Featured Image courtesy of Time.com
How is it that this conversation seems to be excluding male victims? Why has it become another reason to promote sexism and prejudice?
When did it happen? That the only people who have been victimized and hurt by exploitive and narcissistic people are women? This culture war seems to be getting its marching orders from the very kind of people it is outing.
People with an agenda who most likely are just as guilty as they are victim.
Initially, I thought to avoid this entire topic. Most likely because it is far too close to home. Because, I a self identified heterosexual male have also been victimized. And have also been guilty. I have been on both sides of the battlefront.
That is why it is probably important to use this conversation to create and establish clear boundaries. If you have ever read anything I have written; than you know that I am a proponent of boundaries. And maintaining them.
I have not always been this way. For most of my adult life, boundaries in relationships were flexible spaces that had plenty of gray in them and lots of room to maneuver. When I set boundaries in my personal and professional experiences, they were set to please me. I created the boundaries and I could change them at will.
It was not until recently that I started to realize that boundaries are not like some demilitarized zone that is negotiated. They are firm lines in the sand. At least for me now. When I set a boundary, it becomes sacrosanct.
You may wonder how I came to this place. Where I can now discern an appropriate boundary. And keep it without difficulty.
It was a painful road that included plenty of rejection and introspection. Plenty of misunderstandings and loss. Plenty of difficult choices and sacrifice. It was not something that I read about in a book or blog.
Some guru did not come along and enlighten me. I did not take classes or go to school and get a degree to figure this out. I have lived it. And have had to somehow reconcile the failed and lost relationships with my own failings and faults. My own weakness and desires coupled with sorrow and grief have led me to a place where I would rather keep a boundary than breathe. Because I do not want to hurt anymore.
And my relativistic view of boundaries is what has lead me to a lot of hurt. Lots.
Where did it start? At work. My first real job. I worked in a place where I had lots of free time and few people around. I had a coworker. She was interesting and lonely. I guess she was horny and also had a murky handle on appropriate boundaries. She was married too.
So it began. Sex at work and with a married woman. Bad Choice. Rather then go any further with the story, suffice it to say that it ended badly. I became so afraid of the consequences of our actions that we agreed one day to end it.
I also became so emotionally attached to her, that when we did end it; I was heartbroken. I ended up alone and afraid. And sad. Shortly after that, I also lost my job. And my sense of right and wrong in terms of personal relationships. All the work that had been done in church and at home in terms of parenting went right out the window.
I lost track of what was right and wrong when it comes to having a personal intimate relationship. Did I mention that she was older and had seniority? Does it matter? I was a willing participant because of my own desires and weakness.
From there, it just got worse. I started having sex with anyone that was willing. Just trying to fill a hole in my own heart. Trying to somehow find the moment of comfort and acceptance that I had. It never worked. After numerous lovers, I was still lonely and afraid. I was still missing that one minute of time where I had felt attractive and desired. Where I felt like I was competent and acceptable as a lover.
Trouble was, I was already bent by that first affair. I was bent towards a predilection for seeking and being with people who already had personal commitments. I did not realize it at the time. But a part of me was thinking that I could somehow get back to that moment by mimicking the first one with similar circumstances.
And that delusion led to a psychosis. That it is somehow possible to have intimacy with another person who is previously committed to someone else. So for years, I kept trying to get back to it. That one moment.
I got back to minutes like that. And even had some long term intimate relationships. But they always ended in disappointment and heartbreak. Every single fricking time. And people getting hurt. Even people who NEVER asked to be hurt, being hurt badly by my problems with intimacy. People who never even got a chance to decide if my bad choices would hurt them.
So was I a victim? Not really. But I became a perpetrator. I was so desperate to get back to that moment in time, that I started preying on people. I started looking for people who were also lonely and horny and had trouble with boundaries. And I found them. Where else? At work of course.
I recently realized that I was doing this. And have changed it all up. The only way I can figure to do this is to determine what boundaries I will hold myself at. To understand where the boundary is and to keep it with all my heart. No matter what the other person may say they want or need. No matter how easy it may look to get what I want.
Although it seems altruistic, it is really self serving. For whatever the reason, I keep those boundaries. Whether it is because I do not want to be hurt, nor do I want to hurt anyone else. I keep those boundaries.
The irony of it all. Personal and professional boundaries are ridiculously easy to discern and keep. They are created by social conventions and good old common sense. They are pontificated by every “morally correct” person riding their high horse in to solve the problem. You know who you are. The Generals and Colonels of the #metoo movement who have yet to cop to their own failures.
What is the upshot of it all? Decide for yourself to keep the boundaries come hell or high water. And when someone crosses your personal or professional boundaries, call them on it. Do it quick and without mercy. Don’t try to spare their feelings. Don’t try to keep or get that job. Just tell them to their face they are trying to cross your borders and they are not ever, ever getting there.
If they back off, great. If they do not, then take it to the next level. Take it to the streets if you need to. Blow the whistle and stand on the rooftops shouting out the truth. If they still do not back off, take them to court. Involve the authorities that are charged with dealing with people who do not understand boundaries.
If you are still afraid or concerned, then let me know. I have ways of discretely persuading people to back off that you will never need to know about or have any personal involvement in. I do not charge for this service either and no one will ever know we spoke of it except Jesus.
Some things I like to do for the pleasure of it. I just enjoy it. But, that is another story for another time.