Oct 24, 2011

Are You Constantly Seeking Approval from Women?

Keep me happy or else!
“A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.”
- Spanish proverb

One thing that makes life hard is when you live in constant fear of people. In my case, it's fear of women.

OK, I'm actually afraid of almost everybody, male and female. I can only think of one person where I don't experience a physical "shrinking from" reaction in my gut when I'm around them. Everyone else makes me cringe internally, even if it doesn't show on the outside, which it usually doesn't.

The roots of my seeking approval from women
I grew up with a violent, rageaholic mother who I was terrified of and secretly hated. I quickly learned to repress my thoughts, feelings and even the sense of my right to exist. My mother did NOT live by a code of "forgive and forget". She was like an elephant because I don't think that bitch ever forgot one slight, injury or insult in her entire life. Her main weapons were retaliation, humiliation, and if necessary, direct physical violence. That last was usually not necessary with me because since birth I'd gotten her unspoken message regarding the purpose of my existence loud and clear: "You're here to make me happy".

My mother was filled with hate towards her own father who molested her. I think I was the vehicle through which she was going to get revenge on all men. She hated men, and I was going to be the one who would "fix" all the injustices she'd suffered at their hands. I would be "different", because not only could I be trained to be her slave, she would also finally have the freedom to take out her frustrations any time she wanted on a "man" who couldn't fight back.

She also instilled in me a cringing, physical fear of her rage, which could explode without warning at any time. I lived in more or less constant fear of physical attack for years and felt I might be killed. This "freezing in terror" feeling is the most awful, shaming, and debilitating sensation I've ever experienced. And it's also the gift that keeps on giving.

I'm still seeking my Mom's approval from other women
Growing up male with a mother who hates men is not the best way to end up feeling good about yourself. The lingering effects of my mother's toxic influence includes messages like:
  • "Men are wicked. You're a man, therefore you are also wicked."
  • "You are my confidant and sympathizer. You understand me like no one else can."
  • "Your father is evil. You are my real husband, my real partner."
  • "I'll be damned if I'll let your father be a part of your life simply because he ejaculated."
  • "Men are pieces of shit."
  • "I love you. I'm the ONLY one who loves you."
  • "Everything's your fault. You're such a fuck-up."
  • "You'll never be able to live without me."
  • "You'll never amount to much."
  • "You're a deviant. You're disgusting. You're a rapist. ALL men are rapists!"
  • "You're not a real man."
  • "You're my slave. You'll ALWAYS be my slave."
  • "You owe me big time."
  • "You don't appreciate all I've done for you."
  • "I'm so disappointed in you."
  • "Do what you're told or I'll get rid of you."
These messages run deep. Some have changed over the years and some have not. All of them are still in process.

Needless to say, this type of early programming can really fuck up your sexual relationships with women. Getting sexually involved with any woman triggers some or all of the above messages for me. Which ones get triggered the strongest partly depends on her personality.

I tend to be attracted to strong, loud, opinionated, beautiful women who have more than a little touch of skank in them. Most of the women I've been with are or have been "bad girls" and most of them have rage issues.

Even though I'm not a kid anymore and have not really been abused by a woman in 25 years, I still engage in the same approval seeking behavior I used to survive my mom. I still go into this tailspin with women, even ones who are relatively healthy:
  • Everything's my fault.
  • I'm a piece of shit.
  • It's my job to keep her happy.
  • I'd better say I'm sorry.
  • If I make her angry, she might hurt me.
  • If I make her angry, she'll get rid of me.
  • She might be dangerous. She might even kill me if she gets too pissed off.
And the worst part is that the freezing sensation of terror is always beneath the surface. It's part of my daily living experience. I feel it almost all my interactions with other people, no matter how superficial. And it's utterly devastating for me in intimate personal relationships. It feels like be slowly strangled to death. I don't trust anyone and I don't really believe in my heart that anyone is truly safe. I know what human beings are capable of, and there's no way I can ever unknow it.

Do you also live in fear? Are you also constantly seeking approval from women? Moms? Wives? Girlfriends? Children? Your comments are always much appreciated.


  1. Oh..I feel truly sorry for you. My own mom was a bi-polar who had swinging moods from my very earliest memory. I'm lucky my dad was sane and loving..he balanced me out. But I grew up with a lot of insecurity in the process. I am a woman too, and not all of us are evil and can't be trusted. It's a good first step that you are aware of the damage that has been done to you. Growing up is really the best revenge.

  2. i feel like.. everything you said is my experience. only that i change the word woman to men.. but it is same for me . im afraid of everyone except a 1 or two ppl. im female and struggling with exactly all the fears and unconscious messages u have.