Join Date: May 2006
Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Unfortunately, I don't have any advice but I can commiserate. I have always been terrified of male authority figures. I attribute this to the fact that my dad was always very angry, volatile, and unpredictable. I'm terried that a man in a position of authority is going to start yelling and screaming at me.
If I'd had good experiences with male authority figures early in my career, I might have built up some trust in them but I had terrible experiences. When I first graduated with my Master's degree, I went to work in a hospital and the main doctor on my floor decided he hated me - for no reason. He never got to know me, never tried to get to know me. He just hated the sight of me and tried to get me fired after I'd been there 2-3 months because he blamed me for something that wasn't my fault. I didn't get fired because I didn't do anything wrong but I was so rattled that I couldn't talk to him or explain what happened or recover from it so I spent the next four years just trying to avoid him. I obsessed over every little thing I did at work, worried he was going to try to get me fired again. It was awful. So, now, it's 12 years later and I'm still terrified of male authority figures. And I still have problems with men in the workplace because they think I'm snobby and I don't like them when I really just very scared. Forget being friends - I can hardly just make conversation.
But it's not just bosses - any man that I have to work with or deal with who is an authority over me in any way scares me to death - that includes professors, mechanics, repairmen, etc. I am also afraid of some women, but it really depends more on the personality.