Doing the Math

This article recently came across my Facebook feed:

To Men I Love, About Men Who Scare Me

I do this “math” with every male, even friends. I have told a number of male friends on various occasions that I was nervous, or even scared, of them. Not because I thought they would hurt me, but because they’re male. And males hurt me.
When I was in the ER a month ago I couldn’t be touched by a male at first. When the triage nurse tried to take blood from the inside of my wrist with a straight I howled in pain. Because holy shit that hurts!  It was the only one she could get to, and the vein ended up collapsing in the end.  As she went off to find someone who can handle hard picks really well the male friend who accompanied me to the hospital came over to reassure me.  All I could do was cry, cower, and hold my hands out. He understood. And he told me afterward that he was not offended.  I simply communicated my needs in the way that made best sense to me at the time.
I do the math the author talks about whenever something unexpected happens too Like bumps in the night, a dog’s tag jingling on the buckle of its collar, or the unlocking of a door. Is someone breaking in?   How did they get a key? Did I lock the door? Do I have the charlie bar in the track of the sliding glass door and the bedroom window?  Do I hear someone on my balcony?
I hate this about myself.  Because I know these men.  They will not harm me.  But they are male, and males I previously considered trustworthy were not.  So my damaged internal warning system flicks into Red Alert right away.  The vast majority of men in my life get it.
I am working on applying logic and reason to these situations.  It’s a Saturday night with the wind howling so I’m inundated with sounds I’m not familiar with.  I keep checking the slit in the curtains for people on my balcony.  It’s exhausting and terrifying, but it’s good practice.  Because the people whooping and shutting car doors aren’t going to jump onto my balcony.  They’re not going to break in. I’m safe.  And if I tell myself that enough times, maybe I’ll believe it.  Because it’s just the bar crowd; they want their cheap well drinks, not you. The winds are strong, so everything’s blowing around.  Sticks are hitting the windows.  It’s unlikely someone’s breaking in.

Now if you’ll pardon my abruptness, I will go and check the locks on my doors and verify that the charlie bars are in place.


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