I noticed something quite odd the other day, and while it immediately made sense to me, I think to most people, this probably wouldn’t seem completely normal. I got to thinking about the long term effects of child abuse, especially sexual abuse, that we just don’t really think about, or that really aren’t worth spending a lot of time on, but which are a result of being a survivor, just the same.
The thing I noticed, was that while almost all of the “friends” I have listed on Twitter, and most of the blogs I read, and groups I belong to on-line are male. Yet, in real life, almost all of my friends, and the people I feel most comfortable spending time with, are female.
Now, on one-hand, my on-line life, this blog notwithstanding, surrounds working with technology and the IT industry has a higher percentage of men working in it, so that sort of makes sense that most people I interact with about that subject would be male. Similarly, I’d probably say that most of the people I interact with concerning this site are female because, in general, female survivors are more likely to seek out other survivors on-line. (Although there are a handful of guys who are “regulars” around here as well.) There just tends to be fewer people I interact with on a regular basis concerning being a survivor than I interact with about technology.
So while I can see the disparities on the websites due to the content, the question remains, why are most of my face to face friends women? I think it’s obvious that the fact that I was abused by men plays a large role in that. I’m simply more comfortable around women, I tend to feel less intimidated by women. I’m not threatened by a simple, friendly touch of a woman the way I am by a man, and I tend to allow myself to care more about a woman than I do a man. All of that is a result of surviving child abuse, there’s no question.
The only real question is whether this is something I feel the need to correct. Certainly, I’d like to learn to be more comfortable with male friends, but I also am ok with most of my friends being women as well. I don’t feel like I absolutely need to start ignoring the friends I have in order to connect with more males. My wife isn’t the jealous type, and she is comfortable with me having female friends. I enjoy their company. The friends I have add something to my life, the on-line friends I have add something to my life. In general, I’d say that while we all could learn to be better friends, and improve our friendships with other people, I’m ok with the fact that there’s a gender disparity in my friends. It’s just part of who I am, and even though it’s a result of the abuse, it’s a result that helps me feel safe and does no real damage to me or my wife. Sometimes, I think it’s ok to leave those alone.