Have I Learned To Hate Women?
The Hidden Belief Exposed
“It’s hard to hate women when there’s so much awesomeness around me.” The words that came from my mouth on the fourth day of class shocked me. Where on earth did that come from? Here I am, on a massage table, getting CranioSaral work by at least five women, and THAT is what I say?
I laughed out loud. Partially because it was a funny statement, partially because I had no idea where it came from, and partially because I was waiting for the judgement to rain down.
I went back to my campsite that evening after a soak in the hot springs. It was 1 am; I was mulling over my experiences so far.
All week, every relationship that has come up that has needed healing was a betrayal by another woman. From secrets being betrayed, my body being judged, my ideas being shot down, my motives scorned. There wasn’t room for me in this world as a strong, independent woman in my younger years, and I had carried this forward in my body.
A Simple Intention To Heal
My physical intention for this week-long CranioSacral class was easy: Release the scar tissue in my lungs and chest that had been created by the mold exposure as well as the damage caused by the refrigerator that crushed me against a steel beam and caused me to lose function in my right arm for a few weeks.
My Emotional intention was even easier (so I thought.) To heal old relationship issues so I could open my heart even more. After all-I’m still friendly with most of my exes… I knew where my fear was, what my belief system was. I just needed a bit of support clearing that.
Ha. I thought I had work to do around my relationships with men. It makes me chuckle now.
Sitting in the room of 10 female students and 2 female teaching assistants (and the one male teacher) the first day of class, I found ease, grace, and familiarity in us all staking our claim in our roles in the introductions. Like a litany of triumphs- whether traumas, successes, or life struggles.
My name is x, here’s my intention of learning and/or healing for the week, here’s the experiences I’ve had. Strong identities shared. Here is my story. This is what you get to see of me. This is how I choose to portray myself.
A safe space to share trauma is rare. But allowing another woman to see the strength you hold; the power and beauty and sexuality—unheard of.
So we hid. Behind stories. Or perhaps—it was just me hiding. Behind my own ego, my own belief that my 23 years of healing myself had somehow brought me to a different level.
Are Women Taught To Hate Women?
Our group discussion as women the day after my session was fascinating. The same themes came up over and over.
“I don’t trust women.”
“I’ve never experienced love and trust for a group of women before.”
“We are taught as a society to judge and hate women. WTF.”
Together, this group of women let go of hate and bonded in a tighter way than I have ever experienced.
A woman who shared the experience on the table with me said, “Dawn feels like a sister. I wasn’t going to let go of her hand until I knew she was okay.” She turned to me. Protective. Powerful. “I don’t trust very many women. But I can honestly say I love you.”
We discussed how society had trained us to be competitive, mistrustful, judgmental, and hateful towards each other. Not how men had, but how other women had. How we, as women, had lost so much by betraying each other.
Am I Being Melodramatic?
Even writing this story—it seems excessive. Is it true we’ve been taught to distrust and hate each other so much? Reflecting on my experiences + how I hear my male friends discuss how baffled they are by the way women treat each other—I would say yes.
Ask me who my five closest friends are—the ones who know the most about me, who I trust with my life and my soul—only one is female. Fascinating. I’m not judging that or even saying it should be more balanced. Just noticing. Very curious. Curious about the hidden culture that set me up to distrust women—and how my mind latched onto unhealed past circumstances to believe it.
A Personal History of Betrayal; Unhealed Circumstances
Maybe it started in first grade when a classmate called me a whore. I didn’t even know what it meant, but I could tell she was angry and that it was really mean.
Maybe it was in 5th grade when one of my good friends made me choose between her and my other two female friends. I was told I must align or be left behind. I chose wrong that time. The second time she gave me that ultimatum she lost my friendship—or what was left of it.
Maybe it was in sixth grade when a friend told my secret to the whole school. When I got home I got in trouble for sharing the same secret. Doubly shamed.
Maybe it was the girls who made fun of me when I developed early; perhaps it was my male friends’ girlfriends who assumed I was sleeping with their partners, as they clung with a jealous ferocity to the boy they had captured.
Maybe it was the time in high school when I overheard two women talking about how I was having sex with my boyfriend; their shocked tones and catty judgement easy to hear through the bathroom stall.
Hell, I didn’t know I was doing the stuff they said I was doing with him. I would have been shocked at myself too at that age.
College Was No Different
Perhaps it was observing women at the university; they were cruel to each other, judging, commenting, hiding their insecurity behind a superiority complex and trendy clothing. I wanted nothing to do with it. I preferred the martial arts gym with the men where acceptance seemed easy.
Perhaps it was one of my closest female friends forgetting I existed when I was in my 20s; knowing I was staying at her house for the weekend so I could go to school, yet inviting her closest 5 female friends over to dress up and have dinner together. She was very cordial about inviting me into the group when I returned from school and they were gathered together. She even offered to share her dinner with me.
Perhaps it was being accused of disrespecting women’s relationships. Maybe it was because I portrayed myself as confident and independent and it made others uncomfortable.
I Really Do Like Women!
I’m not the first woman who has written about this cultural phenomena. Personally, I like and love women as individuals. I love my clients, my friends, the females who have mentored me and supported me along the way.
I just didn’t have any awareness of how guarded I am when women get together in a group. Whatever happened in class this last week pulled the remaining trauma out of my body and my system. It’s been transformative. Emotional.
It reminded me how important it is to continue our own healing processes. How vital it is to look into the shadow side of ourselves; how our unhealed situations in our past as well as familial patterns influence our current reality.
If you are interested in exploring your unhealed moments in time, schedule a health and healing strategy session with me. I’d love to have that conversation with you.