Starting To Date Again
After the unfortunate realities of abuse.
Oh, look guys. Bre’s got herself a man. Ever think this would happen only five months after breaking up with the last one and two months after realizing what he had been doing to me? No? Yeah, me neither. Thought it’d be at least ten years before I got over my fear of guys enough to actually start dating another one of them. Or perhaps more than years. Perhaps lifetimes. Let alone this guy being my coworker and roommate. Talk about high risk situations, right?
Anyway, it’s been two months since I sat sobbing with my mom after self-harming alone in the bathroom, and telling her the details of what I believed happened to me. It’s been seven weeks since I had a panic attack in the park, six since getting a counselor, five since breaking down in the middle of the grocery store, and one since going into the doctor (finally), and asking her what I need to do in terms of the medical side of things since going through all this. It’s exactly thirty-four days until the one year anniversary date of being raped for the first time. I probably spend too much of my time thinking about that, but that’s besides the point.
How the hell am I supposed to do this? Easy – I just do. I decide that I like him enough, that it’s worth the risk, that if he’s taking a chance on me knowing full well I could throw everything he’s told me about himself back in his face and screw him over, then why can’t I do it too?
Because I know I’m not going to do anything bad to him. I don’t know that he’s going to give me the same courtesy.
My ex, the ass himself, told me that I was worth waiting for. He told me that he respected me, that he’d never do anything to harm me, and that he loved me. Al has told me that I’d never have to worry about him repeating the patterns of my last relationship, that I’m worth the effort, we can take things at my pace and comfort level, and he’s going to take the time to prove to me that I can trust him. Awesome. Not gunna lie, I kinda ate that all up.
But how do I know that he’s telling the truth? How do I know he’s not going to burst into my room at three in the morning and not listen when I say no? How do I know he’s not going to demand things from me and threaten to leave when I’m unwilling to do so? How do I know he’s not going to start dismissing me as though I were some sort of doll who only exists for his own entertainment, promise me that he won’t do anything I don’t want him to as he’s in the middle of doing it, or tell me that there’s something wrong with me because I feel uncomfortable?
I don’t. I’ve shared a bed with him three times now. The shorts I wear are too short. I haven’t been locking the bathroom door everytime I’m in there, and tomorrow we’re going to the local hot springs, which means I’ll be in a bathing suit around him. Awesome. The Bre-You’re-Screwing-Yourself-Over alarm has kind of been blaring in my head for at least a week now. End up in one abusive relationship, and the chances of you being in another one is pretty damn high. Besides, kissing him tastes like cigarette smoke and that’s just trouble. Like dating the bad boy in high school.
Yeah, the bad boy who sits and watches eighties dating montage videos with me because I’m drunk and can’t stop laughing at them. That’s some bad influence for sure.
Yesterday I decided to give him a chance. I’m terrified. Last time I let myself trust someone I ended up, well, here. So needless to say, poor Al’s got his work cut out for him.
The point is, guys, is that we’ve all got stuff. Every human being on the planet, no matter how good your childhood may have been, has abandonment and rejection issues. We all have fears, insecurities, and heartbreaks. I’m really not special when it comes to any of this stuff. I don’t know the statistics off hand, but it’s something like fifty percent of girls confess to being sexually abused. So, really, I’m just one of many. And even if I weren’t, the risk would be just as high then as it is now. Great. So you’re screwed either way.
There comes a point, however, where you just have to go for it. I mean, you basically have two choices: you can live the rest of your life in fear and dread, or you can move on the best that you can. Now, moving on requires a hell of a lot of work, and to be honest, I’ve got no ideas whatsoever as to whethier or not it’s actually worth it yet, but hey, it’s better than sitting down and watching the world pass me by, right?
It’s this, or deciding to pursue music after certain family members told me it was obnoxious. It’s taking a new job, moving to a new town, or simply getting out of bed in the morning. Everything’s a freaking risk, and I don’t see the point in worrying excessively about something like this just because of what happened before. You don’t flip out and have anxiety attacks every morning when you have breakfast just because you had a bad experience with eggs and pancakes once. Well, maybe you do, but I highly suggest that you get help if that’s the case.
Dating after abuse is a huge thing. But so is having a relationship of any sort with someone. Life is a huge thing. I guess I’m just trying to prove to myself – give a reminder or something or another – that I’m taking no bigger of a risk now than I ever have before. Regardless of whether or not anything happened with my ex, I would still be freaking out, still stressed, still weighing the pros and cons, the possibilities of success and failure; that really, nothing’s different now than it ever has been.
The only thing that’s changed is me – hopefully enough to not repeat the same mistakes I was making before. And, perhaps, there’s a much lesser chance of that happening now than there ever was. So really, in that way I’m taking a much safer route this time than I had previously.