Home Blog An Open Letter to Misogynistic Men in My Past

An Open Letter to Misogynistic Men in My Past

written by Stephanie Padilla October 16, 2016

Butterflies set free by two handsIn the wake of the current awareness of how often the sexual desires of men motivate them to step over boundaries and turn women into objects to be used, possessed, controlled and treated as disposable; I felt compelled to share my story. Before I healed in me what would finally set me free, I experienced this dynamic with a few different men. It is my hope that this letter will serve to prompt men and women alike to free themselves from this painful dynamic.

To Some of the Men in My Past:

You hold within you, in your mind, in your consciousness, misogyny. I am not going to call you a misogynist, because that is not what you are. I know what you are in the heart of your Being, like all of us, you are Love. But you have forgotten what you are, as we all have to some degree. I had forgotten the truth of what I am as well. When we were together some parts deep in my unconscious mind were very, very asleep.

When we were together you acted not out of the Loving Being that you are but out of a deep seated hidden fear and hate. You showed it to me over and over again in many, many ways. Here are just a few of them.

You saw me primarily as a sexual being. You saw me as something to satisfy your sexual needs and desires. It mattered a great deal to you how I looked; what my weight was; what I wore; the length of my hair. In some part of your mind, deep in your subconsciousness, I existed to satisfy what you wanted, your desires. I am not saying that is the only thing you saw. You may even deny that this was true. Your denials made it worse because I saw it. I saw it whenever I wasn’t pleasing or satisfying to you; you would turn away from me; you got angry with me; you went silent on me; you said demeaning things to me. You made your unhappiness clear. You let me know it was my fault and I should be different.

You were not very concerned about my comfort or my boundaries. You found subtle and not so subtle ways to coerce me into giving you what you wanted sexually, even when it was outside of my comfort zone. It was clear that if I said, “No”, that you would disengage with me, even leave the relationship. You found ways to hurt and punish me when you didn’t get what you wanted. If I complained, it was clear that my pain was not seen or heard or cared about. The complaint would be twisted into some deficiency within me. The message was that I wouldn’t feel this way if there weren’t something wrong with me. There was never any acknowledgment that there was anything amiss in the way I was being treated.

You didn’t like to call me by my name. It was much later that I understood the reason that you rarely used my name. If you used my name, you might have to see that I was a person. A person who had her own view of the world, her own experience of wants and needs, her own values, her own feelings. You called me something that would distance yourself from me. You had no interest in being truly intimate with me. You wanted to get something from me. You wanted to possess me. And I doubt you would admit this was true, but you wanted to control me.

You saw me as replaceable. You told me how important I was to you and how much you valued me, but you showed me that if I was not what you wanted me to be, if I did not give you what you wanted, that I was not worth your time. You would go elsewhere. You would find someone who was willing to give you what you wanted. And if I complained, your answer to preventing you from leaving was for me to give in to you.

You wanted me never to deny you. You wanted me to allow you to treat me however you wanted. You did not want me to have the ability to say, ‘No’. You pretended to respect it, but you didn’t. You were angry. Maybe you tried to hide it, but you were angry and saying, ‘No’, wasn’t safe. I saw the anger even when you tried to hide it.

It took me a long, long, time to heal from what I experienced with you. In that time I learned that the reason that I was with you was because of something that was actually in me. I finally saw that deep within my own mind was the same belief that my value, my worth, my reason for existing somehow rested on my physical desirability, my sexuality. I have no idea when or how it got there. But it was there. It was not true, but it was buried in my mind and powerfully operating.

It made me highly attracted to you. Your desire for me, attracted me to you. The fact that you wanted me and pursued me seemed to re-assure an insecurity of my value. But the painful reality was that what you gave me, you easily and quickly took away. I lived in constant fear that you would and when you did, I felt inexpressible pain and despair.

No matter how much I even wanted to, I could not be what you wanted me to be. It was an endless painful cycle that I could not change or break free from. I felt hopeless and deeply depressed. A dark place that seemed to last an eternity.

When I couldn’t take the pain and the darkness any longer, then I got angry. I got angry with you and then angry with myself. How could I have allowed you to treat me this way? How could I have allowed you to show me so little respect or caring, much less love? I was angry for a long, long time. And due to this anger I couldn’t trust anyone. I couldn’t trust men and more importantly, I couldn’t trust myself.

This caused me to be very isolated and alone. The loneliness and the darkness were oppressive. I needed help, but I didn’t know where to turn. I had tried so many things in the world. So, so many things. Nothing touched my pain and despair. Then one-day something dropped into my mind, a gift from a wisdom somewhere deep inside of me. It was not the love and approval of a man that I needed, it was God that I needed.

Once, I realized that I had lost my connection to God and that was what I really longed for, then began a long, long journey to find my way back. Again, I searched in many, many places. Different religions, philosophies and ideologies. But the answers were not to be found in any of these beliefs. The answers were to be found in my own self-inquiry, in a deep dive into my own mind and beyond.

I finally got to the bottom of it. The truth of it. I didn’t know who I was. I was letting the idea of who I was or who I should be drive my life. I was letting the idea that my sexual desirability had something to do with my worth or lovability. I let how desirable I seemed to be to you — define me. Once I saw the lie, I also saw that there was nothing wrong with me other than a mind that had mis-directed me and caused me great suffering.

And in this realization, I saw that there is nothing wrong with you, other than a mind that is mis-directing you. A mind telling you lie about what will fill that deep dark empty place inside of you. A mind that told you to grasp and claim and control me in order to restore what you think you lost. A desire that guided you to a solution that will only make you feel more and more empty and alone. This answer will not work for you anymore than mine worked for me. And whether or not you know it yet, it is causing you to suffer as well.

I see now that there is no need for me to be angry with you for your treatment of me. There is no point in it. It does not help me or you.

I have found within me what truly heals and satisfies and restores a sense of well-being and wholeness inside. Because of this I am no longer vulnerable to you. I no longer feel like I need you. I no longer have any investment in how you see me or how you feel about me. I am free.

And in that freedom, I can love you from the place that knows how to truly love. A love that accepts that it is your choice to continue to pursue the lies within your mind if you so choose, but also patiently waits for the day, that you choose to awaken from this false belief of your mind.

But loving you does not mean that the way you treat women is OK. It is not OK. However, much you want to believe it is OK and it is just what men do; it is not OK. It is not OK because inherent in this action is a denial of Love’s Presence. It is a denial not only of the incredible BEINGNESS of the women you behave this way toward, it also a denial of your own incredible BEINGNESS.

You do not see the truth of us or of yourself. You are lost. You are blind. You are not free. You are a slave to your desires and to the fear and hate that drives them. But you can be free whenever you choose to surrender this false way of seeing us and have your own eyes opened.

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