So yeah, showerthoughts they call it. That moment when you just let your brain run where it will and a realisation hits you like a ton of bricks.
There was a status today about imagining the world if men were gone for 24 hours. A lot of women replied with all the things they’d do, things they’d normally feel unsafe to do. My brain, as it does, immediately ran the opposite scenario: what if there were no women for 24 hours? What if the world was solely populated by men?
I had an involuntary shudder at the thought. That world would be deeply unsafe for me. I made a somewhat glib comment about just riding it out by staying inside with a book, but there was more there.
I realised that when my dad died, so did the last man I loved. They’re all gone. My grandfathers, my dad, the uncle I was close to while growing up. Gone. And worse: there is nobody to fill the gap. I mean, sure I have plenty of male acquaintances. There are people I know through work that I’ll meet up with to have beers and swap some war stories. Sometimes we’ll get up to some drunken philosophising. I value those connections, but there is not a single male-identifying person I would text if I was having a bad day. There is not one man that I feel safe to open up to emotionally.
Today in the shower it hit me just how sad this is. How much old scars still hold me back. The past year or so I’ve made it a point to hug men, to offer physical affection as I would with women and I’ve very much tried to make myself a safe person. All that doesn’t really help me much if I’m still afraid to open up and connect.
Let me end on a positive note though. I’ve met some amazing men on here, men who do feel safe. Some of them might eventually become friends, so maybe in a year’s time I’ll write a follow up to this and say how the situation has changed. Here’s to hoping.