Help! I'm starting to hate men?

I've been volunteering at a sexual assault support clinic for 9 months now. It's starting to have a huge impact on me. I used to spend 1 day a week there, but since school got out, I've there 4 days a week. I spend hours hearing from women who have been beaten up and/or sexually assaulted by their husbands, boyfriends, FATHERS, you name it. The sheer number of them shocks me.

While I was there once a week, the stuff that happened would usually leave my head the next day. Now I think about it constantly. It's starting to have an effect on my interactions with men. I've become very untrusting and have been very snappy/mean to guys that I encounter everyday (expect my long-term friends). I get very upset when I see porn magazines on the stands in the store. I actually got so angry I nearly cried when I saw a bunch of guys making fun of the way 2 girls were dressed on the subway (the girls were a bit chubby in tight clothing).

I'm a psych major in college, which is why I've been at the place. I've tried to tell myself to relax, not all guys are bad, etc. but it just seems like there's so many!


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  • I know exactly what you mean. I worked in domestic violence and most of our clients were women (even though there are male victims who don't seek help/report abuse).

    If you feel comfortable, reach out to your colleagues @ the support clinic.

    Ask them how they deal with hearing about all the trauma because more than likely, they've been through the same feelings/thoughts/concerns.

    The organization I worked for was pretty on top of making sure we were able to discuss our feelings because to do the work that you do is rewarding but definitely heartbreaking. Unless you become totally insensitive and numb to what the women are going through, you're going to feel their pain and you'll need to find healthy ways to release it.

    Remind yourself that what you see/hear/counsel is not the majority.

    Consider seeking counseling yourself; not because you're "weak" but because you absorb a lot of negativity/toxicity, the dark side of human nature and it helps to have a professional therapist on your side. (Since you're a psych major, I guess you already know this :-) ).

    Take care of yourself; exercise, eat right, do good things for yourself (if you don't already).

    Even consider meditating and/or surrounding yourself with positive things outside of the clinic.

    (Watching funny movies, etc.)

    I used to remind myself daily of the good guys out there. My father, brother, other men I've met along the way who are really good guys, respect women, and would never hurt them the way you've heard.

    There's only so much you can do; I mean, I don't know if you'd feel comfortable enough to make a remark to those immature boys making fun of the girls on the subway but sometimes a little education or at least, pointing out their stupidity, can go a long way. However, you do have to choose your battles.

    Just remember, you may feel overwhelmed but you are making a positive difference...it may not seem like much when you are bombarded with misogynist thinking outside the support clinic but you have to remind yourself of that.

    There's nothing wrong with a crying session every now and then. I think it shows you're human and you have heart. I'd worry when you start feeling numb and stop caring. But, don't fall into the extreme of hating men.

    Hang in there!

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