience, or they shut me down because they are in possession of the ultimate truth and rightness. Especially at work. I usually need men to earn my trust, which is unfair, I admit.

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    • I’d say it is what it is – your reaction is your reaction, and you can’t help that, any more than I can help instinctively recoiling from spiders; or instinctively harboring averse feelings towards men exhibiting certain behaviours! We can’t help our initial emotional responses to events, but we can control our choices and behaviours, and it sounds like you’re making wise choices.

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  5. Jay

    I think I would also have been taken aback by his failure to share in your joy, even if he did not mean it like that! 🙂 And your comment about trying to “work alongside” your therapist instead of seeing him as an “authority” really resonated with me. I really idolised my therapist in the beginning but I feel like I’m slowly starting to relate to him more as a fellow human with flaws. Hard though.

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