Last night, I had a long talk with my youngest son, and we were discussing how dysfunctional our family has gotten, beyond my little family of my three children and I. (Referring to his step-sisters and that side of his family.) We were are amazed at how far things have progressed to the point of lies being spread, back-stabbing, threats being made, and the list goes on.
Then too, he talked about how his life had gone downhill over the past two years, and I reminded him that mine hadn't been a bowl of cherries either, that I too had made some bad choices...specifically in men. (My effort to lighten his burden and point out that he's not alone in having made bad choices in women.)
Then it hit me. Wham! Like a pile of bricks fell on my chest and tears welled in my eyes.
It was the sudden realization that I am literally afraid of men, beyond those in my family. Yes--afraid.
Why? Because I no longer am able to trust men I meet because I don't know if they are one of "them".
Them: Rapists; child molesters; mentally/emotionally/physically/sexually abusive men too.
I told my son exactly these things, and all the while, fought against letting any tears fall. Then...a little later, a weight seemed to lift off me...this revelation that I admitted seemed to suck all the heaviness away that I'd felt lately.
It's something I know that I am going to have to deal with, and work on...I know not all men are bad. It's not like these men are monsters that stand out in the crowd...we probably know more than we'd like to admit. I know I do...but I keep my distance. REALLY keep my distance.
THIS is the monster under my bed...but now that it knows I know it's there...it doesn't scare me any more!