What’s something you never believed until you experienced it?
Believing in a man was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
It took time. Lots and lots of time.
Growing up, it was my mum, sister and I with only intermittent visits with my father. I never really thought that growing up in an all-female house had that much of an impact on me and my perception of men until I became a nanny and learned otherwise. In my experience, men were interested in creating children but not in the raising. Men were more interested in having the resulting “perfect family” than in helping create it with their time. A man just would want to know about the highlights of my days, not the real emotions and feelings behind it all. Closed off, disinterested, dismissive.
ML was the father of the family I worked with and he was the first man that I had ever really spent time with in a close situation. At first, I tried to keep my interactions mainly with JL, his wife, but I soon learned that in a family, and I was a part of the family, everyone talks. I thought I could talk to anyone and then I realised that I had a HUGE block when it came to ML. It really didn’t take me long to figure out that it was because I had no idea how to be “normal” around him. At that point it had been 15 years since I had lived with a man who talked to me on a daily basis and who not only wanted to know how I was feeling and what I was doing daily but also could see it for himself. My interaction with my father had been so fleeting since I was 7 that I didn’t know how to talk to a man about more than the brief highlights of the month. He was interested in me and not just because I was taking care of his children but because I was a family member. And that was the other thing that blew my mind: his interest and plain and obvious love of his children. I hadn’t seen that in a very long time and I was very lucky to find myself in a community of men who not only took an interest in their kids but who also loved them openly and showed that love by playing and really interacting with them daily. All the men of the community really helped to open my eyes to the fact that men CAN and DO have a caring nature.
In my past relationships, admittedly, I have always had a block. It was believing that they are interested in me for me; that they want to have personal relationship with the oddness that is SisuGirl. Its not something that I admit lightly. Its also something that I admire M for: his willingness to convince me daily that I am loved for being exactly who I am. He shows me daily that he not only wants to know about my day but that my feelings, and his knowledge of my feelings, are important to him; that he is willing to put in time and effort to be the very best partner to me that he can be because it creates a better “Us”. I just wish I had the words to describe the power his love and interest and how wonderful and freeing it is to be myself.
Because of ML and now because of M, I believe in the goodness and loving nature of men.