Target of misdirected anger

Hi Y'all,

SubtleStuff said:
I am making progress in my attitude towards my own maleness. In addition to celebrating positive intiative in myself I've also recently embraced that I'm worthy of protection.
Another piece is coming to light in my efforts to come to peace with myself as a man. I'm starting to see that I have courage and seeing there were several keys areas in which my father did not.

He couldn't support my mother in her desire for her sons to be educated sexually. This is something I could easily do if I had sons. He was not able to express his sexual desires openly. This created rather harsh (albeit carefully hidden) consequences in his relationship to my mother. This is not a problem for me. He was unable to express any emotion connected to weakness or vulnerability. Although I too struggle in this department, I'm much better at embracing feelings of hurt that I ever experienced in him.

Courage gets confused with Bravado in my mind sometimes. My father had lots of Bravado (and its connected aggression). Courage, in my current understanding, is quite different and much deeper.

Just thought I'd share.

Cheers,

Garth

PS: I've been wondering if I've wandered too far off topic in this thread, but upon consideration think not. One of the key consequences of being the target of my mother's misdirected anger was internalizing her (repressed) anger at men and doing a great deal of damage to my ability to fully and comfortably embrace my maleness. Looks like I'm breaking out of that pattern these days.
 
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Hi Guys,

A new development for me recently:

I was at a public performance recently and while exiting the washrooms passed two very young children. The young girl was holding a very young boy in her arms. The boy smiled and waved at me ... twice! I was delighted and waved back. Upon passing them I went by an adult woman who scowled at me in what seemed to me a most violent way. I felt powerless to defend myself from what seemed to be intense anger and didn't see an opportunity to do anything about it at the time so I just walked by. It stuck with me though and had cast a dark shadow on the evening's performances.

Later, at home, I accessed my body feelings. My right arm wanted to reach out and crush the woman's head. I was quite surprised and actually delighted by this realization. Obviously highly taboo in our culture and deeply repressed in myself, I recognized it as the source of setting healthy boundaries on a woman's misdirected anger (I had done nothing to harm the young children (her kids?) and had no intention of harming them either). Now I'm attempting to befriend this part of me that is extreme in its way of protecting myself from hurtful women. Have you guys encountered similar parts of yourself while healing yourself of the abuse of women?

Cheers,

Garth
 

Chris4TheMill

Registrant
I admit to not being sure where you were going with this. Are you saying that you are experiencing anger, which you have previously usually repressed? If so, that is a good thing. Anger by itself is a normal emotion. It is how we respond to it that can make a big difference. But I think you realize that lashing out at the woman physically is not good, but the feelings are real and it is good that you can acknowledge them.

What the woman did was ignorant and insulting. Unfortunately it is not uncommon. I used to volunteer at a church nursery and I was the only male there. The parents would often give me dirty looks and/or completely ignore me when they walked in and I tried to greet them. I eventually stopped volunteering because I couldn't take it anymore. This was in the 90's.

Best thing we can do is enjoy those innocent moments with the kids and try not to let the cynical adults spoil the good memories.
 
Hi Chris,
I admit to not being sure where you were going with this.
I was just reporting on how, yet again, I was targeted by a woman's misdirected anger and was wondering if other guys struggled with similar dynamics. Looks like you've experienced a similar thing in the past.

Best thing we can do is enjoy those innocent moments with the kids and try not to let the cynical adults spoil the good memories.
It went further for me. The effects lingered and my fear was stressing me out. Eventually, when I realized the intensity of my repressed feelings (and the way my body was trying to alert me to their presence), I was able to let it go. It took a couple of days. It's this kind of thing that keeps me holed up in my apartment and unable to socialize at all. I can't predict these events and need to find a way to process them in a healthy way. Looks like I was able to eventually do that for this one rather than spending two weeks getting my body to settle down.

I was abused by my mother. Her anger at men was/is deeply repressed but I must have been aware of it and did everything in my power to dance around it. My father was extremely overprotective of her and a very threatening figure in my youth. The consequence was a shutting down of my protective instincts which fortunately seem to coming back to life these days.

Does this make more sense to you now?

Cheers,

Garth
 
I was targeted by a woman's misdirected anger and was wondering if other guys struggled with similar dynamics.
Haven't we all been there, even if it's only been online? I feel like it's now seen as perfectly normal for women to verbally attack men, say how much they hate us, how much we all suck, how we're all responsible for their oppression, etc. Furthermore these sentiments are often if not usually applauded. It is pure misandry. And of course, the reverse will get you called a misogynist. Ideally, no one would attack anyone else but obviously that's not going to happen.
 
Hi Strangeways,
It is pure misandry.
Yes, I suppose it's going to take a while for women to find a way to un-repress their anger without being destructive with it. In the meantime, we are going to have to find a way to protect ourselves and support our fellow man as we adjust to this reality.

Thanks for writing.

Garth
 
Hi Chris,
Are you saying that you are experiencing anger, which you have previously usually repressed?
Yes. I've read that a key driver to my severe health challenges is "Feeling responsible for the suffering of a martyr-like mother". In gaining access to my anger (and capacity to protect myself) at a woman who is clearly angry at me for a reason that has nothing to do with me (I'm just an easy target for her general anger at men) is helping me snap out of that trance. I have had a significant amount of shame around being male and have had trouble protecting myself from attacks on my integrity by my mother and other women. In the past, when I was challenged to experience my anger by a female therapist, it took me five months of severe health challenges to recover. It was too much too soon. It looks like now I'm able to access that energy without my health spirally out of control so completely. It makes sense that I would repress feelings that intense in a context in my infancy where I had inadequate support for essential survival needs.

Cheers,

Garth
 

Chris4TheMill

Registrant
Garth,

Yes, the additional details added a lot of context and everything makes more sense. It sounds like you are really progressing in your abilities to own your feelings and emotions toward women who trigger you, and that is a good thing to see. It is never fun being verbally, emotionally, or even physically attacked by women for no fault of your own. But as Strangeways said, it is basically the "new normal" so we need to be able to stand our ground and not let it topple us. I have found in my own dealings with aggressively obnoxious female relatives that once I start pushing back or calling them out, even if they initially balk, they do start behaving themselves better around me.

Cheers,

Chris
 
Hi guys,
I had an interesting insight today that I'd like to share with you. It's related to the topic of misdirected anger. Although I am occasionally the target of women's misdirected anger, I also channel my frustration in directions that aren't exactly helpful.

I find sources of support for my healing process to be in poor supply locally. There are a number of reasons for this. Women tend to be providers of therapeutic support. This isn't a helpful situation for me as they tend to trigger the most powerful traumas in me. Male therapists are rarer and less well qualified generally. People in general are oversexualized in their key relationships and are also touch phobic. These factors isolate me from most social situations due to the ease with which my trauma can be triggered in this context. My anger at all people and particularly men can be quite strong.

Today I was pondering this and realized that I have an expectation of people that isn't fair. They aren't responsible for my healing process. My parents were responsible for my well being and fell short of that in some rather significant ways. I was used to compensate for their inability to handle life's and their marriage's struggles. My anger at them is on a healthy foundation. They failed me. Government also has an obligation to support its people, so I think my anger at the paucity of local support for my healing process is rightfully directed at them. Other people (with the exception of the paid professionals I hire), however, don't have an obligation to support my healing process.

I also direct frustration at my body on occasion. This is misdirected as well. My body isn't responsible for the state it is in. It's doing it's best under challenging circumstances.

Do any of you notice this pattern within yourselves?

Cheers,

Garth
 
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