MONSTERS. We have all dated one, two, or if you’re a slow learner like me, a few 🙂 I used to ask myself, what is wrong with me if I am always attracting the crazy ones? Am I crazy? The short answer is yes, I was. As difficult as it was to admit at the time, the men I dated were simply a reflection of my own level of emotional development, my own level of self-respect, my own level of understanding of what a good human and a healthy relationship were, my own level of consciousness.
As most of my readers know, my dating experiences were an open project in self-discovery, exploration, figuring out my limits, crashing, growing, and rising. I really was willing to experience it all in order to figure out how low will I stoop, and how high can I rise from this. Though the process was painful, sometimes even degrading, it also came with a lot of international adventures, sexual escapades most women dream of, and a lifetime of experiences I’ll take to my grave with a smile.
Then came a tipping point in my life, when I stopped attracting the monsters. Now, I scare them J It was the point where I developed an understanding of who I am, why I repeat certain emotional programs and behaviors, what I am programmed to react to, how and why those patterns were formed, and the realization that I no longer need them. Once the lessons were learned, the realizations alone were enough to help me clear the programming and move on.
But, could I have resolved these issues without the monsters in my life? No way. Had I been dating angels, I never would have known my own emotional triggers, how easily I could be manipulated, why manipulation and control are a sickness, how to recognize them, how to avoid men who are sick. All those lessons came through experience. I always say that experience is the best teacher, and that women who are totally free of social and cultural programming, are very experienced at love and life. They are no longer affected, they no longer take the bait, they no longer confuse toxicity and codependence with relationships nor love, and once liberated from social constructs are free to create love in ways that suit them.
You can’t learn these lessons from a book. Your well-meaning parents can’t teach you how to battle the monsters or win. And pop-psychology, modern-day dating manuals and media feed women a lot of bullshit about their emotional limitations and handicaps, then spoon-feed them techniques about how to attract those very monsters we are trying to free ourselves from. Life’s greatest lessons have to be learned on our own through failure, self-knowledge, and the only way to sharpen those skills is practice, practice, practice. Don’t protect yourself from experience, embrace it and live it.
Talking to some of the most free-thinking, independent and knowledgeable Goddesses I know, I see that they all have a closet-full of monsters. It is how they sharpened their skills and brought them to their knees. The monsters now sit obediently at their feet. These women were not afraid to learn, no matter how excruciating the lessons.
It is true, I no longer play with monsters. They bore me to tears. I learned that monsters are the most insecure people in the world. When the most self-doubting, self-loathing men are looking for love, they aren’t actually looking to relate to a healthy person who expects an equal energetic exchange, and has clearly defined boundaries. What they are looking for is someone to reflect to them that fictitious person they pretend to be. A healthy woman will hold up a mirror, and expose the insecurity right away. She won’t validate his false self, in fact she will expose it.
A narcissist or the glass man can’t stand that true version of himself so he retaliates with insults, rejection, anger, emotional outbursts and runs. But when he meets a woman who is willing to prop him up by reflecting back the false mask he wishes the world would see, he is immediately attracted. He might hide his level of need for her, because he knows how badly he is starving for the validation only a blind woman could give him. A monster cannot relate, so he is unable to earn any praise or admiration from her. He must extract it from her, ensure a continuous supply of validation, condition her with rewards for the kind of attention he craves, punish her for any violation of challenge to his ego, hence the manipulation and control. For him its an act of extreme desperation to hang onto the woman who reflects back his false self, for her its an addiction to the tiny morsels of affection or attention she earns for holding up his mask.
What I learned from all this is that there isn’t just one monster in this equation. There are two. It would be narcissistic of me to think that I wasn’t complicit in these mind-games. I wasn’t an innocent victim, but always an eager participant, knee-deep in the toxic pool of negative emotions.
The only way out of this unhealthy pattern of toxic relationships is to recognize our role in this. We aren’t victims of monsters and we aren’t entirely innocent. We are their food, we are their sustenance, we give meaning to their empty lives. We bolster their confidence by sweeping their deep emotional insecurities under the rug, so the world could see and so that they can believe in their own false self. We are their security, and we must provide the constant supply of ego, because they know that without the validation we provide, they are totally exposed.
At a certain point in my life I realized how badly the monsters need me. I used to believe that I was powerless against them, always flailing and struggling to regain my footing. I used to run as far as me feet would carry me, because I had no clue how to fight them off. A man starving for his false ego will do anything, give anything, say anything, in order to secure his narcissistic supply. Unfortunately a lot of women are taught to believe that when a man is willing to give anything he is truly in love.
A healthy man wouldn’t trade self-respect for love. I found my power in the realization that it is he who is starving and that it is I who choose whether or not to feed him. I stopped feeding the monsters. I carry no special treats in my pockets that they can smell from across a crowded room.
Monsters don’t enter a room looking for a healthy soul to relate to, they enter a room looking for food. Who is their food? To a monster, the woman who responds to his false self is the only “real woman” there is. He will always select the one who treats him like a real man, responds to subtle queues of his grandiosity, responds positively and with interest to material offers, drinks, vacations, and invitations where he can display his manhood, and who eats up his false stories about his successes, accomplishments and grandstanding.
What kind of women do monsters run away from? The ones who don’t acknowledge them, the ones who cannot be engaged, the ones who won’t feed them with admiration, the ones who question their reality, their fantastical claims, their false self. Monsters don’t stand up well to questioning. In fact they will not be challenged. They are desperate to avoid any situations where their false mask could fall off, their desperation revealed. Monsters always have to be perceived as in charge, on top, having an advantage, they cannot tolerate standing next to an equal. They are friends with followers, admirers, people who are easily impressed. Pretty much anyone who buys into their delusion can be their friend, anyone who challenges it is quickly deleted.
With a little experience, monsters are easy to expose. Treat them like the insecure little weasels that they are, and they’ll run and hide. Their emotional wounds will be all your fault, they might even rally their followers against you. Don’t be afraid. Your goal isn’t to win back the approval of his followers, the goal is to free yourself from the monster. The only food the monster needs is your approval, your attention, your support, your validation. Cut that off, and they’ll find it elsewhere.
Every experienced woman has monsters in her closet. Don’t be ashamed of them, be proud. After all you beat them, exposed them, cut them down to size. Your experience expanded your consciousness, and helped you discover yourself. Without those monsters you wouldn’t be as fierce as you are now.
Remember, naive girls play with monsters. Mortal women run away from them. Goddesses keep them laying at their feet.
Brilliant post, have you heard of the Karpman drama triangle? I think you can also slay monsters within a relationship, as you both learn about each other in a positive and negative way
Never heard of it, so I had to Google it. I agree completely. We are all just battling ourselves anyway.