Toxic Masculinity, Emotional and Mental Abuse....Something in the air?

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LittleBoat

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Hi,
In my recent experience, there seems to be an increase in toxic masculinity and men getting away with a LOT of bullying and messing with your head.  I thought it was just my C-PTSD acting up, but when I brought up some recent incidents I've had with different men online and in person, my psychiatrist confirmed that things just *feel worse*, as she has been harassed more than usual, of late.  Like there's something in the air.  Some kind of permission for men to act or say whatever they want, which is manipulative, hurtful and designed to keep you in your place.  The Kavanaugh situation is a huge cloud, as well.  I am now housebound, with a general feeling of "what's the use....I'm gonna get slammed again if I venture out."   I honestly can't tell if I'm sick or just appropriately angry.  I just feel like there is something pathological in the general air.  A cultural pathology that seems to silence women, with more and more "effectiveness."  But I am pretty messed up, confused, gaslit, and can't trust whether this is an accurate observation.  So I'm pretty cobbled.  Anyone else having this sense that it's not just us having C-PTSD symptoms, but that something is actually going on, which makes it more difficult to trust what men might do? 

Thank you,
LittleBoat 
« Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 09:21:36 PM by LittleBoat »

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goblinchild

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Re: Toxic Masculinity, Emotional and Mental Abuse....Something in the air?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2018, 01:35:06 AM »
I haven't experienced it more lately personally, but I've definitely noticed some tensions rising around me. I'm not sure if this is third-person tension due to a lot of women around me seeing and hearing about women being treated badly and relating to it, having it drudge up things for them or if they're personally being treated badly.  I've been having some personal stuff going on and haven't had the wherewithal to ask anyone about it unfortunately.

I feel like the kind of people I've been hanging around lately have been a really great with this sort of thing. I bring it up because I feel like in times like these it can seem like everything is chaos but knowing there are pockets (or large groups, even) of people in the world who aren't about to tolerate stuff like that (not just women) is affirming and comforting. In some circles, treating everyone with respect and the assumption that everyone is equal isn't a struggle but just a fact of life. If some people don't like it, they can leave or be kicked out. I wish I could magic you over here so you could hang out with us! You sound like you've been dealing with jerks, maybe at least on this forum you'll find more decent company, I hope.

Also, dealing with these things is SO difficult when you're still dealing with past abuse. I don't blame you for feeling this way. It could be that you're experiencing some toxic jerks AND you're sensitive to that kind of behavior from having unhealed wounds? And I feel like most women know that feeling of being on edge and unsure if the treatment they're perceiving is real or if it's their nerves. Heck, women without CPTSD have a hard time dealing with these things.

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Luke57

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Re: Toxic Masculinity, Emotional and Mental Abuse....Something in the air?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2018, 06:42:54 AM »
TRIGGER WARNING - CSA & VIOLENCE

One man's experience:

I was sexually abused, repeatedly, by my narcissistic mother. The most aggressive, overt sexual abuse occured from my earliest memories until I was six years old. I was made to do things to her, which I won't describe here, and then told I was disgusting and dirty for doing those very things.

As I grew older the abuse changed to a less aggressive, more covert nature. I was not allowed to have a lock on my bedroom door and she would often burst into my room when she knew I was changing clothes. But her favorite pastime was to walk around the house, when it was just me and her there, in her underwear or in very revealing, see-through lingerie. Before I reached puberty, I was simply embarrased and felt uncomfortable. After puberty, I began to enjoy seeing her exhibitions and would fantisize about what girls that I was attracted to at school would look like wearing those things. But the fantasy would be very brief because I was always sickened and horrified that I could look at my mother, whom I loathed, in that way. I hated her for her narcissistic, controlling behavior and for the many forms of abuse she subjected me to. How could I look at her?

As I continued to mature, I was frightened by and ashamed of my growing sexual desires. I had fully incorporated into my sense of self what I'd been repeatedly told throughout my chilhood - that I was a dirty, disgusting kid.

When I was still a young man, I was at an outdoor party away from the group, looking for a place to relieve myself, when I heard blood-curdling screams coming from an abandoned house nearby. A young girl had been raped and was being tortured to death like in the most graphic horror movie scene ever. The girl survived, just barely, and the guys got life sentences. That night I saw "toxic" male behavior at its worst. I would say the worst that human beings can do to another human being.

That's my C-PTSD story. I have had great difficulty coping in intimate, romantic relationships because of the hurt I've seen inflicted by misguided sexual desires from both sides of the gender divide.

I know that this doesn't in anyway make up or excuse all of the harm that has been done over the melinium by out-of-control, uninhibited, "toxic" males. Its just my story. Thruthfully, sometimes I'm ashamed to be a man. I just wanna be a human being.

The end. I'm gonna crawl off into the sunset and hope that continued therapy will release me from my prison.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2018, 05:01:48 PM by Kizzie »

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Three Roses

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Re: Toxic Masculinity, Emotional and Mental Abuse....Something in the air?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2018, 02:55:09 PM »
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Thruthfully, sometimes I'm ashamed to be a man. I just wanna be a human being.

I know the feeling. I feel the same way when I hear about women being abusive.

I know more non-toxic males than the toxic kind. I think the bad examples kind of take center stage because of their sensationalitic qualities.

I am deeply sorry you've been treated horrendously by one of the very people meant to nurture and protect you. She deserves jail time.

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Kizzie

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Re: Toxic Masculinity, Emotional and Mental Abuse....Something in the air?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2018, 05:26:36 PM »
LittleBoat - sorry I missed this post!  It's late but I wanted to let you know I too have been so triggered by what's going on in the US I went back to therapy a month or so ago. I was either sleeping too much or couldn't get to sleep and I felt powerless, hopeless and helpless by the daily -- hourly sometimes --- assaults to everything good and decent by DT and his minions.  It reignited everything I felt as a child and in spades. What made it so bad is that you can't really get away from it, he just blots out the sun even here in Canada and around the world. 

I do think it's a last ditch effort on the part of white men (and to be fair women too) to preserve their power in the face of women and minorities demanding their rights. There is something in the air I think - change - and they are fighting tooth and nail against losing their privilege. The good news is that change is inevitable but I know that's not really much solace right now. 

I'm trying EMDR to shift out of being stuck in the feelings I felt as a child up against this kind of behaviour. It's as though all of this were happening to me instead of around me. I had no objectivity or distance from it and that's what I am trying to regain.  I did have it but when the triggers are hourly it's just hard not to go back to that place we were when our trauma took place. It does seem to be helping.  Today Kavanaugh will be confirmed and I am (appropriately) angry but don't feel like crawling back into bed as I have many times with similar jaw dropping incidents since DT got into power. You might consider trying EMDR or talking with a T about being back in the place you were when your trauma occurred. 

Hope this is helpful.

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Three Roses

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Re: Toxic Masculinity, Emotional and Mental Abuse....Something in the air?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2018, 05:57:30 PM »
Tbh I think this is less a gender struggle and more a class struggle, the haves against the have-nots. There is change in the air, reminds me of what things felt like back in the 60's when the status quo was being challenged. Here's to good humans everywhere, in every place and of every gender. 👍🍻

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Slim

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Re: Toxic Masculinity, Emotional and Mental Abuse....Something in the air?
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2018, 07:09:25 PM »
A cultural pathology that seems to silence women, with more and more "effectiveness." ....... that something is actually going on, which makes it more difficult to trust what men might do? 

Yes, it is a worldwide phenomena, and it is a backlash against equal rights. I don't think it is all men, and there are some powerful women facilitating this male narcissicism.

It is painful to watch, and we should stick together. ( also I am trying to stick myself together)
Slim

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Three Roses

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Re: Toxic Masculinity, Emotional and Mental Abuse....Something in the air?
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2018, 07:50:17 PM »
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I don't think it is all men, and there are some powerful women facilitating this male narcissicism.

I totally agree! I also stubbornly refuse to give in to this... whatever it is... the tendency to think that we are being oppressed and subjugated. I am heartened by the many advances, the forward strides that we have made regarding not only women's rights but human rights. There are a multitude of examples not only here in our country but in the world, and I think right now the focus is on our losses as a gender. I simply refuse to accept that.

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Kizzie

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Re: Toxic Masculinity, Emotional and Mental Abuse....Something in the air?
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2018, 08:22:26 PM »
Such a big loss in terms of the fight of SA survivors to be heard yesterday. I was prepared for K being confirmed but not for the reaction to it. We were out late  and when I got home and saw a news clip of 6-5 old powerful men scolding protesters after Kavanaugh was confirmed and several of Trump crowing at a rally. It just sent my BP into the stratosphere.

More work to be done in therapy obviously to deal with how this kind of awful behaviour although truly it's just a HUGE trigger no matter how you cut it. I saw so many protesters crying and angry afterward and no wonder, being told you don't matter cuts so deep in the soul.

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Three Roses

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Re: Toxic Masculinity, Emotional and Mental Abuse....Something in the air?
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2018, 01:48:51 PM »
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being told you don't matter cuts so deep in the soul.

 :'(  :'(

It really does.

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Kizzie

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Re: Toxic Masculinity, Emotional and Mental Abuse....Something in the air?
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2018, 06:09:07 PM »
So younger me is getting better because as I was reading this thread she asked me to add something (there's nowhere else you could say things like a voice told you to write something and it would be okay  ;D)

We all matter, our pain matters and we are part of the change that's coming

The last part was from adult me who is resolved to be part of that change so maybe the EMDR is working as I was knocked to my knees for a short while by the reactions to Kavanaugh but did get back up feeling resolved.   :Idunno:

Anyway, LittleBoat I don't want to highjack this thread completely so maybe when you do pop in you could tell us how you're doing?